What I’m looking for in my next venture

What I’m looking for in my next venture

Hi all, looks like I’m back on the job market. I saw a fellow designer make a post about what he was looking for next in a company and thought it was a wonderful idea, so I’m doing the same. Hopefully, this will help all of you reading (recruiters, design managers, etc).

TL;DR

Overview of what I’m looking for

  1. Remote-first environment (with the option to come in person if desired)
  2. 4-Day workweek or truly flexible hours
  3. Purposeful and ethical
  4. Mid-scale/Small and Medium Enterprise company

A Remote-first environment

I started working remotely for companies 2 years before the pandemic and realized how much more work I could get done, without sacrificing team communication and camaraderie. The pandemic further proved the benefits of remote work to employees and companies. Some main benefits I appreciate are:

  1. working with top talent from across the nation and globally. Remote work means there are no location limits for candidates. I’ve worked on teams where people resided in the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, and South America and have been able to learn from their cultures, processes, and unique perspectives, which has helped me to grow in my own skills as a designer.
  2. Productivity and Performance. Remote work allows me to create my own quiet office where I can be laser-focused on my work. Also, knowing I have the freedom to re-arrange my schedule to accommodate my personal life means I don’t have to worry about not finishing things “at a certain time in the day”.
  3. Improved team communication. Global teams sometimes mean time-zone differences and having to make accommodations that work for everyone. Personally, I hate having lengthy, repetitive, unproductive meetings. I feel remote work has helped other workers and me communicate more clearly and concisely. This means fewer meetings, more asynchronous communication, and actually getting work done.

Unfortunately, finding a true “remote-first” work environment is not always easy. Some job descriptions promise remote work only to later find out that I must live “within a certain vicinity of the HQ”, or force a hybrid setting. I would prefer not to be led on or waste anyone’s time. I would, however, like the personal option of being able to come in person. I like being face-to-face occasionally, but I would not want to be forced to do so.

A 4-day Workweek

Work-life balance is very important to me, and a 4-day workweek allows me time for other important things besides work. I started working a 4-day workweek job in 2018 and it was life-changing. I started off in the office too! Imagine the dual benefits of remote work plus a 4-day workweek. I can honestly say I get more work done in 4 days than I would be working a typical 5 days.

Purposeful and Ethical

It’s a lot easier to work with a company whose product or service I would use or know that it benefits customers for their own good. This means I’ll be excited, and motivated to work. I prefer not to work for companies where I will be tasked with designing “dark patterns”  that trick people into making decisions or performing actions they otherwise would not.

Mid-scale/Small and Medium Enterprise company

I’ve worked with maybe too many early-stage startups over the years. I don’t regret it, it’s been so much fun and a great learning experience. However, I appreciate having the structure and resources working for larger companies like Mitel Networks and 7-Eleven. Now by all means, if you’re an early-stage startup with an offer I can’t refuse that accommodates all that’s mentioned above, please reach out, I’m always open to changing my mind for the right fit.

The ideal situation would be somewhere that already has a few designers, and maybe even a dedicated UX researcher, and UX content copywriter on board.

Conclusion

If you’ve reached the end, then I want to thank you for reading. I will also say that the above are not completely hard-and-fast “requirements”, but more of a guide as to what I’m looking for. Perhaps you may be able to accommodate what I’m looking for in a “unique” way (i.e maybe not a true 4-day work week, but flexible enough hours where I can still make it work like a 4-day week.) If you feel I may be a match for a position, please reach out! I would love to chat about it.