Every designer deserves a special team they truly connect with. But which type of design role will give you the most happiness? Is it designing a consumer product or an enterprise software? Is it being the first designer at a startup or being part of an established design team?
The sooner you discover your area of passion, and target your job search accordingly, the stronger of a jumpstart you’ll have on your design career!
✏️ This post is sponsored by Playbook.com, a visual cloud storage startup for design teams and freelancers — Join Playbook.com and get 4TB free storage.
Jessica Ko, long-time design veteran and former hiring manager at Google, Opendoor, and other venture-backed startups, wants to help you discover your perfect team match.
“Most design grads send out hundreds of job applications not knowing which teams or companies best suit their interests and strengths,” says Jessica. “Having a strong sense of what resonates with you will give a huge boost right off the bat, and you’ll more likely be satisfied at work.”
For example, check out the below Playbook portfolios of different types of designers and their current playing fields.
- Jakub Zegzulka has a knack for startup product design.
- Startup brand design is Lindsay Grizzard’s sweet spot.
- Tammy Taabassum is naturally talented at consumer product design.
- Developer tools or enterprise software is Ryan Lucas’ sweet spot.
Take this test
So how do you figure this all out? Give yourself an honest self-assessment by writing Less Likely or More Likely next to these:
- You enjoy spending days seeking truth through research.
- You welcome one-on-one interactions with your users.
- You appreciate having ample time to iterate and get it right.
- You value patterns from established design libraries.
- You rarely change colors and typographies each time you design.
- You value speed over quality.
- You value changes over processes.
- You trust user numbers more than you trust stories.
- You get bored easily.
- You don’t mind seeing your imperfect work out there as long as it’s used by people.
Assess your answers
So how did it go?
- If you answered the first 5 questions with More Likely, an established design team or an enterprise software company may be your sweet spot. These jobs allow you to take time to think deeply, analyze, iterate to perfection, and invest in you and your team’s craft and process.
- If you answered the last 5 questions with More Likely, being the founding designer at a startup or a consumer product company may suit you the best. They’re uniquely positioned to give you that fast-paced journey filled with uncertainties and accelerated growth.
- If you’re in-between, you’re adaptable and can do many things or serve different roles. It’s still good to narrow down the job search. Jessica recommends looking for products and services that interest you the most right now to help you focus.
In the long run, people evolve, their interests change, and life priorities shift. “The most important thing about your job search is knowing what you want at the current moment. Be honest with yourself and follow where your curiosities take you. Job hunting is a process and an adventure, and it’s also a way of discovering and defining your own path to happiness.” says Jessica.
Just for this month, drop your portfolio on Playbook.com/portfolios/drop and we’ll help you discover your area of interest.