Debbie Millman
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I faced an enormous amount of rejection. I was also tremendously insecure (still am, but less so), and took everything personally (still do, but less so).
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Arrogance is a complete turn-off. It’s probably best not to curse in an interview unless you are meeting with James Victore, Joshua Davis or Aaron Draplin. And at all costs, avoid the following:
— Fingerprints and spelling mistakes on your résumé.
— Showing up late.
— Apologizing for any of the work in your portfolio (take out anything you don’t love and ask everyone who looks at your portfolio this question: what one piece of work should I take OUT of this portfolio? You don’t have to do it, but if more than two people tell you to take out the same thing, I’d recommend listening!).
— Lie and/or pretend to know something that they don’t.
— Talk negatively about anyone!
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I wish I knew that anything worthwhile takes a long time. I wish I knew that things would turn out okay by the time I was in my forties. I wish I knew enough not to be so afraid to go after what I really wanted.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
— A paper calendar I write on with pencil (only).
— Finish what I start before starting something new.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
ANYTHING or everything from this list.
Debbie answered the questions on May 19, 2014.
The answers were published on May 20, 2014.