Mar. 2019

“If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money.”

#Event #Social #SelfPromotion #GettingHelp #AskForHelp

After deciding to stay and keep looking for opportunities here, I need to face reality, I barely know the industry and I do not know which direction I want to go further.

I know I want to do something about creativity, but honestly, I do not mind doing anything, branding, book design, service design, illustration... (and I do not even know that soon I will explore much broader, into comedy and performance) All the forms do not matter, I just want to tell stories to connect more people (and that is the main theme for me to build my website).

This problem is the whole-time thing that I am focusing on in this project. And I actually find out that some people can really have a clear understanding of themselves, they know what they want to do and what they can do. Sometimes these two things might not match, but people I met always start from what they can do to get to do what they want to do step by step - yes, it is a long process and you have the chance to make changes.

So I began by getting to know the industry. My method is to appear on every design-related events that I can find. Because I had the experience as a service designer in Metro Trains so I started with events about service design and UX design, and they are reasonably easier to be found. GA and Academy Xi always have a lot (and so many free ones). The Design Kids also organized lots of good events (though that time, I was like “only one lecture a month, too little for me. I need more!!!”).

As I said, I am not a social person, and I really do not like events full of people. The hardest time for me is to wait till it starts (people around me are talking and I am acting like I am busy drinking, god, I do not even drink). I never ask questions or do further communication. I even have to reduce one or two when I feel this week I have too many events (luckily, I still remember that I need to take care of myself).

But it became better when I met someone familiar. I met my design leader in Metro Trains in three lectures. The first time he was one of the speakers and I finally had the courage to go and say hello. He still remembers me, which encouraged me a lot. But we did not talk too much and that also happened on the second time. On the third time, he asked me what I was busy with. I said I was looking for a job and he said he can help.

He asked me to send him my website and resume, he would have a look and give me feedback. I asked, “can I give you my card instead?

He was surprised, but said, “that would be better!”

I gave him the business card and I was still very shy, so we quickly said goodbye. To be honest, I did not really expect a lot about it (so many people said “see you around”, and they just left). I even began to think about how to remind him again after several days.

But I received the email the next day. And it was morning. And it was really really long.

I nearly screamed. I cried.

He gave me feedback about my branding system (mostly good words and now I understand more about how important to be encouraged), also talked about how to find a design job. He gave me a saying that he was told once which he loves. “If you want money (/job), ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money(/job).” He probably does not know that I already saw this sentence on his lecture, but it became more powerful when he straightly told me that again.

He really encouraged me to go out and reach out to people in the industry. Though I did not have a huge number of coffee chats, I did some (I thought I would never do that even last year) and some of them were really important for me. He also brought out my “honesty”, always be honest with myself and ask for help when needed.

I really understand that getting used to answering “I am fine, thank you” when someone asks “How are you?” or even “Do you need help?”. But this mode of thinking is not stable for me now.

The barrier that limited my connections with the world is now falling.


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