Dear Junior Designer

Julia Chesbrough
2 min readMay 3, 2023

Dear Junior Designer,

First of all, welcome! You’re about to join a career full of empathetic, creative, and joyful people. You’re bound to meet a few that fall outside of those categories, but most of us don’t bite.

First, you’re going to learn how to listen. The most talented designers, you’ll come to find, are usually not the loudest. Oftentimes, they’re introverted and very focused on their craft. Talent is not just what you see on Instagram, or TikTok, or Pinterest. It takes talent to know when to listen, and how to listen. This is your first, and arguably most important skill as you shape the design career ahead of you.

Second, you’re going to get really good at Figma. There are obviously a lot of skills like conducting user research and handing designs off to engineers that you’ll learn along the road, but none of that matters if you don’t know how to use this industry standard tool. When I say get good at Figma, I mean get good at your actual design craft. You know about design principles and color theory, but do you know how to actually sit down and create something that looks good, makes sense, and didn’t take you hours to design? You might not right now, but you will.

Third and final (for now), you’re going to get comfortable presenting your designs in meetings. It’s awkward at first, but overtime your confidence will come to you. You just have to work through those cringey stutters and saying “like” too many times. The more you do it, the more you’ll begin to believe in your talent. You’ll start to see yourself as an expert, which means the people around you will start to see you as an expert. All of this takes time, but you’ll get there.

Yours truly,
Julia

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Julia Chesbrough

Product designer | Formerly @Hinge @Spotify @Glossier