Jed Bridges shares his advice on pursuing a career as a design generalist. From how a broad skill set can open doors to what to do when you work for larger companies, this episode includes loads of tips to help you reconsider the meaning of jack of all trades entirely! Read the blog below and listen to Jed’s great advice in the full episode!
The strategy of being a generalist
In episode 22 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Jed Bridges, who is currently a digital designer working on products and digital experiences during the day. At night he works on traditional print design, graphic design, and personal projects.
During Jed's career, he has collected a lot of great advice to help product designers at any stage of their careers. He shares what to focus on during your education and what not to do in an interview. He also sheds some light on finding the right mentor for you and the best approach to different job opportunities. This episode is packed with advice to help you along your career path.
How Jed found an interest in design
When Jed was in high school, he was interested in music and played different types of music in several bands. To promote the bands he was in, he dabbled in design to create posters, cd covers, websites, and other promotional materials. Creating these designs for his bands gave him a good mix of digital and print design experience that came out of the necessity of helping run the bands.
During this time, he also worked at a restaurant washing dishes and took on some freelance clients where he found consistent, repetitive design work each month. He soon realized that he could make a lot more money doing design than washing dishes, so he went all-in on design and enrolled in the Art Institute of California in San Diego after high school.
Jed’s strategy behind pursuing a career as a design generalist
In the design community, there are a lot of discussions around becoming a generalist or a specialist. Jed came into his career in design with a varied set of skills in print, brand, and digital design and continued to expand his knowledge in numerous directions. He has worked freelance and for a range of different-sized companies, from startups to large corporations.
During our interview with Jed, he shared a few things he has learned along his career path and his strategy behind pursuing a long-term career as a design generalist.
“If you're a designer working at a big company, try and orient yourself to have some actual impact that you can speak to when your time ends there.”
What to get started on early in your career
During our interview with Jed, he shared countless pieces of advice, including how to overcome imposter syndrome and what not to do in an interview. Jed shared three pieces of advice based on what he wishes he would have done earlier in his career. These pieces of advice, if put into action, will get you started in the right direction early in your career.
Thank you so much, Jed!
It was awesome talking to Jed about how his career as a generalist has opened so many doors for him. Hearing his take on his chosen career path will help so many other people who find an interest in multiple areas of design. We are so thankful that he shared so much valuable advice on finding your way in the design industry.
Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes a deeper dive into Jed’s career path as well as his perspective on interviewing and what not to do in an interview.
Don't forget to follow Jed and watch as he continues to expand his knowledge in design along his career path. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as well as dribbble and his website!
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