It’s been a year since my day job switched from IT to web design. A year since my job title changed from IT Support Technician to Web Developer. It still sounds a little weird to be honest, although my title has switched to Designer recently which feels like a better fit. I had been freelancing outside of the day job for four or so years previous. It’s only been this last year though where I’ve had a design job which took up all my working week.
In my previous IT job I was stuck in a rut. It didn’t excite me anymore. At times it felt like a place to retire than a place to grow a career. Quite a contradiction to how I feel now about work.
At first it was tough though, making the switch from a field I studied in, to a field where everything I knew was self taught. I had my doubts whether the work I could produce was good enough. Whether I knew as much as I did. Being self taught and never collaborating with anyone I didn’t have much to compare against. Even after the boss offered me the job I had to go grab a coffee to chat things over—“are you sure?”.
Turns out it was the right move for me.
At the new place we don’t do client work like you might picture a design agency doing, we work on our own product. At our products core is video, providing transparency for—mainly—car dealerships. For the past year I’ve been the only designer here. I work on anything from the customer facing part of our product, through to internal tools and props for marketing. I get involved in web pages, print adverts, email templates and suchlike. Design stuff. I get to work with a lot of people across a lot of departments, and it’s pretty sweet.
Of course the job’s taught me a lot about the web and design. What job wouldn’t if you were at it for a year. The real takeaways for me though have been what it’s like to work in a team of fairly likeminded people. It’s gave me a confidence that I don’t think I would have found continuing to work on my own. A confidence in what I can produce, my approach, and my work ethic. I still have a load to learn, but I know what I do need to learn and that’s half the battle.
I don’t know what my big takeaway will be over the next year, but I’m looking forward to whatever it’ll be.