Design Thinking

Taking Ownership

Take ownership of your circumstances.
Ever since the times of Adam and Eve, we seek to blame shift and not take ownership for the circumstances we are in. It hit me like a ton of bricks when my business coach told me I needed to acknowledge where I am and to accept it in order to move forward.

In the past, I’ve allowed my circumstances to define me and to hold me back and feel terrified of moving forward. The advice I was given was to stay in the medical field, that I would definitely find a job after graduating, but I honestly felt repelled at the idea of having to cut dead animals in the lab and I couldn’t stand to stomach the sight of blood.
So I changed majors. I went from bio to occupational therapy, to product design. And to think I wanted to double major! After transferring I simply wanted to graduate and leave the Rochester area – the gray clouds and cold weather oh my!
I believe in the divine and I believe he has given us the power and freedom of choice. Mindset is a huge part of that and I continue to learn to shift and grow and stretch myself. I have the desire to be an entrepreneur and I know it is difficult to push through the crowd of nonsense that exists today. I decided to study industrial design because I believe design can change the world. If we truly believe that design can make an impact, we need to design products to better peoples’ lives.
After graduating it was difficult to find a job. I graduated in 2011 – and since I couldn’t find a job in my field I decided to go into retail. I had previous experience there and figured I could easily find a job. Once I was fed up with retail, I decided to take a design job from an agency. The job was temp to hire. So I quit my internship and my part-time job only to show up to work and be told I wasn’t needed. No warning. The doors were locked, so I called the agency ( I tend to arrive at work early) and I was told: “Oh, they don’t have work for you today.”
And that was the end of my agency job.
Remember, I already gave in my resignation letter to my part time retail job and my internship.
I never got a real reason as to why they let me go. And it made me not trust agencies looking to place designers.
I was devastated.
And I think I know I internalized the layoff as, ” I’m not a good designer.” Yet I know this is far from the truth.
Depression kicked in as I continued to interview and search for another design job only not to land anything.
Looking back what I should have done in the span of four months was looking for problems in the design world that I could be solving. Instead, I was focused on everything that wasn’t going right for me. I wallowed in my pain and suffering of increased debt, and sorrow of a bruised ego.
After four months I landed a job in a care center for people with physical and mental disabilities. I worked full time for a month and decided to drop to part time. I figured dropping part-time would allow me to search for a better design job – or anything different.
Someone knew the bank was hiring so I went in for an interview. I got the job and kept the part time one for about a half a year. After six months of working at the bank, I decided my next job would have to be in design.
I got tired of being miserable. I also took a trip to California to visit a Grad school that I got accepted into which was Art Center. I couldn’t bring myself to justify 50k for another 3 years. (They wanted me to re-enroll in a few basic courses). The price tag was too steep for me.
I began to introduce myself as a designer when people came up to my teller line.
And then I made a connection.
My cousin helped me land an interview with one of her friends that worked in packaging design.
And I’ve been there since.
I thought I would learn the basics of custom packaging and branding. Instead, I’ve learned so much about the technicalities of machinery, cutting dies, printing, and what happens when you make costly mistakes for large corporations. You won’t learn this in an internship.
I’ve still had the longing and desire to create physical products. Not simply for consumer consumption but to really make products that people will use and benefit from and products that will improve their lives.
So I m taking ownership of my circumstances.

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