Everything seems to be a struggle, when you are trying to start a new career in an industry completely new or different from what you were doing, especially as a beginner. I was in the same shoes a couple years ago when I started my design career. 

Thoughts as a beginner

Even though I have a mechanical background and some software knowledge I was not sure about what I was interested in doing. As I was looking for a job, I thought getting into some field that is in trend or demand might just work out for me. But I don’t want to be in a situation where sometimes people realize their career isn’t what they thought it would be. Luckily I followed my heart and took some time to figure out what I was passionate about doing. I always wanted to work in an industry where I don’t feel like I am working hard.

This is not just a quote, but I made this into a reality. Here I am doing what I love to do i.e design. Since the start of my design career as a beginner, I was so apprehensive,and had my own fears about whether I would be able to pull it off in this competitive world. With a lot of hard work, determination and resilience, I was able to accomplish my goals to reach where I am today working as a UX/UI designer at a startup.

Journey into starting a new career

Let me take you through my journey into design who didn’t have any design background. I am srilekha,a self motivated designer, started career in my late 30’s as a complete beginner.During my childhood days, I always use to be in the shoes of curious george (those who doesn’t know curious george,it’s a fictional character monkey who is always curious knowing about things going on around him)wondering how people even get a thought of creating and discovering things that nobody dreamt off which made the evolution more worthy. I too dreamt of being a creator, innovator and many more. Well there is nothing wrong in dreaming big, right!!!!. I think it’s that age when you always want to open your wings and fly high in the sky, but at the same time you need to have the courage to do it. 

Now a days with the advancing technology,lots of online resources and network many people at their young age are able to celebrate their accomplishments.Being in my late 30’s, was not that easy for me ,took me a while to gather that courage to start a new career.At Times because of our own fears and weaknesses, you are kind of held back in doing so. Lately I understood that you just need that one step to push yourself and make your own footprints to pave a path towards fulfilling your dreams. 

Tips for a beginner :

Many of us, including me, get intimidated about having to start something new in our lives . For me also design was something new that I was more fascinated towards as I started discovering it, which gave a kick start to my journey. Though I have been working in the industry for the past year, I still consider myself as a beginner in the industry and try to be better everyday learning from my mistakes. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the things that really helped me during my career journey in design completely as a beginner.

Know your Niche :

Take your time in finding something that you like to contribute to the world of design, your secret weapon. Don’t be in a rush to do anything. 

Follow your heart :

Sometimes we really don’t know what we are doing and why. We just want to go with the flow. But when you follow your heart, everything will fall into its place without any hurdles. 

Age is not a limit :

There are no limitations for learning. When you are passionate about starting your design career, don’t consider age as a barrier, rather take this as an opportunity to fulfill your dream.

Don’t try to be perfect :

Nobody is perfect in this world otherwise there won’t be any creation or evolution of things. Don’t try to make yourself perfect or else you will miss the essence of joy in the design field.

Be grateful rather than regretful :

Many times people regret doing something that they aren‘t able to enjoy. Well “It’s never late than never” right? . Be grateful that you still have the time to make it right and accomplish your dreams. 

Be adaptive & Never stop learning :

Don’t assume you are done with the learning. Learning is like a path to a rainbow where you can never see an end. Always keep learning and refining your design skills. With technology updating everyday, you should be adaptive with the latest trends in the design field.

Don’t be an introvert/shy :

Don’t be shy, come out of your shell. Open yourself up to learning and talking to as many people in the industry as possible, ask lots of questions, and marinate in this new knowledge. 

Build your network & reach out :

For any beginner building your network and reaching out to people will shower you with more opportunities and guidance. Make it as a daily task throughout your journey.

Don’t give up :

Last but not least, don’t ever give up on yourself. Sometimes during your career you might have to face rejections, confusions…But it’s important to try and believe in the value of your work and keep pushing through the times when you feel like quitting.

 All the above tips are not only limited to people who are starting in the design industry as a beginner, but also for the others who are starting in any industry as a complete beginner. I hope to continue sharing my experiences with others and try to help them in whatever way I can.


Srilekha Yemala is a guest author on Difference by Design. If you’ve interesting ideas to share, find out more about submitting a Guest blog here

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