Sue Murphy
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I graduated into a recession. So there was that. I’ve been working about five years, what I’m trying to get better at is cutting ‘should’ out of my vocabulary and going with my gut.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Be a douchebag. Being a douchebag may not stop you from initially getting a job, but pretty soon people get tired of it. Particularly starting in the industry it’s not worth burning any bridges when you’ll be bumping into these people for the rest of your life.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Not to put too much pressure on yourself and that things don’t matter as much as you think they do. This is my achilles heel, I’m absolutely my own worst enemy. I wish I’d known this when I started so it wouldn’t be so hard to change my habits now.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Sleep-wise, as much as I’d love to stay on in bed, it seems I’m wide awake at the crack of dawn and up to a decent late hour. I guess that gives me more time to get things done. I like learning and researching definitely helps me be more efficient. Coming to projects prepared and with as much information about the project brings out good insights. I also try to minimize using chat while I’m at work, much to the dismay of my colleagues, who coincidentally sit next to me ;-) Being into what you do certainly makes you efficient, but that’s no top secret.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
I love love love reading. I read everything from fiction to psychology to design to tech books and think it’s great to get a broad perspective. So in jest of that, I’d recommend a lucky bag of: Paul Rand  by Steven Heller, Lean In  by Sheryl Sandberg (whether you’ve a vagina or not), Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits  by Debbie Millman, The Innovator’s DNA and Maus  by Art Spiegelman (I cried my eyes out).
Sue answered the questions on July 7, 2014.
The answers were published on July 10, 2014.