Our modern workforce seemingly champions what I call the two-year tech itch. That is to say, it’s in an employee’s best interest to move on from an employer after several well-fought, win-laden years. You’ve put your time in so you’re not a job-hopper, you stand to level up a few K; and maybe you want a loftier title, to start fresh at a new gig. It’s a very common sentiment—as though there is an hourglass cemented to the edge of your standing desk, just ticking away the time left before you wonder, “What am I still doing here?”
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One day a phone call came in from a large, amazing hospitality brand. They were preparing for their annual shareholder meeting and needed some environmental and wayfinding work done in a hurry. It was 2004 and I was a designer at a studio in Southern California. The studio was small, and the team was small, but we had a big passion for great work and cool brands. There wasn’t much that we couldn’t handle.
Our passion for this particular project was pretty intense. We were collectively excited; not only by the type of work, but for the brand as well. Nights and weekends be damned, this project was going to kick ass. And it did — but not without its bumps in the road and small anxiety attacks. Communication started to breakdown and frustration started to take over. The client’s trust in our ability to see the project through started to evaporate.