I've just stumbled on Louie Mantia's blog which is apparently kind of fresh (personal websites are coming back!) For those that are not familiar with Louie Mantia, he's one of the best UI and icon designers in the world. You may not know of him, but you've definitely seen and used his work.
He started off 2023. with several blog posts going into detail about his career and various companies he worked for, and all of them have a really nice takeaway.
At Tapulous he learned that he can transform his passion into a career—by sheer accident no less. And also how important it is to be at the right place at the right time.
Working for the Obama campaign he got to contribute to a cause he believed in using his skills which others didn't even see as relevant, which contributed massively to the campaign in the end.
At The Iconfactory he learned how it is to rise to the top and work alongside his heroes. He went outside of his comfort zone of drawing icons and made a game.
At Apple he learned how you shouldn't assume too much, and that if you care enough you will find a solution everyone can be happy with.
At Square he learned that you should have your own terms, fight for what you think you're worth, and that people can be radically different at work and on their own time.
All of Louie's experiences tell a very important story about how one should always be trying to learn as much as possible from every experience. Even if what you learn is not a direct outcome of your core expertise. Even if the place you're at is not for you, there has got to be something you can learn for what's to come.
Learn as you go, and don't waste your time.