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I studied graphic design for 4 years and have now been working in the industry for 4+ years.

My problem is that I'm not really that passionate about it. I like working with design, but I am far from obsessed with it. When I am not at work, I want to do anything but designing.

I think about people around me, in other careers, and only a very few are doing something they absolutely love. Most of them are like me, where work just feels like... work.

I have made myself believe that unless I can be this super passionate designer, then I should stop immediately. I feel like a fraud!

I feel that it's fine to not love your job, you know, "work to live" rather than the opposite – unless you are a designer. That if I am not passionate, I can't be good.

I'd like to hear what you guys think of this. and how you feel about work.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Scott, Ovaryraptor, usr2564301, Lucian, Zach Saucier Oct 23 '18 at 23:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Its a job, nothing more nothing less. – joojaa Oct 23 '18 at 16:42
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    If you don't actively dislike the job, then hold on to it. You can spend your free time doing things you really like, and a steady job puts bread on the table. You can always search for another job in an industry you like in that spare time. (I have the luxury that I like my job, it pays well enough by a substantial margin, and I can spend my free time any which way I want anyway.) – usr2564301 Oct 23 '18 at 17:54
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    @Tetsujin I'd still quit eating pizza and find another income stream. But really there's no telling what the "job" here is.. if it's more along the lines of production at a quick printer.. well, then yeah that can be drudgery and disheartening. Some "design jobs" are way, way better than others. – Scott Oct 23 '18 at 19:01
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    @Scott - delivering it on a moped? – Tetsujin Oct 23 '18 at 19:03
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    To point out the obvious, this question is not specific to graphic design. Replace "graphic design" with "engineering", "nail-building" or "turtle grooming" and it still fits anyone not overly motivated in his/her job. Especially in academia though... – István Zachar Oct 23 '18 at 19:33
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If you do not have a real alternative, do not quit. Consider it a job.

If you actually have something else you love, and the design job is pulling you away, then you probably need to quit, since it is in the way.

Another option is that you change the focus of your career. Design can be applied to many, many fields. See if your client fields are just as boring, or is it printing job, lack of creativity, etc.

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The reason people generally have passion for anything is that they have a motivator to do it. It doesn't matter if it's graphic design, car repair, physics, obscure math, or Legos, they have some sort of motivation to do what they do. Some may not even know what their motivation truly is, they "just need to do it".

It seems as if you don't have motivation in your current line of work. That's perfectly fine. Most people hate their jobs, so you're quite a few steps ahead of most people. This alone isn't a great reason to stay where you are, but something to think about if you decide to leave (there's always a "worse" option).

Many people never find the motivator they need to find passion in anything, however some of these people may simply never recognized or capitalized on their passions. It happens, but only if you let it. If you take the time to search for your passion, you might be able to find something that you really would be rather doing. It might not be in design, and that's fine! It could be something related to design, just not in the specific version you are in right now.

My mother is an artist. For years, she was a digital graphic artist. Right now, she's into water color pencil. She has also done sign painting, stained glass, oils, acrylics, portraits, still life, sculpting, knitting, quilting, and so many other things that I don't know them all. The thing I'm trying to get at is that your passion might change over time, and it sounds as if it might already have.

You got into graphic design, presumably, because you really liked it. You had a passion for doing it for the sake of doing it. You are now a skilled designer, and your passion for learning your craft is lessened, since you aren't learning something new all the time. Notice that I changed how I spoke about your passion there in that last sentence? I moved your passion from design to learning about design. I'd suggest taking more classes after work, any classes you can find that even remotely hold your interest (and are affordable). These could be at a local college, museum, maker space, a gallery, or even just a friend.

See if you can rekindle the passion you started out with, not by quitting your job, but by expanding what you do. This may lead to a new job, sure, but make sure you are leaving your job for a good reason, rather than an "eh" excuse. Granted, some of those "eh" excuses can lead to greater things, but they usually have at least some sort of plan behind them.

Quitting your job without know where you want your path to lead you is going to be problematic, and finding your "perfect" job will be nearly impossible if you don't know what it looks or feels like.

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Don't quit until you are certain to have an alternative source of income. Beyond the Peter-Saville-Paula-Scher-type fancy talk and the Behance featured eye candy awesomeness, designing of any kind is just a job like any other.

If this is a full time job situation, it might become a little more exciting going freelance, chasing clients yourself instead of them being provided. Do that for another 4 years, then you're likely to realize this job you had before wasn't all that bad. Who knows?

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