Friday, August 26, 2011

young whippersnappers (for lack of a better phrase)

Today I got my but kicked by some 26-year-olds. There is no other way to describe it. Sitting in a meeting, these “girls” talked circles around me, dazzled the group with their smart design and walked away in hot pants and red stillettos. (Honestly one wearing this and she looked incredible.)

For the past year an a half, since I was laid off from my Creative Director job, I've been struggling to find my place in the digital world and get out of print design. It’s not easy, in fact it’s f---ing hard, way harder than I'd ever imagined. I thought it was all about technology. Well, yeah, it is. But it’s also about thinking in layers upon layers, movement, video, SEO, tktk. I'm smart, I thought I could pick it up. Maybe. But my brain is not wired like a 26-year-old’s. Baby I was born this way. Unfortunately, that was when phones had cords and copy machines smelled like blueprints.

Yes, I have “experience” that these young workers don”t. But how much is it really worth in the new digital world? I’ve found out over the past couple months that what I know isn’t that applicable to web design. This is pretty much a fact.

It”s humbling being flattened by someone so young (and gorgeous). I can’t belittle their talent—these girls are phenomenally talented and fast—in fact it’s hard not to be in awe. At times like this I have to remind myself that I was this girl at one time. The wunderkind 25-year-old winning Gold awards for design and writing a feature story for the Washington Post. I'm sure the older women in my department felt intimidated by me. In fact, I can remember sensing it at the time.

What comes around goes around. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes tonight (well those stilettos were pretty hot—but on her). I have a date with a 5-year-old and we're watching the “Aristocats.” Beat that, whippersnapper.

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