Throughout my design career, I have always looked at the start of the new year as a chance to refresh and practice intentionality in my work and in my interactions. I take a moment to consider how I can improve my skills so that I can advance my career and expand my network. If you are like me, here are some possible new year’s resolutions for designers that you should consider:
– Learn a new software or tool. Whether it’s a design program, a rendering software, or a project management tool, learning something new can boost your creativity and efficiency. You can also add it to your portfolio or resume to showcase your versatility and adaptability. I am hoping to use AI to help unlock unseen creative potential and to improve my writing.
– Join a professional association or community. Networking with other design professionals can open up opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, or inspiration. You can also benefit from the resources and events that these organizations offer, such as workshops, webinars, or publications. In our office, we all do some networking and are part of some group that will help us improve our personal capabilities.
– Take on a pro bono or volunteer project. Giving back to your community can be rewarding and fulfilling. You can use your skills and expertise to help a cause that you care about, such as designing an ADU to help assist in aging in place, solve a retrofit to improve accessibility, or take on a a project that helps build the design community in our community. In my previous city, there was a program that brought design thinking into elementary schools. It’s never too early to start thinking about the world spatially.
-Engage in mentorship. Reconnect with an academic or professional that was important in your life. Buy them a cup of coffee and get their insight about early career decisions. Another idea is to become a mentor to someone. Highschool or middle school students can benefit from your wisdom even if they aren’t intending to go down the path of architecture.
– Update your portfolio or website. A new year is a good time to refresh your online presence and showcase your latest projects. You can also use this opportunity to refine your personal brand and style, and highlight your achievements and awards.
– Seek feedback or reviews. Getting constructive criticism from your clients, peers, or mentors can help you improve your work and identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can also use feedback to set specific and measurable goals for yourself and track your progress throughout the year.
Let’s start this new year off with a new challenge. Everything deserves good design and we should be ready when the opportunities present themselves.