In the Moment

Building a design career at The Moment

Erika Bailey

There are so many ways to build a design career–so many different angles of entry and starting points. We at The Moment are great examples of what designer journeys can look like. Among our growing team, we have 8 Innovation Designers. Some of us have come from traditional design origins. Within that group we also have a musician, a scientist, a banker, a telco worker, graphic designers, a public servant, consultant, and teachers. The common thread is having felt called to this work–to design better experiences, services, and products that make a difference for people.

Here at The Moment, we have specifically rejected the idea of senior and junior role designations. We find them limiting on a team where people need to step in and out of leadership and followership fluidly as work unfolds. This approach also aligns with our teal culture. So, when we posted our most recent position (the first of many postings for the coming year), it was important for us to specify that this was for someone in their “early career”, not necessarily young, and certainly not “junior”–someone who is building their innovation design practice either after another career, or as the start of their working life. This is a talented person who has developed some innovation design skill, and who may not yet want to jump into leading complex design and consulting relationships right away. This is someone who’s looking to grow their design practice, get a ton of end-to-end project experience, and become part of a dynamic design studio.

So what does it mean to grow a design practice at The Moment (from scratch or from a pivot)? We have some simple rules that guide how we support the emerging designer:

  1.  No one works alone: as a developing and aspiring practitioner, it makes a difference to be partnered with someone who has been around the block a few times. Whatever the growing edge of your practice might be, there’s at least one other person to help you be successful.
  2. New awesome is welcome: we’re counting on people in their early career to have talents that both amplify and complement our own. We want people to shine and lift our team to new levels of excellence. It is upon every innovation designer here to bring their awesome to the fore.
  3. Get ready to grow: our team/project structure is set up to help you get to the next level of your design career (however you want to define that). Our goal is to create opportunities for people to progress and be rewarded for that progression in a way that feels fair and inspiring.

This isn’t the first time we’ve invited early career innovation designers to grow here. Our amazing Julie Sommerfreund joined us a number of years ago while making a career switch and completing her Masters in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (OCADU). Julie was already a skilled professional and was making the leap into a new field about which she was passionate. Since then she has grown into an inspiring innovation design consultant, designing and leading complex programs and playing an integral part in shaping our innovation strategy design practice.

I am also a bit of a case study in building my design career at The Moment. With a background in human systems intervention, organizational development, and management consulting, I started working as a freelancer at The Moment. I was, if you will, a designer in the rough. Since then, The Moment has given me the opportunity to shape the designer I am today–diving into specific design fields (e.g. design research, storytelling, and service design) while developing my existing practice (organizational design) to greater levels of depth and expertise. Here, I’ve been able to influence our point-of-view on change, innovation culture, and the shape of our team. Every time our strategy pivoted, and new skills were required of me, The Moment made space for me to grow into that expertise. I can’t say that it has been easy, but I can say that I haven’t ever regretted my decision to build my career here.

Think you’re up to the challenge of building your design career with us? Take a look at our careers page to see if The Moment might be right for you. You can also join our Talent Network to learn about new opportunities when they become available. Shine on, innovation designer!



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