Work that matters
I am not a designer. By trade, I am a writer. And even after publishing a book and having the term "writer" in my job title, I still cringe a little when calling myself one.
My boss, who has quickly become the most creative thinking person I've ever met in my life, has 30+ years in the marketing world AS a designer. Needless to say, his design bar is high. Really high.
Recently, I passed along someone's portfolio. I thought this person's work was really impressive. I felt pretty good about it. So, imagine my horror when, upon looking at the person's work, he says to me "Are they a junior [designer] or something? Cuz, I don't really see anything here."
He's also German. For some reason, I feel like this both explains his bluntness but makes it 10x worse at the same time. This also made me think - "Does this mean he thought THAT highly of my work? Really?"
But, then he said something pretty interesting and insightful. And it made more sense as to why, maybe, I was hired. And perhaps it has less to do with the quality of my work and more to do with my drive.
I explained that the designer is stuck in a bit of a bubble, due to the clients this agency has. To which he said, "Well if I were in that situation, I would do something on the side that was more challenging and better."
I hustle. I do side work. I wrote a book when I didn't have to. I write in this blog, though I don't have to. It's a great lesson for all those out there trying to get work, or find new jobs or more importantly, impress people that can elevate you.
Do shit on the side that matters.
Not just for yourself, but for that moment someday, when someone else needs to see your work that matters.