Hey everyone, I haven’t posted on here in a while.
Let’s cut to the chase, because this is kinda long. First off, my education. It’s not in visual design, (I graduated in May of 2017 with a bachelor’s in psychology). I went to General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive course, a full time 3-month course from February to May of last year. That’s all the background I have.
I got my job as a UX Designer in late August of 2018, and I’m working 27 hours a week making $25. Due to the structure of the company, I am unable to do much of the research side of UX… instead I focus a lot on the visual design side. Anyway, I’ve been there nearly five months. Oh, and I’m from Austin.
I want to be working full time, but when I had a conversation with my supervisor (the only other designer there, who is MUCH more experienced), he gently let me know that while there is room for me to grow within the company, I need to improve in my visual design skills and speed. But I feel like I’m not progressing fast enough in my skills. It may be the impostor syndrome, but I think that there is some reality in the fact that at the current rate, it could take years for me to get to the point where I’m as skilled as he is (he has been doing design for more than a decade).
On top of that, he let me know, very respectfully and privately, my thoughts about the fact that he is looking for a more experienced designer to help lighten his load. He let me know my job is very safe but I’m just not at the point where I can offer the kind of help that he needs right now, hence him looking to hire a third designer.
Real quick, I have to talk about the culture of the company. It’s fantastic. I have always had a lot of anxiety around coworkers, but I genuinely get along with everyone here. It’s a small group, less than 10 people, with two designers, three developers, one QA guy, two project managers, and a business analyst. They have assured me that I don’t have anything to fear, that my job is very secure, that they value their employees and they don’t get rid of them unless extreme reasons. Everyone is motivated and it feels like a tight-knit family. Work-life balance is extremely respected, and if I want to work from home, I can without much fuss (I never do, I like to be in the office.) As my first ever career, I feel extremely fortunate.
I do feel like the least experienced one there by far, however. They don’t ever rub it in my face or anything, but I can just tell that everyone is very skilled at their craft.
The thing is, I’m trying to build my life and a serious future with my girlfriend. But I feel like I’m progressing at the pace of a glacier. It’s been suggested that I leave this job and find another one, but I don’t think that I’d be as lucky to find such a nurturing place, nor one as patient with my growth. And I very much value work life balance – I just want to work more hours.
I am open to applying elsewhere to keep my options open, but I only want to leave if I find something with the same culture but more pay/hours.
So, two questions:
What are the best routes to quickly improve my visual design skills and speed? Do you suggest any courses? I want to get to the point where I can convince my supervisor to give me more responsibility and then more hours.
What is your opinion on leaving for another job? Am I sabotaging my growth to put emphasis on work culture and respect for employees / work-life balance?