Don't Just Sit There

How does a designer get promoted? Get a raise? Get the exciting new assignment? Get a better job? These are questions I get — from my own team and also from designers I meet, in person and virtually, on a regular basis. These are great questions. There are no easy answers.
Your company may not have “that role” for a next level designer. And by that role, I mean the need for, or budget for, next level skills and experience. It’s important for you to understand the economics of your role — and your business. Understand the levers that drive revenue and expenses, and what your company’s targets are for each. In order to add more value for your company, you need to know how and where they’re currently measuring value.
Many designers also make the mistake of thinking, “if I do my present job well, I will prove that I’m ready for more.” While that’s partially true, doing your job well mostly proves that you are good at your current job. Doing more shows you are ready for more. And by doing more, I mean doing things beyond your role — not just more, or even a lot more, of the same. Taking on additional tactical work will likely water down your output or burn you out. Or both. You need to find strategic leverage — that is, you need to invent ways to accomplish tactical work in dramatically less time.

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©2020 by James Helms