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“Are you looking for a new job?”

Trong Nguyen
August 9th, 2020

When I started posting on Instagram about design every week, some people started asking “Why do you post? Are you looking for a new job?”. Whaaaat?

When I started posting on Instagram about design every week, some people started asking “Why do you post? Are you looking for a new job?”. I got that question from many people, or from my friends who said someone asked them that question.

I feel bad. My Instagram has many colleagues there, that question makes me think: “Am I wanting to something for my career? Am I trying to show off? Am I an as-a-hole?”

Short answer: No, I’m not looking for a job. I’m very happy with the current job I’m having. There’s no reason for me to find a job right now. Especially during the pandemic. Some people are laid off. I’m lucky than many people when being able to keep a job.

Long answer:

Finding something to do during the pandemic

I started posting on Instagram when the pandemic happened, Singapore was locked down, people have to work from home, restaurants were closed. Basically, nothing to do outside.

So everyone had to find something else to do, me either. I remember one time when I was browsing Instagram and found Chris Do’s account with many good design lessons. They are presented beautifully: good typography, good images, creative layout, and great content. They were short tips, short lessons, some were universal, but in a condensed way. They were so easy to digest and I’ve learned a lot from them.

It inspired me to do my versions. In the pandemic situation, with too much free time, that was perfect for me.

A way to practice my design taste

You learn a lot while you’re doing. That’s true in design.

I’ve spent 5 years in UI/UX design (or now we call product design) in tech companies. In some way, it makes me think more logically, less creative, less freedom. The complexity in technology, the need for speed, the race for new features develop my systematic thinking. After som many years, I feel I’m less creative and more logical.

That’s the reason my friend switches back from a product designer to a creative designer. I’m still loving product design, but I feel that I need a way to do more creative works.

Instagram is a great place. Designers love Instagram love because of its beautiful content. And it’s easy to show the work. Just a couple tap, your work is online to the world. All we care about is creating good design and don’t care about any technical problem.

With Instagram carousel posts, I’m free to do whatever I want with layout, color, typography, shape. And don’t care about the evil Design System (To be frankly, Design System is good, but not always good).

And I feel how happy I am when doing it.

Building audience

The best way to learn something is to teach other people. Because when you teach people, you have to do lots of research, read many books, articles than condense it in your way, your language. By doing that, you learn something new and engrave it (chạm khắt) in your and then then you build your opinion from there.

And the side effect of that learning process is you build your audience, who also interested in your sharing.

One thing I realize when I start sharing design learning on IG is that many young people find that knowledge is useful for them and they are thanks full for that.

My audience includes my current colleagues also. At first, I felt shy when they started talking about my posts. “Trong is an influencer now!” - that was what I got from them. It was just a joke. I know they know. But I can see how they treat me differently. They started to pay more attention to me. Especially, they found my posts were inspiring.

I always think that I’m not wise enough to share. But there are many young designers out there, who are hungry to learn. And not many good designers take time to share their experiences.

Just show my personal opinions

Finally, I just want to find a way to share my opinions. The biggest lesson I have learned this year is to be confident. Because confidence gives me the power to talk more, to convince my design in front of stakeholders.

If I’m not confident, none else will.

One essential part of confidence is having your opinions, and sharing it. Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp said this in his book, Rework:

‘When you don’t know what you believe, everything is debatable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious.’

To be honest, my first goal isn’t to share my opinions. But the things I share become the thing I believe in. And it’s how people see it. So that’s the benefit when I start sharing.

Now I’m having a clear explanation for the question “Why do you share?”, and “Are you looking for a new job?”.

This note is for me. But if you resonate with it, let me know!

Hi, I'm Trong, product designer living in Singapore. I write to practice, and write to find ideas. Nice to meet you!
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