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A question for all you senior designers out there: How do you see your career after the 10 year mark?

19 days ago from , Sr. Experience Designer (UX) at IBM

I while back I wrote an article about this, but I realized it's purely from my perspective of things. So I had a discussion with the designers I know to be 30+ and into their 10th+ year of designing.

Some said that they find it below them to be in a team with the new generation (yeah, I know) and that they need to evolve from ux/ui to innovation or whatever. Others said (and I agree) that it's a good thing to be in a team with the new generation of designers so that you don't become one of the "boomers" isolated from anything.

And this led to the question of what's next. Do you move into design leadership? What if it's not your thing, what if you're just really good at what you do, being ux or ui or motion or whatever.

Then the question about age arose. Should you still job hop if your into your mid thirties? I know most companies seek young candidates because they have low expectation and are easily manageable.

I'm really curious to see what the design world thinks.

1 comment

  • Bob Smith, 10 days ago

    I've hit the 10 year mark in UX (there's another 10 years of graphic design before that). I have held lead roles but have also kept working as an individual contributor. I've failed to get a job at a higher level, and where I where I have been a lead there was no opportunity to grow further. I don't have the leadership skills, and I'm now finding I can't get into a company with a track to leadership.

    I'm also beginning to wonder if I appear long in the tooth, that because I've not progressed something must be wrong with me. In fact with all the rejections I've been getting, I also wonder if age and over experience is stopping me. I'm not even in my thirties anymore. I can't imagine being stuck like this in another decade. Actually I'm really struggling now. I left a dead-end company for a lateral change but it's not working out. I've made my life worse and I'm trying desperately to undo, but no one wants me.

    Anyway, for a number of years I've been considering the designer pyramid. The further up the ladder the fewer roles there are. So where do these well experienced designers go when not becoming a manager, director, vp, instructor?

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