“Just keep learning, you can learn so much with the time we have” Sam Gates UX Design and Prototyping Freelancer
When I think about it now, I realize that I wanted a new challenge, I needed to put myself in a place where I would feel uncomfortable so that I could learn and reinvent myself. So I just did it, quit my job at Hulu and moved to Copenhagen from Los Angeles. As a young UX Designer in California, I went right out of college and straight into this product design position, and I found myself stuck on this track that was set unless I decided to stop it. So moving away from California to Denmark was an opportunity to try new things and now I am a freelance designer here in Talent Garden Rainmaking working on different projects with a bunch of new and different clients.
Being a future-thinking type of person, I get really excited about what’s next and so when I was in LA I was just very enthusiastic and waiting for the freedom I was going to have by travelling. But I didn’t really stop and think about what it would be like not having a community or a network of friends. It was harder than I had expected not having someone you could honestly talk to. I found myself always waiting for my East Coast friends to wake up so I could text them. Finding a community was definitely the hardest part of moving so far away.
But I wanted to make the most of everything, and I made this rule that every day I would do something to meet people and to be social. I went to talks and workshops and even just going to a café, so I would be around a lot of people because I had this need to reach out, meet people and network.
This was actually part of the big reason why I came to Talent Garden. Being in Talent Garden means being a part of something bigger, it feels exciting when you walk in the door, there are always activities happening, all sorts of different people from all different countries doing all kinds of different work and it is exciting. Even just the people you meet walking around the campus, everyone is so friendly they clearly make an effort to reach out every day and check-in. It has helped me find friends and clients, the space is really cool, the building itself is so open that it forces you to interact with people.
I’m sure I have changed over the past six months, definitely, when I think back to LA after college I was just doing my own thing, but now when I go back I can see how many opportunities you have when you take advantage of your community. The way you interact with people and follow up with them, I think that has changed me, now I want to put effort into that, I want to be a part of a community of people that inspire me, and I can be pushed to learn.