Wade Jeffree
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I don’t believe I had too many. I considered all the little battles and hardships to be positive — it’s how you learn and develop. I worked my ass off day in, day out so I could work straight after university. I was fortunate enough to have a full year of “Industry placement” as part of my third year of university where I could annoyingly ask a lot of questions to other designers and creative directors about the things that weren’t in books, i.e. how to run a business, how to deal with clients (face to face and on the phone), how to answer emails correctly, and — most importantly — listening to a clients needs.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Be pretentious, be invasive, not listen and be an asshole. There is a difference between confidence and being a douche. If you cannot work with others, you will not be able work in a studio.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Not particularly. I recognised I was young and needed to learn a shit load. I asked an annoying amount of questions of creative directors and other designers to help grasp what I needed, to help shape my thinking and technical skill set. I still don’t know a shit load, and this is the reason why I choose to work and collaborate with people who do.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Manage your time efficiently. Be clear on what you have to get done and when it has to be delivered. Making lists and ticking boxes forces is how I slam dunk my workload.
What is happening sonically is important too. I listen to music that has a lot of repetition, i.e. drone, doom and black metal and the many genres of techno. On the flip side I also love to listen to talks, interviews and podcasts — why not be learning whilst working?
I am a huge advocate for noisli.com. Noise cancelling headphones are also a huge plus!
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
Design related books. From a design think perspective: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be  by Paul Arden, Six Thinking Hats  by Edward de Bono, This Means This, That Means That  by Sean Hall.
My partner Leta Sobierajski and I are slowly building a collection of art books. From a visual and thinking perspective I love to read up on artists because it is another perspective on thinking visually and can yield far more interesting information than that of a “graphic design porn” publication. My two favourite artist books are: As Far As The Eye Can See  by Lawrence Weiner (from the retrospective at the Whitney); Pure Beauty  by John Baldessari.
Wade answered the questions on June 8, 2014.
The answers were published on the same day.