This interview continues here from part three.
In the book Maximize Your Potential, 99U director and editor-in-chief Jocelyn Glei describes how essential it is for creative professionals to adopt a mission. With the current, constantly evolving marketplace, creating a mission can empower graphic designers, and all creative professionals, to focus on what they want to be accomplishing in their careers.
Here, in part four of this interview with Glei, she discusses how creative professionals can clarify their mission and take action on it:
L.C. What is your advice on how creatives can best develop and then strategically communicate a mission?
J.G. There is a really great book by author and researcher Simon Sinek, who will be writing something for the third book in the [99U] series and has spoken at the 99U Conference a couple of times. His book is called Start with Why, and it's about this concept of developing a mission. One of the things he talks about in the book is how a lot of companies, or even people, focus on the what of the mission - what they're doing - but really you want to take a step even further back and think about the why. Why are you making this product in the first place and what problem [are you] solving in the world - coming at your mission from that perspective.
Then, it becomes something that not just you can get behind, but that your audience can get behind as well. If you're thinking about a larger problem that you're solving that everyone has, or a large subsection of people has, then you're going to be able to mobilize people to get behind it.
Recently, I was talking with Ben Barry, who was one of the designers at Facebook. He was saying how you get hired to do the work that you do. So, if you're doing work that is not particularly the work that you want to do, you have to figure how to be able to create and showcase work that does represent what you want to be doing. Make sure that you're showcasing that work to the world, whether it's on your website or on Behance, so that people are seeing you through the lens that you want to be seen though that supports that larger mission.
So, I think, once you have that mission, and you're aware of what you want to be doing, it's figuring out how to get yourself jumpstarted on doing that type of work, even if it's not going to be financial viable initially. You can then present that work to the world and have people coming to you for the thing you want to be doing.