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Charli Marie

Do you set goals for your own career growth?

published10 days ago
5 min read

Welcome to another issue of the Dispatch, Reader!

In this issue we're covering:

  • Career growth goals
  • A challenge to help you grow your audience
  • An epic personal website

Let's dive in!

Speaking of diving in, my friend & podcast co-host Femke just launched her product strategy course as part of the Dive collective (a group of design courses aimed at helping you dive in to the deep end with design education) – Check out Femke's course here if you design on the product side of things!

What do you want to change about how you show up as a design professional this year?

At ConvertKit we do performance reviews twice a year. They involve our manager giving us feedback on how we performed over the last 6 months and the ways in which they'd like to see us grow, but they're also a process of self-reflection on our career growth.

Career growth is so much more than moving up levels in a system or getting a new job title. It's about increasing your skillset and effectiveness (is that a word?) and deciding what you want your career to look like, then making it happen for yourself!

When is the last time you checked in on where you're at in your career vs where you want to be?

The start of the year is the perfect time to do this, even if a formal self-reviw process doesn't happen at your company. If you'd like some prompts to do this as a journalling exercise, here are a few I suggest:

  • What did I accomplish in the last year that I'm proud of?
  • What did I learn from the experience of accomplishing those things?
  • What do I want to accomplish in the next year?
  • How will I need to grow as a design professional to accomplish those things?

In the spirit of transparency and honesty that I always try to bring to this newsletter, I want to share how I answered that last question in my performance review.

Here are the growth goals I set for myself in my last performance review

Contribute more to business strategy - It's easy to put my blinders on and focus on solving the many problems there are to solve within our workflow as a Brand Studio team, but as a manager I'm expected to contribute to improving the company as a whole. I want to voice my opinion more in manager meetings, and do more work to understand business metrics and the strategies of other teams so that I can form those opinions in the first place!

Improve creative production processes - We had a LOT of resource constraints last year when it came to producing design work. As a small team we still have constraints going into 2023, but as a manger it's my responsibility to make sure that we have better processes in place to deal with these constraints and work more efficiently.

Get better at using data to demonstrate the impact my team is having - I'm pretty good at using data to make design decisions, but I'm lacking in my ability to measure the impact of ✨brand✨ in general. That's a core issue I'm going to be researching and exploring over the next few months!

I talked about these goals as well as our overall brand strategy in 2023 in my latest video, which you can watch below.

video preview

In the video you'll also hear me talk about how I'm feeling about my work this year and some changes that I advocated for last year to ensure my role was in alignment with not only the work I wanted to be doing in my career but the value I felt like I could bring to the company.

Reflecting on this made me wonder how you are all feeling about your jobs. Are you happy with the work you're doing? Is there room for growth? Or do your growth goals actually require you to change jobs in order to reach them? Let's do a poll!

How satisfied are you with your current job?

Take into account the projects you're working on, the skills you're building, and how these align with what you want to be working on and building. Vote in the poll below by clicking on the option that best represents how you feel and I'll share the results in aggregate next week so we can all get a sense of how we're feeling as a marketing design community about our work.

4️⃣ - Very satisfied

3️⃣ - Somewhat satisfied

2️⃣ - Somewhat dissatisfied

1️⃣ - Very dissatisfied

Personal website inspiration

In the last issue I encouraged you to fresking SHIP that new personal site you've been wanting to work on for a while, so to keep that encouragement going I wanted to share Matt Plays' beautiful new site with you.

I was lucky enough to interview Matt Plays in season 2 of Inside Marketing Design (watch that episode here!). He's a brand designer with an impeccable level of craft, and this comes across through everything you see on his site. Contrary to what we usually see on portfolio sites these days, Matt places focus on showcasing design details rather than on lengthy case studies. To be fair, Matt is at a stage in his career where his work can pretty much speak for itself so this may not be an option for everyone; but we can certainly all aim to make our personal sites as enjoyable to scroll through and explore as this one!

Matt built his site on Webflow, and you can use the code affiliate-charlimarie for 20% a Webflow site or workspace plan before the end of January! I rarely get codes like this, so please make use of it while it's around. Sign up for Webflow here to use the code.

The last issue came from sunny New Zealand, and this issue is coming to you from sunny Mexico! Seriously, here's a picture I snapped while writing this exact sentence.

I'm here for the ConvertKit team retreat and that, my friends, is my own private plunge pool outside my suite. Feeling very lucky indeed to have this job, and to get to share so much of what I'm learning and doing in it with you all.

Stay tuned for some musings on the retreat next week (and more pics if you're interested!)

See you then,