Matt Stevens
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
Working in a smaller market, I settled. Not a lot of great opportunity, so I worked at places that stunted my growth as a designer. There was no one to push me to do better. Surround yourself with people that are better than you and that push you to do more.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Stop doing work you care about. Pour it all into your day job. Wait and hope for the kinds of work you want to do to come to you vs. going after it and finding a way to do it on your own (even made up, even for free).
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
No one is going notice you, save you, get you where you want to be. It’s up to you to make momentum and opportunity for yourself. Be smart, but don’t wait.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
I am what I do. I don’t think it’s the most healthy or well-adjusted thing, but I take my work so personally, that I really don’t allow myself to fail. I don’t know that it’s efficiency, but it gives me a drive to do the best work I can.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be  by Paul Arden.
Matt answered the questions on June 26, 2014.
The answers were published on June 28, 2014.