I find myself in conversation with a lot of young designers — about 3–4 years of experience who seek help in understanding what they should do to steer their design career — in the right direction.
Should they focus on specific hard skillsets? Go for further studies and formal design education since most come from other academia like engineering, etc.? Should they continue working and learn on the job or apply for colleges? Is UX, Product Design enough? Should they learn deep about business domains like marketplaces, e-commerce, and such? It’s not an easy thing to go by. However, something that helped me along the way is consciously investing time in this.
Try this: every week, spend a few hours thinking about the things you like doing, things that inspire you, work that you’re passionate about, looking at your role models, and read up about their journey and such.
As humans, we naturally tend to stay occupied with something: It starts with waking up, having tea… getting ready for the day. Reaching office… staying on top of tasks, meetings, work. Water cooler conversations, more tea, and breaks. The show you have been meaning to binge on, the movie you have to watch, the friend you had to drink beer with. You get the point.
Try to find some quality time thinking about YOURSELF and where would you want to be in the next 6 months, 1 year or more. Do it every week, and you won’t need to ask anyone for this advice.