This is the first time I’ve had the luxury of a few months time spent being methodical and meticulous in my search process (with a detailed spreadsheet and everything). In the process of preparing for interviews, cover letters, personalized resumes and portfolio updates, I’ve been able to reflect and learn a bit about myself, what I’m looking for, and how to best approach a job search.
I think in visuals. When I'm working through a system, concept or UI, I nearly always start with pen on paper, even if its just words, scribbles, and rectangles. Thinking visually is something most people stop doing as soon as art class isn't a requirement, for many this is in grade school, which is a travesty. Learning to visualize our ideas is an important skill in all kinds of fields, not just design.
While others picked a path and climbed the career ladder I had become a generalist: recruiters didn't know where to put me, and creative directors often thought I was both too senior and too unfocused for a regular designer role. As a result I felt like I was treading water rather than gaining ground.