The Unfortunate Events of a Designer

Sure, okay. There are a lot of things that have happened over the course of four years living in Arizona that just happen. Things happen, stuff ends up in a whirlwind, and life as we know must go on. I have taken into consideration that everyone falls into some sort of limbo or rut that they just can’t seem to pull themselves out of. I am one of those people too, and this is why I haven’t been able to nail down that one role to set me back on my path again.

The Data Crash of 2015

Right after a long move from Omaha, NE to Phoenix, AZ, I lost more than 90% of my portfolio due to a data crash on my iMac which spread to my Time Capsule. Dummy me didn’t seem to think that having a third backup somewhere on the cloud would have been the smart thing to do. It’s still not clear exactly what happened, and the Apple Store didn’t see anything that could have gone wrong except for the fact that everything was reset to factory like it was all brand new, out of the box. So, what I have left out of decades of work is just a fraction of what I use to have. All I had was a few portfolio items that I had on my Behance profile that was fortunately enough to land a design and production position at a marketing automation company after such a devastating blow to my career.

I’m still trying to make up for lost time by creating new designs, which leads me to my next section.

The Career Dump of 2017

Almost two years to the day of employment in a role that I had finally landed after three months of unemployment after moving to Arizona, I was let go from my position due to cutbacks that eventually led to the company shutting it’s doors permanently a year later. I immediately started my job search and sending out resumes (I always keep an updated resume for these types of cases. Better safe than sorry.) and keeping tabs on many different positions that would help me progress in my journey.

After two months of being unemployed, having more than several rejections, a handful of interviews, and no real direction, the ongoing search for new employment went flat. The entire design industry had gone stagnant with available positions due to the upcoming holiday season; the largest grossing season for the creative industry I might add. I was forced to change industries by becoming a truck driver. I, at first, thought it might be a good change to reset myself and wait for the holiday season to work itself into a downturn, but would later recant my decision after a year of living life behind the wheel of an eighteen wheeler.

Don’t get me wrong though, the search for a design position has never stopped. For almost two full years, I am still yet to see any sort of results. I’m still sending out resumes, hosting a personal site to put out what is left of my portfolio (I will have more designs soon after a new project launches), and blogging about my experiences. I’m still getting mobbed with more rejections and no other contact. I’m still working at it, but it becomes a little discouraging that for almost two years I have technically been unemployed in a field that I am very passionate about.


I had it really rough the past four years. I have had a hard time nailing down the right role that I can progress in my career path with. I’m at the point that I am in the need for change and to get back into something I love to do. I’m taking it a day at a time, and with every rejection email that is empty and soulless, I’m beginning to wonder if any company is going to be the right company, or if maybe by freelancing and continuing on with a new project of my own will fulfill the need rather than searching for something that doesn’t align with my long term values. My most valuable asset has been time, and it almost seems that with the effort that I have been putting energy into finding that one place to take me in, that maybe the time spent should have been used elsewhere.

CareerAdam Willett