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How to be a more resilient service designer

Last week, I turned to Twitter for help. I needed some tips on how to cope with some of the stress I was facing at work. I guessed that the challenges I was facing were pretty common to those faced by service designers.

Service designers! How do you cope with the stress of feeling out of control/your depth, when you are constantly trying to breakdown the boundaries between team, departments and organisations?

— Benjy Stanton (@benjystanton) February 14, 2019

I got an amazing response, and I recommend you take a look at the entire thread, but I've tried to condense the tips into this blog post.

Tips for being a resilient service designer

Buddy up

Find a buddy. Don’t say “yes” to the work if you don’t/won’t have one. You need someone who “gets it” (awful phrase I know), is working in the same context, who you can chew the fat and - yes - vent with

— Sophie Dennis (@sophiedennis) February 14, 2019

Talk to others outside of work

Build relationships

I’m also big into not thinking about breaking down silos but focusing on building networks of interest. It’s more of a strength based perspective.

Also remember that change needs time. I’ve learned patience over the last ten years of working in and around gov.

— rufflemuffin (@rufflemuffin) February 15, 2019

Remember it's a long game

Visualise your problems

I like to frame these big challenges by breaking them down into smaller problems with rough odds of success in my head. Knowing how hard a problem is, relative to others, makes it less stressful to fail. Then I say, “I tried my best, but that was always going to be a long shot”

— Harry Vos (@vosageroll) February 15, 2019

Switch off

Zoom out

It can be hard at times for sure. Reminding myself of the context and purpose of the service, and the outcomes we want for people as a result of the work. Going for a walk. Zooming out. Talking it over with someone not involved.

— (((Nic Price))) (@nicprice) February 14, 2019

Keep going

Further reading


Thanks to everyone who helped (apologies if I forgot anyone).