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How to ruin your design career in 4 easy steps

How to ruin your design career in 4 easy steps



Professional suicide is an art. Although it is usually easier to destroy a career than it is to work your way to the top, one should not take this mission lightly.

After thorough and serious observation of other designers and as well as service providers working in similar industries, I gathered enough data to provide you with this guide; how to ensure your career will go to hell within a matter of weeks. Results guaranteed!

1. Treat your clients like idiots

The best way to begin a successful professional suicide in the services and design industries is to get rid of clients, your main source of income. Treating prospects and current clients like second-class citizens of lesser intelligence usually does the trick. Instead of taking the time to explain to your clients your design decisions, laugh at their incomprehension and refuse their requests. Make them feel bad for asking questions and triple your hourly rate without notice; the surprise on their faces when they will receive your new invoice will be priceless.

I have seen several companies treating their own clients like garbage; inevitably, at some point, they always lost clientele. This technique is super effective.

2. Deliver crappy merchandise

Producing good design solutions is overrated. Create graphics and websites for your clients like you would for your worst enemy. Make dubious design choices, select hideous typography and low-quality images. It is also very important to never listen to your clients when they desperately try to tell you what they want, especially if it’s good advice.

You will notice every now and then in newspapers ads, on store fronts and in flyers mediocre graphics. Obviously the designers who produced those have initiated step two of their career suicide and they should be applauded for their persistence.

3. Be late all the time

Procrastination is king. Ignoring deadlines will delay projects and discourage clients from working with you again; that’s exactly what you want. To make sure that you achieve this step, you can try seeing your work as a game: for how long can you stretch your contracts before your clients flee? Keep a record of your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back every time you set a new high score. Who said work couldn’t be fun?

4. Lie about your skills

Delegating tasks is so out of style! Instead of finding partners or other freelancers who can complement your skills and therefor help you deliver flawless work, act as if you can do everything. When asked if you can do it, immediately answer “yes” without even thinking about it. Then, when facing the task at hand, do it even if you know you are bad at it.

This fourth step will speed up your descent into the professional abyss while simultaneously crushing your reputation.


Share your experience

I invite you to share your experience: how do these tricks work for you or for your fellow designers? Have you seen other professionals applying them (and did you congratulate them on their new downfall)?

About the author

Tina Mailhot-Roberge is a graphic designer, web designer and illustrator located in Montreal, Canada. She holds a BFA in Design from Concordia University and practices her craft professionally since 2007 .

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