The following is a guest post by Christoph Rumpel, a passionate Web developer from Austria. I’m very glad to have him writing a motivational post here.
Here and now is really an exciting time as a web developer or web designer. You can find everything; you need to start your career on the web. There are articles, screencasts, podcasts and forum discussions on really every topic you can think of and this is why you can start being a web designer or developer right now. It is not necessary to have a degree in order to get a job like it is the case in other branches. It is all about what really counts: your work and your personality.
This is one of the thousand reasons why I love my job. What you see is what you get and the only thing you need to start is a computer and Internet access. Pants are not a must! Voila, here you go.
You are your own worst enemy
This isn’t something new to you, so where am I going? As I already mentioned this awesome basis we have is a great advantage for starting your career, but at the same time it can be the opposite.
People tend to think that their work is not good especially when they start learning and building something new. They aren’t satisfied with what they can accomplish. They are impatient alas for no reason. They avoid building real projects and hide what they do. And these are the two worst mistakes I can think of. Every beginning is hard, but this is the time where we learn the most and something we have to go through anyway. But who is telling you that your work is not good enough? It is only you!
Design is here and now.
I have run into this problem when I started learning HTML and CSS. Of course I was quickly able to build a simple website with what I have learned, but the result didn’t match my expectations; my wrong expectations. This is why I told myself I need more time to learn and that I am not good enough yet. Wrong wrong wrong! Unfortunately it took me some time to realize the issue. It was one of my design teachers at university who opened my mind when he said: "Start building things with your current skills now. If you can draw rectangles but no circles, draw something only with rectangles. Design is here and now!"
Your work is good enough
It sounds like something stupid but if you ask me, this is one of the most important lessons I have learned. You need to go out and build things right now. This is the best and only way to improve your skills and yourself too. There are projects waiting for you everywhere. There are always some friends who have this great little band and who would love to have a website and shirt designs. Or someone from your family needs a greeting card for a birthday. I swear it is more difficult to save yourself from too much work. But these are just some examples. It is ok if you just work for yourself too, but make sure to make projects as realistic as possible. Schedule it and write down the main goals in order to take the most out of it.
But there is more: please don’t be afraid to show what you have accomplished. There are simple reasons: 1) you should be proud about what you have done. You have created something new and I am damn sure you have learned a lot. That is awesome!; 2) this is the easiest way to get feedback. Learn from other opinions.
This isn’t just something you have to consider at the beginning of your career. These things are important to all of us and we are facing similar situations every day. I hope I could open your minds and you will stop being too critical with yourself, because there is no need to. Mx. Kitty themselves are a great example. They are working a lot and sharing most of their work with us too. This is a great benefit for us and for them. They told me that there are times too, when they think their work is not good enough. I can tell you / them that their work is definitely good enough and so is yours!