Why inspire the younger generation? Or at least try to.

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Iona Sorbie

Last month, I went into a local school to speak about my career so far – describing how I ended up at Elastic and what I do here.

They seemed to be interested in what I had to say, well at least no one fell asleep.

I talked them through my journey from their age, through higher education until now. In discussing my honours year projects, I was able to explain the value and importance of design; the thought process and concepts, as well as what it takes to get into the creative field.

Why did I do this?

I agreed to do this talk as a favour to a former teacher but also for its value – it is important that kids know what career possibilities there are in design, with many unaware of the various creative career possibilities there are, what is required of them, to know it is not just your grades that get you places and ultimately that the path you choose to take to get there is not always vital.

I think the most important of all was to inspire the younger generation – I think a lot of our dreams when we were fourteen seemed unattainable or that we needed to choose something vocational. But what many teenagers aren’t aware of is that to become a ‘creative’ is an achievable and perfectly practical option. Inspiring the younger generation is particularly important as a female designer, with females making up only 22% of the UK’s design workforce and with only 12% of Creative Directors are female.

Elastic has a female creative director and a 60% female design workforce, currently. Therefore, I believe inspiring the younger generation from our perspective was particularly important.

The value of these talks and demonstrations provided by creatives, like me, inspires young people to see new career possibilities and feel confident in the decisions they make, additionally encouraging females to enter this sector.

The world of design includes so many job roles that those looking may not be aware of from UX design, web design, marketing, game design, product design to motion design. It, therefore, offers various opportunities for an array of skillsets.

These talks also indicate what it is like to work in design and what it took to get there, explaining the value to extra-curricular activities, designers and creatives tend not to just focus on their job but get involved in creativity and design elsewhere expanding their knowledge and capabilities – which is valuable for getting into the design world as well as succeeding.

Whether its college then university; gap year then university; internship then university or working then college. The path to becoming a ‘creative’ is undefined and it is valuable to demonstrate this.

Overall though the path for some people is not academics and it is creativity. Creativity is necessary for numerous reasons and adds value to various projects. It is therefore important that we inspire the future generation to get involved in creativity and know the opportunities they have.

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