It’s been said many times that, if you want to learn more, you should teach. Taking on proteges, apprentices, students – whatever you want to call them – who will appreciate and absorb your knowledge not only boosts your ego, it can also help you learn and grow as a designer.
Here’s a scenario for you. You’re out with your friends, and you’re getting hungry. The members of your group start suggesting places where you can go and grab some dinner. There are a lot of eclectic suggestions being thrown about – Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Greek – and none of you is sure what you’re going to choose. Here’s one thing you probably won’t do, however: go to an “all-purpose” restaurant which serves all of the above types of food, plus about 10 more.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. You tell yourself you’re going to turn over a new leaf and start a new habit that will help you elevate your career as a designer somehow. Maybe you want to start doing more interesting personal projects, or refining your marketing tactics to reach out to more and better clients.
I’m going to talk about something controversial today. Everyone strap in and brace yourselves. Freelance designers like to encourage newbies entering the industry to learn as many skills as they can to make themselves attractive as a job candidate. This is well-meaning advice that undoubtedly comes from a good place.