A few days ago one of my team mates told us that she realized she hasn’t done any deisgn-related work outside school and she felt ashamed of herself. While one of my other team mates said she should start by reading books to first understand what design is, I recommended her a totally different approach.
I don’t read books. Well at least not design books. I’ve been trying to get myself into reading books, but I just failed with every single book that I bought. It doesn’t mean that I’m illiterate or anything, because I do read books, just not those about design. I love marketing books, I think they are way more insightful and a great eye opener of how consumers are being fooled every single day and how it happened. From these books, I learnt more about the world, people’s behaviours, and of course, how to make successful products. Some of my favourite books are: Made to Stick, Buyology, and of course, All Marketers are Liars. There are a few more, but those are on my top three. I am still yet to read the Purple Cow. Horrible, I know. Maybe after the Everything You Want book I’m currently reading.
Anyways, going back to my team mate, that wasn’t the advice I told her. I didn’t tell her to go and buy books. Instead, I told her than most of my experiences and skills in design come from volunteering. I love volunteering and I’m so glad I discovered that even when I was still in high school. Volunteering has opened up my eyes to people’s passions, dedications, and what awesome team work without any monetary value. I have been volunteering in various places, such as: children festivals, school parties, senior homes, etc. Yep, many were random. I also thought my involvement with the Indonesian Catholic Society of BC is also a random one. I diligently stayed with the society for the last six years now. At first, I was “recruited” to only help with the bulletin, little did I know I actually enjoy doing the graphic design part of it! Within the society itself, my position has changed many times and I really appreciate each one of them. I got to be the photographer and event planner too. Funny how those three things are my passion now.
From there, I got so much confidence in myself and have ever since then, exposed myself to a more design-related volunteering jobs such as my Graphic Design position with Vancouver Short Film Festival, Internal Affairs Coordinator with MADrenegade (web to up shortly!), and of course Marketing coordinator with Third Degree Theatre.
Okay, I’m not here to brag about all my volunteering jobs and the positions I have held, but to encourage all of you to volunteer for your own passions and cause. It’s very rewarding. There are so many different volunteer positions with great organizations out there, you just have to make an extra effort to look for them. A place to start would be the govolunteer.ca! I guarantee you that there is no better way to learn about yourself, your skills, and genuine networking opportunities but to volunteer!
As long as you have the passion, it’s never to late to learn!