Will Hansen is an experience design manager and visual product lead at Intuit on the TurboTax team. That’s right, he finds the fun and creativity when it comes to doing your taxes! But Will wasn’t always in the creative field. In fact, Will joined the military after high school where he worked as a dental assistant.
When he left the military and decided to go to college, Will first followed the dental track only to realize that it wasn’t for him. “This isn’t my passion, this isn’t my path, and quite frankly I don’t want to look in mouths the rest of my life,” he said.
He decided to switch paths entirely and go into visual arts, an early passion of his, by attending the Art Institute. “I think there’s nothing to be ashamed of by following your heart and your gut by changing majors.”
Starting college later in life and switching paths entirely, Will realized he needed to hustle and network.
“Networking for me was less about going to events and handing out my card. It was just becoming friends with people…building a group of contacts and friends.” And if there was a connection Will would try and learn from that person.
Everything clicked for Will once he was on this new track.
He got his foot in the door into the professional world by taking on a freelance job creating a website for a tequila company. This opportunity led him to an internship at Red Door, an ad agency in San Diego where he was then hired and worked for five years. After gaining more design skills working for another boutique agency, Will then took a risk in his career by taking on a contract position to work at his dream company, Intuit, which boasts an incredible culture focused on employee satisfaction.
Today as a experience design manager he leads a team of eight designers, holding monthly check-ins to ensure they’re feeling driven and happy about their career experience. He’ll also work on internal design, online advertising, and Intuit’s core design system—everything for the consumer group —TurboTax, Turbo (an educational tool to understand where you stand financially and help you refinance as needed), Mint and TurboTax live.
“As a manager now that hires, if I get an email from somebody that just wants to network with me, I love that because it’s like, they’re brave, they took that step forward and I’m going to remember them.” (Hint hint–reach out to Will!)
Will especially enjoys hearing about early projects recent grads have worked on. “It shows that entrepreneurial spirit, that drive to create and to do, versus just being a doer, being told what to do,” he said.
When he needs a reminder to follow his passion for creativity, Will can look to his arm tattoo of a three-eared rabbit. “I wanted it to be unique, I wanted it to stand out from a crowd, and be ok with being a little bit different. That’s what the rabbit means to me.”
Learn more about how Will made the courageous switch from dentistry to visual design and landed his dream job at Intuit. After listening to Will’s story write down something you love to do—something that’s fun. “I like to have fun and I like to be serious. When you find that passion, go after it 100 percent, and take it serious. But have fun the whole time you’re doing it because if you’re going to maintain a career over the course of 20-30 years, you better be have fun doing it, otherwise it’s going to be a bore.”
Subscribe & download my podcast interview with Will here on iTunes!
Once you’re inspired by Will’s story we would love to read your review. Want more advice on how to follow your passion career? Follow host Amanda Nachman & Find Your Passion Career on Facebook & Instagram!