November 18, 2022

Designers, do you know what your values are?

Identify what you want by knowing who you are

When I have conversations with designers, it's clear that they have strong opinions and what they care about. But when positioning themselves as designers when they're looking for a new role and team, they don't know what they want.

If you don't know what your values are, you're likely living outside of your values

I've been there and done that. It's awful. Living and working outside of your values can lead to anxiety, depression and low self-worth. If you're working with individuals and teams whose values directly conflict with yours without  realizing it, you'll start to internalize this as a problem with you.

Don't try to fit in with cultures that don't align with your values

If you don't know your values, this could happen unconsciously. But if you feel 'off' observing how people behave, it's good to look at your values to help set a foundation of why that is.

As a start, explore 7-10 values that resonate with you

It's hard to narrow down values into a small list to start, so try picking out 10, seeing how they feel, and then begin to prioritize into a smaller list. Here's a list of values to draw from.

Once you have your values, use them as your benchmark

Use your values to identify yourself, talk about what's vital for you, and avoid people, teams, and companies with values that conflict with yours.

If you can't avoid working in a culture that conflicts with your values

I realize that it may not be realistic to pick and choose where and who you work with all the time. If that's you right now, acknowledge that you know your values and that these conflicting values aren't yours. Choose to operate within them as best as possible, without losing your soul.

Try to identify other cultures, teams and people that do align, and do your best to take action to move towards that