How do you start and build a career in LX design? In a workshop I’m facilitating at the Harvard Graduate School of Education this week, a core message to students on the threshold of graduation will be: you need to de-commodify yourself. If all you offer is the ability to use off-the-shelf software and execute on other people’s specs, your boss can easily replace you. Yet this is what’s often asked of jr LX designers, and sometimes even sr designers. Even so, designers are generally positioned to own the vision and steer the process, giving them a kind of de facto leadership role if they are willing to take it on. Embrace this and learn to lead without formal authority and through your ever-expanding functional (and cross-functional) expertise.

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