If only it were this easy, right?

But…“What are you going to be when you grow up?”

Jonathan Netek
3 min readMar 8, 2021


Hi there. I’m 43. I used to avoid telling people my age. But when I did turn 40 (which I really didn’t freak out about — not like 30…), I realized a few things. But that isn’t what this post is about.

Aside from (now) being proud of my age, I am also proud of my career. I have been in the design industry for over 15 years. I guess longer if you count my undergrad career, which is design-related, just a different kind: theatrical costume design and construction.

Anyway, like so many of us…you…us, COVID really caused an upheaval. I had a great job, that I was new to, but was really enjoying. I was a UX Consultant at a national consulting group. This office in this market was new, however, and while I made it through the first round of lay-offs, the second round took me down with practically everyone else.

I come from a traditional (graphic and digital) design background and had pivoted into user experience well over 5 years ago. Since the world fell apart last March (good god, a year ago now!) I have been doing whatever I can get. Part-time contract gigs, passion projects, one-off jobs through friends and past clients, and I have been SUPER grateful. But now that the new year has come and gone, AND we’re still in this weird adjustment state, I have to try and scrape together (read: update) some kind of new online presence.

But what do you do when you have done everything? That sounds conceited, sorry…what do you do when you enjoy doing everything? One of the things that I’m most proud of is the huge variety of work I have done since frickin’ 2003! Oh yeah, some of it is absolute crap, totes. Some of it is really good, so: what am I supposed to tell people what I want to be? When I grow up.

Looking back through all the work I have done in the past, I am trying to select both a good range of thing and the best of the things in that range. Over the past who knows how long I have just been making lists, then editing them, then starting over with new/different lists. It was getting to be a procrastinatingly useless and unproductive cycle.

So I did kind of a reckless thing… I totally just published my new portfolio. It’s not done, not at ALL done, but I’m always telling clients (and everyone else) to “Come on a journey with me…” Well I now extend the offer to you. Come along with me while a literally daily change/redo/update my site. Mostly just hoping to learn something. I’m also hoping too that people will give feedback (constructive please! aren’t we all still aa little delicate) on what they see, what the like/dislike, etc. Hopefully, it will spark ideas, conversations and perhaps a look at where you are and what you want to be…when you grow up.

Here’s the link: kinetekdesign.com



Jonathan Netek

User-Centered Human. Curious Designer. Problem solver. Voracious reader. Amateur mixologist. Husband, son, brother, guncle.