April 14, 2020

Time to Think

Being unemployed and being in quarantine has given me a lot of time to think. It’s one of the reasons I decided to hire a career coach. I needed a third party to help point out any blind spots I may not have been aware of. It’s hard to notice the patterns in your life precisely because they’re happening to you. Everything just seems normal!

While looking for work I’ve been taking some courses, trying to learn new skills and sharpen some neglected ones. One of those in the latter category is web and graphic design. It was one of the first real jobs I had out of school back in the days when you had to optimize for IE 5. I worked for a few different creative houses in Calgary and did a few years of freelance work as well. I got eventually decided to leave the field after I had kids. I thought that I needed something with a more stable income as well as a decent benefits package.

My life has changed a lot since then. I’ve worked as a Trainer, as a Development Specialist, and as a Manager for Apple Retail. There were aspects of each of those jobs that I loved, but I always wondered what would have happened if I’d stuck with design.

I mentioned steady pay and benefits earlier as the reasons I left, but it was more than that. I could do development” work if I needed to. I was competent in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and (gasp) Actionscript. For you kids out there Actionscript is the code you used to develop websites in Flash. I was good at it, and not many companies had a developer on board that knew it well. A lot of my contract work was for Flash projects. The problem was I didn’t really like coding. I’m much more of a right-brained thinker. I preferred working in Photoshop and Illustrator. These days Design work is much more fleshed out. You can specialize in different areas like UI/UX, illustration, web design, print design. back then you were expected to be a jack of all trades.

So, I’ve started taking some courses and learning some new software tools specifically for my iPad Pro.


I’m going to document my journey as best I can here. Maybe on other platforms as well?

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Back when IE 5 was God I’m a bit of a digital pack rat. I have files going back over a decade of website and design work. Some of it freelance, some of it contract, some