Why Designers Leave

A designer may decide to leave for many reasons. Some of those reasons are personal. Life occasionally has a way of beckoning us towards a path that is a river or a mountain or an ocean away.

Some of those reasons are ambitious. Just across town is a role that is a little bit more of everything we love about our current job. More responsibility, more chances to learn, more steps in the direction of our holy grail of projects, that thing we wake up a little scared and excited to build.

Some of those reasons are practical. It is never pleasant to admit, but when your ship is sinking, you jump and swim for dear life so you can make it to kinder shores.

But sometimes, it is none of these things. Sometimes, a designer finds herself working somewhere that is doing well, that has ample learning opportunities, that is wide open for impact. In such circumstances, why would a designer leave?

You are an accomplished painter, and this is quite an exciting project. You ask what this painting should be of.

It’s music to your ears. Snapshots of still seas, rolling hills, fluttering fields flash before your eyes. So many options. The next day, you start sketching some ideas.

The phone rings. “Great news! We’ve decided to host an Important Gala for the unveiling of your painting! Tons of Important People will be there! Unfortunately, the only date that will work for this gala is a month from today. Do you think you can finish the painting by then?”

You furrow your brows. 30 days is tight. Super tight. Normally you like three months. But a Gala… and all those Important People… You say yes. You head to your fridge and pull out a pack of red bull. It’s going to be a long month.