It was great to have a session with Leslie Isah, Creative Director at Teamapt, during the IG live series with TeamApt. With almost 10 years of experience as a designer, Leslie had so much to share with us.
Here are 5 things we learned from this conversation with Leslie;
1. Put yourself out there
Before Leslie got admission into Covenant University, he was already into visual design and web design. But he saw that knowing how to design was not enough, he needed to put himself out there in the public to get seen. By showcasing his work, he got an opportunity to become a design intern with SoftCom which gave him extra income throughout his time in school. Do not wait until you have acquired all the knowledge before you start sharing. Start with what you know now and keep sharing as you get to learn more.
2. Network with the right people
Leslie’s friend was skilled in software development, they worked on a project together and became business partners. This friend recommended Leslie during an interview with SoftCom and was one of the reasons Leslie got the internship. Another friend, also shared a job opening at Interswitch with him where he got a job and later on referred him to TeamApt where he’s working now. The people you associate with can also help you in your tech journey. Network with people that appreciate your work and would be passionate about selling you to others. Be an active member in your community and find people who have similar interests.
3. Focus on solving problems
Before Leslie got an internship role, he took on projects that solved problems. He was motivated by a desire to create solutions. This made his employers recommend him for opportunities. He had something to show as evidence of the knowledge he had. Do not stay idle while waiting for opportunities. Train yourself to think about creative solutions. Identify the actual problem that users face and think of a solution to this problem.
4. Keep improving yourself
“Your best work is your next work”. Leslie shared that this has been the underlying philosophy that guides him as a designer. This means that you should be constantly developing. Don’t be comfortable with your achievements so far. Learn new tools, take up more projects, listen to insightful podcasts, take courses and read good books. Keep learning and pushing yourself to be better.
5. Prepare to face cahllenges
Leslie’s job as a designer has come with both rewards and challenges. He once faced challenges with marketing himself as a designer but kept pushing. He’s also faced challenges with trying to complete difficult tasks. Take a break if you need to but come back stronger. In your tech journey you’ll fail a lot but you should not give up. You’ll make some applications and get negative feedback. Don’t be discouraged or too hard on yourself. The fear of failure would limit you and keep you from growing. Accept failure as an opportunity to learn and move forward.