Promise Tangeman
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
As an artist at heart, learning the business aspect of my career has been challenging. Discipline, finances, structure, organization, process and procedures just didn’t come natural for me... but I was passionate about these topics because they actually helped me accomplish my goals and get the job done. As my career has evolved I have a whole new set of challenges such as leading people, casting vision, developing strategy, etc. Over time I have learned to treat these aspects as an art form and therefore I have begun to enjoy them a bit more.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Show yourself to be untrustworthy. I will never hire a designer or creative again if they have proven to be untrustworthy. With limited hours in the day and limited days in a week no one has time to work with people that show up late, miss deadlines, commit and not deliver, flake out, manipulate a situation, over dramatize conversations, etc. We are in the business to do the work and if you can’t get the work done, your talent is useless.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Yes! When I first started out, I’m sure — like most graduates — I wanted to find the perfect job and begin to fulfill the career path that I was made to do. I put a lot of pressure on myself to find my lifelong calling in the design industry. But I continue to realize that life, the internet, technology, careers, jobs and businesses are ever-changing. And I don’t have to do one thing for the rest of my life. In fact the industry at large changes so much and so fast that I can’t continue as I always have. I must change with the times, adapt, and realize that I will probably do slightly different things at different times of my life.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
I have found that breaking big projects up into small tasks, writing them down, and then timing myself to accomplish these to-dos really works for me. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed by certain projects... So, breaking them down into actionable steps makes everything seem more do-able. I then challenge myself by allocating a certain timeframe for each task. I set the timer and WORK to beat the clock!
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
These books are more business and brand related... but I found them VERY useful for my career as a whole! Rework  by 37 Signals, Zag  by Marty Neumeier, Entreleadership  by Dave Ramsey, #GirlBoss  by Sophia Amoruso, Today We Are Rich  by Tim Sanders, and Tribes  by Seth Godin.
Promise answered the questions on July 2, 2014.
The answers were published on July 5, 2014.