I’m in this nice phase where I’ve left a role and haven’t started the next one yet. My old laptop is packed, waiting to be picked up by a courier and the new one will arrive this week. At this point in time, I don’t have to worry about the last role and I can imagine that the next one will be all I’ve been hoping for since getting an offer for it.
I’ve been in this ‘in between’ phase a bit too often lately. Starting afresh is quite exciting, but before getting to this point, there are other phases which are not all nice, depending on the role, they might last a few weeks or a few months. In my case it never lasted for years.
Phase 1– Honeymoon: meeting new people, noticing all the things that are much better than the previous role, thinking of all the things I will be able to do – there might be some red flags, but I push them aside as I want things to work out.
Phase 2: The red flags are more obvious, I try to understand how to address them and if I can even do something about it.
Phase 3: Things have gone too far away from what I can compromise with. I start looking for jobs. This is the worse phase. There is a lot of uncertainty, I can’t always be open about it. I apply, trying to discover the reality of the roles behind their description, prepare for interviews, and wait for answers, re-interpreting anything said during the interview, or emails which might give me an indication whether I might get it or not.
Phase 4 – notice period: Not a nice phase either. I’m usually ready to leave as soon as I resign. Everything becomes pointless (if it wasn’t already) as you’re leaving so can’t really project yourself in the work or meetings. It’s a lot administrative tasks for both the role you’re leaving and the one you’re going to next.
My wish list is becoming longer
When looking for a role for the first time in Scotland, my wish list was:
- not too far to commute to
- not too hard physically
- enough hours so I get a good enough salary
For the next one, I was finishing a degree in computing, and wanted pretty much the same thing as my first role, with the addition of: related to computing where I can learn and grow and if possible, in the public sector.
When transitioning to design, again the wish list was small, and any role I felt I was good enough for and related to design in the public sector would do.
As I became more experienced and moving from a job to the next, I started to know more about what was important to me, and it was getting easier to find roles, so I could be a bit picky.
With lockdown, ‘working from home’ as the default for a role is key now for me.
Even knowing beforehand what each role would end up being after a few months (or even weeks), I would still have taken the role. I’ve learned a lot in each of them and they all contributed to where I am now on my professional journey. And I met really good people each time, many of them I’m still in touch with.
Next role: Service designer for dxw
I’m starting next week and will condense my hours so that I’ll have all my Mondays off.
dxw is an employee owned digital agency that works with the public and third sectors. They have plenty of case studies on their website and my favourite thing is their playbook. I really like the inclusive tone and transparency.
They have lots of good blog posts too. If you are interested, subscribe to their newsletter.
Tempted to change roles as well?
I have 3 previous blog posts which could maybe help you:
- How to start working for the government and the public sector
- How to grow as a designer
- When I’m older, I want to be a Service Designer — says no one ever
I’ll be speaking at UX Scotland in June about inclusion. I’m really happy about it as the programme looks great and I get to attend the conference for free. It’s quite expensive otherwise but they have some free tickets for people who can’t afford it, check their page and look for ‘opportunity tickets’. Another option is to volunteer: reach out via the contact page and you might be able to volunteer for a day or more which will allow you to attend some sessions and get to network too.
Social Media update
If you read my last blog post about getting some time back. I did manage to leave Twitter easily, and even though I’m not checking Mastodon that much, I do enjoy it. So I did get more time for me and managed to read books. I’ve subscribed to a few newsletters which keep me up-to-date with the design community, for example vickypedia, the newsletter from Vicky Teinaki. So all going well so far.
More blog posts coming
I have material for more blog posts and a bit of time on my hands this week, plus all my Mondays from mid-February so I might get more blog posts out soon.