Your Visual Design Problems Bring Me Joy: Why I Love My Job
In the middle of this global pandemic and national turmoil, I’ve become even more grateful for my job that I felt it was important to share.
I’m thankful not only for having a job but for many of the satisfying facets of my job as a solopreneur visual designer. I’m sure the list could get longer quickly – but off the top of my head, here are five reasons I love owning a visual design studio.
- I get to build deep relationships.
Owning my own business means that I get to work directly with all of my clients, and I spend considerable time getting to know them and their businesses. Many clients become friends.
These deep relationships and the extensive knowledge I absorb about their businesses enables me to impact them positively and help them make critical changes for success.
Because I know their business, I’ve been able to move quickly to enact change for my clients as their businesses swiftly evolve. As they rapidly move into digital space and adapt to social distancing, our connection helps them trust that their design work is in good hands – one less stressor on their plate.
And on a personal level, I’m able to be a sounding board, a listening ear, or the source of a kind word should anxiety or fear about the future of their business set in.
Having the kind of relationships with my clients that help them make both practical shifts and pivots in their outlook is incredibly rewarding to me.
- I get to help empower people to market their business.
With so many amateur tools and the DIY world pushing the message that design should be easy, I love being able to peel back the curtain into the vast world of professional visual design.
Through teaching about the foundations of good design, I help clients declutter their brand story and elevate their marketing visuals. They emerge from our work together trusting in the expertise they’ve developed and recognizing – from a customer’s view – what is so especially helpful and significant about their business.
Whether clients work with me on an on-going basis or benefit from a specific design project, I equip them with new ways of looking at their marketing and empower them to consistently make their brand shine.
- I learn about businesses that I would never otherwise be exposed to.
Along with getting to teach, I value learning. It’s always a growth experience for me and a source of intellectual stimulation.
I’ve watched as a massive loom weaves a custom rug. I’ve learned about how recruiters use fascinating formulas to custom match leads to their business clients. I’ve toured organic produce plants and observed the intricate processes that underpin an accounting business.
I get excited by the ideas that my clients are working on and discovering what inspires them about their work in the way design inspires me.
Even if I’m meeting with a prospective client that I know for whatever reason won’t be a perfect fit, I still love the exposure to worlds outside my own and consider it time well spent.
- I get to work in the way that works best for me.
Owning my own design studio provides a lot of freedom to arrange my optimal workday and working conditions.
Even though I may not present as one, I’m definitely an introvert. At a large design studio, I’d be likely to have someone looking over my shoulder often. No thanks! Working alone nourishes my calm – and my creativity.
I also love setting my own schedule, and the flexibility it offers my clients. Since the COVID-19 crisis arose, I get emails at all hours.
While some folks may prefer to contain work to a 9–5 workday, I relish the opportunity to be nimble and respond quickly.
- I get to play.
Don’t get me wrong. Design is most definitely work.
But I use the right side of my brain in ways that many people don’t typically get to do.
That place we all dream from is a sacred space where regular rules don’t apply. Like in painting, or cake decoration, there’s just the right kind of rules to encourage creative juices to flow.
You start with the right boundaries, materials, or recipes. But by respecting the boundaries and knowing when to bend the rules, the world is your oyster. You can go off in unexpected, thrilling directions, and no two paintings, or cakes, or designs, is like the other.
I feel so privileged to spend time in this creative space.
I am so grateful these past several months for deep relationships, for teaching and learning, and for the freedom to let my brain play. Those things make owning a design studio the perfect job for me.
And I love the way that me working well benefits my clients.
Along with the ability to help practically, as I mentioned above, I believe that the design work itself comes alive in ways that it wouldn’t if the context were different or I were missing out on connections that feed me.
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