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Are my skills / experience marketable?

1 year ago from , Lead designer

A few years ago, I co-founded a company right out of grad school. I took on the role of leading product and design. Design had always been a passion of mine, and throughout the preceding 5 or so years, I had taught myself enough ux/ui/visual design to get by. We hit a ton of struggles along the way with traction, leaving us capital and resource-constrained most of the time, which means I continued (and continue) to wear a ton of hats day-to-day: product strategy, management, user research, ux/ui/visual/package design.

The company is finally seeing some traction, and the team is growing, which I'd be happy about if not for a) the toxic, high-stress culture this place has developed, b) the lack of commitment to good product/design by other management, c) my lack of mentor, career/team growth, and d) my feeling incredibly burnt out.

So I think it's time for me to move on. But here's my concern: I'm a design generalist who's led product/design as a solo-player for years. I'm not an expert in any one domain, I haven't led a team of 10+, I haven't worked anywhere with a ton of brand equity or at a large company where I got to learn the "ropes." I enjoy spending hours in Sketch getting things to look just right, but I also enjoy having high-level influence on product/creative direction. I feel like I have a really odd configuration of strengths & weaknesses that isn't terribly marketable, particularly to a larger company with some brand recognition, which is where I feel I should be for the next year or two to recuperate.

Any insight/guidance you have would be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

2 comments

  • Account deleted 1 year ago

    Go for jobs in startups. Those are the exact qualities that startups are generally looking for.

    0 points
    • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 1 year ago

      couldn't agree more. Todd here has nailed it. What you've got, Amir, is a ton of real-world experience in a LOT of areas that you just can't get at larger firms, or huge Enterprise environments, where everyone is pigeon-holed and highly specialized.

      You've got the qualifications that most folks dream about...

      If your place has become tiresome and or toxic, and you're thinking about a move...look at other startups in your area, attend startup related 'meetups', dev-group 'meetups' etc... get out there and socialize, shake the hands etc... take a good look around at the startup culture in your area, and make some connections..see what works for you... what folks you meet that you'd like to work with..etc...

      also, if you 'co-founded' this place...then.... it's YOURS isn't it? or atleast partially yours? maybe don't be so quick to give-in without a fight. If you put your time and sweat and energy into making this place what it is, then maybe you can spend the time to make things right?... obviously, we can't know what goes on there in the day-to-day... none of us know....(anonymity is a wonderful thing sometimes :) but YOU know... make a mental picture of what your desired outcome is.... figure out how to get from A-Z...

      my point would be... if this is partially YOUR company, and it's gotten to this sorry state.... what did YOU do, or not do, that lead to that...and would you be making the same mistake again at a different place?

      1 point