Feeling discouraged and unsure what a good route is from here


I’m 31 years old and entering my fourth year in Interior Design next year in Melbourne, Australia.

Prior to Interiors I did a whole degree in psychology, spent a couple of years working different admin jobs while trying to figure out what I wanted to do/managed some chronic illness and then worked as a sales co-ordinator  at a very well known furniture company for a couple of years. I then ended up working as kitchen designer and subsequently got into studying interior design, which finds me here at 31 working part time as a kitchen designer while completing quite an intense degree with a cohort of people 10 years younger than me.

Throughout my interior studies my grades have really fluctuated. I’ve gotten a handful of HDs, but also have worked super hard in some classes only to JUST pass. All the while, my younger peers are on a HD average and are winning design competitions. I also have ADHD and have found that while I may be super engaged in my schooling, I can totally miss the mark if I don’t understand what the professor wants from me and have had to be a pain in the ass, badgering these disgruntled profs to reluctantly give me some vague clarification.

I’m particularly good at REVIT, design theory/writing and have an interest in human centred design. I’m also really skilled at my job as a kitchen designer and get a lot of fulfilment from offering clever solutions to clients and these sorts of interactions are really what drew me to this career. If I was to think of my ideal career it would be working at a fun, left of centre firm with a good team of people and clientele that I vibe with. 

I am considering getting into UX design, as I’ve heard it pays a lot better and the career progression is faster. This is attractive to me as I am fed up being in my 30s feeling unestablished in my career. I’m also seeing other exemplary students who graduated before me struggling just to find an unpaid internship months to a year after graduating and this terrifies me as I’d hate to be waiting around for my first job opportunity in my mid-30s.

Does UX design seem like a career that I might be better cut out for me based on my experience,  or should I maybe stop being so pessimistic and letting my age get in the way of things?

Oct 6, 22 6:20 pm

You are 31, educated, and seem to have some talents. Don't fuss over the future and just do your best. You will be a contributing member to society. If I were in your shoes, maybe pursue kitchen design? you seem to be good at Revit as well so combine those skills and keep building on them to eventually build a kitchen design business for yourself?

Design profession can be hard and unsatisfying financially, until you do it on your own and be an entrepreneur. Another path is sure get into UX design for a career and paycheck, but keep doing kitchen design as a side hustle. 

Good luck to you, again, you are young and educated and things will fall into place eventually. 

Oct 6, 22 7:38 pm  · 
1  · 

I don’t know anything about UX design. And currently I’m not even practicing architecture. But I do know that I can design the hell out of a kitchen, and I feel really satisfied when I do a good kitchen design. Maybe you should do that again? 

Oct 6, 22 10:34 pm  · 
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Also 31 is young, in Architecture. I left architecture at 54, and before that bounced around between all kinds of aspects of the field. Don’t beat yourself up.

Oct 6, 22 10:35 pm  · 
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