Building An Authentic Career in Design

In this short series, we hear from mid-career professionals, leaders, and founders on what it takes to build an authentic career, some of their challenges and proudest moments along the way, and their best piece of advice for navigating an intentional and authentic career. Get inspired below!

What's your name?

Bridget Drendel

What's your title or function?

Partner + Chief Creative Officer at Project7 Design

What led you to this career path?

My dad worked in advertising. Every Saturday I watched billboard art being installed and I loved everything about its design and seeing it come to life! I always knew I wanted to be a graphic designer.

What would you say is your unique zone of genius?

My unique skill is my flexibility and my ability to understand my clients' needs. Additionally, I have a strong eye and deep love or color.

What's the best part and the hardest part of the work you do today?

The best part of my job is the people I work with, the relationships we create, and the opportunity to dream up fun and, more importantly, effective solutions to problems. The hardest part is keeping up with the ever-changing rules and trends of design and marketing.

What's a challenge you've overcome in your career (that you're willing to share)?

I am a person who stutters. As a young child, I disliked talking in front of or to people because of my stutter. However, today I am completely comfortable speaking to large groups of people. This is because I love design and can talk about it endlessly.

When you look back on your career what are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of the work culture that my business partner and I have created. Having worked at many places before starting our business, we kept the things we loved and ditched those that made us unhappy. As a result, Project7 has a great culture that cares about all its people and produces great work!

What's the job or passion project you've considered but never gone after?

I have always wanted to teach design to incarcerated women or write a book about accidentally starting a design business. The former option would likely be more impactful.

What is the best piece of career advice you'd like to share with others?

Keep learning, keep listening, and keep growing. If you're passionate about design, these things are easy!

What does a fulfilling life and career look like for you?

I want a life where I can spend quality time with my kids, without feeling rushed. I also want to be able to create great work and have the headspace to think about the problems we're solving, and devote time to solving them. Balance isn't always necessary, but both aspects of my life should have time for peace and guilt-free enjoyment.

In you're ready to show up with intention in your career, here are three ways that we can support you. 

1) Tired of sorting through the noise on social media? Keep your on-going career education top of mind by registering for our weekly newsletter. Join Our Community Newsletter

2) Want to start living your most authentic life and career? Learn about The Authenticity Lab.

3) Not sure how to advance your career and become a stronger leader? Work one-on-one with a career coach. Book A Connection Call