I came across a rare and fascinating thing yesterday: A job posting for the exact sort of thing I like to do, without all the things that I'm not very good at. Most job listings I see for designers and webmasters these days have a list the length of your arm of platforms, programming languages, and frameworks that I don't know (or don't have any real reason or opportunity to learn.) By contrast, Blogger (well, Google) is hiring a "visual designer":
Google is looking for a visual designer with solid skills in graphic design, and an excellent eye for typography, clean layout, purposeful color, and refined style. You must have a deep appreciation for simple, sleek, usable interfaces. You will be responsible for all stages of design on one or more of Google's consumer-facing products. Therefore, you must think strategically while executing with great attention to detail. Your goal is to create a look consistent with the all of Google while delighting our users. You must have the ability to successfully collaborate with other designers, product managers, and engineers to develop innovative, user-friendly, best-of-breed products that adhere to and help build the Google brand. The ideal candidate for this position possesses a solid understanding of user-centered design principles, absolute comfort working with HTML and CSS, excellent visual design skills, great technical know-how, and proven expertise in designing for the Web.
- Solid understanding of working with and designing for web applications.
- Experience working on large-scale consumer websites.
- BA/BS or above in Graphic Design, Information Design, or other visual arts; strong technical background a plus.
- Minimum of 3+ years experience designing outstanding web-based products for a consumer-oriented website as a key member of a design team.
- Proven ability to act as a leader in communicating conceptual ideas and design rationale, all within a user-centered design process.
- Must be able to work and communicate effectively in a cross-functional product development team, and present ideas and designs effectively.
- Must be self-motivated to prioritize and manage work load, and meet critical project milestones and deadlines.
- Must be an effective problem solver. Comes up with creative solutions and considers many alternative solutions to each problem.
- Must be able to cope well in an ambiguous environment.
- Must have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build good working relationships.
- Fluent in HTML and CSS, and full knowledge of their capabilities and limitations.
- Use Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks like a pro.
I don't have to explain that I was (am?) severely tempted. I like Google. I'd love to work on Blogger. (There are a lot of things I'd like to fix, starting with the infinite-loop "help" system...) I even like California. (I will only listen to criticisms of California from other people who have actually set foot in the state. The rest of you, hush up.) The only thing I wonder about on that list is the "ambiguous working environment." What does that mean? No one knows where they're going? They move from warehouse to warehouse, and hold meetings on random street corners?
But I'm not applying. Or, I haven't yet. Or... Part of me aches to grab for what sounds perfect on the surface, and much of me realizes how content I really am with the place I am now. I'm not rich, certainly, but I am blessed. Am I holding myself back, setting my sights too low, convincing myself I can't have something better? Or am I right to think that what I have now would be tough to beat?
[ *** Sigh *** ]