Joey Cofone
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
The biggest difficulty is uncertainty, of not knowing if I’m doing the ‘right’ thing or heading down the ‘right’ path. My solution: focus on having fun, on doing work that comes from deep within — and forget about everything else.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
If you don’t want to get hired, just show up late. If you really don’t want to get hired, bring cookies with you and don’t share them.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Honestly, no. A career is one giant learning process — if you’re open to the idea of slow growth and accept failure as part of it, you will have very few regrets. My mistakes are part of who I am. At Baron Fig we’re constantly stepping back from our failures (and successes) and asking ourselves, “Ok, what are the takeaways from this experience?”
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Organize everything. Find out ways to create systems around frequent processes. The less brainpower you spend on figuring out what you need to do, the more brainpower you have for the doing.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
Two books, one for input and one for output. Get yourself The Phantom Tollbooth  by Norton Juster to remind yourself what it’s like to be a kid and play. And get yourself a blank notebook, add to it every day, and make sure your mind is regularly working in two directions (out, not just in).
Joey answered the questions on May 31, 2014.
The answers were published on the same day.