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Innovate and improve your skills with a side project

This year the number one goal I set myself was to start working on a side project to gain more experience, exposure and expand my skillset. Difficult, not only when you have a full-time job, but also when you have a ton of DIY that needs doing but I was up for the challenge.

Nowadays for both designers and developers, a strong portfolio of work means so much more than just a CV, which most employers will just glance at initially. What they want to see is what you can do and if you can be an asset to their business.

For me, the great thing about side projects are that they really challenge you and force you to learn new things in order to finish them. They also give you the freedom to express yourself and make your own design decisions.

Make it happen

If you’re a designer, my advice is to design your dream product then work with a developer and actually make it happen. If your idea is already out there – never ever give up – think about ways you can improve the app or idea and come up with a better solution or a different spin on things. Chances are if you think it will work and it would benefit you, then others would use it too.

Why not also blog about your project as you progress describing how you solved certain issues and your design process? This would be a fantastic way of learning as it would make you think in a logical way and help you build a great reputation.

If your side project doesn’t excite you then you’ll be more likely to shelve the idea a few weeks down the line. Work on something you’re really passionate about and, more importantly, have fun along the way as this will really help you drive towards launching your project. Good luck!