So far as I can see this probably applies more so for those who currently work in a large company of corporate environment, but feel free to read on nonetheless. Having worked for BMO Financial Group for a few years now I found there was a lot of repetition in the ads and graphics that needed updating or creation for online sites.
"You Don't Know What You Don't Know", was one of the greatest things that I've ever learned from my professor at the University of Waterloo. His name was David Goodwin and taught me the fundamentals of web, design, and more importantly user experience.
I find that sometimes the most frustrating thing about being a designer is the gap of knowledge and experience between me and other designers around the world. Now I'm no prodigy but I'm not about to let myself become just another mediocre artist. As such, there are a few things that I do to keep myself motivated.
After running into several instances where fonts were predefined for my designs it seems the average person doesn't quite understand the importance of a font. Now that is expected, but when a brand manager, senior developer, or marketing expert tells you not to worry about the font because they follow the brand
Recently I had the unfortunate incident of losing all my hard earned design mock-ups and source files because of a lack of data integrity on a server. This was the first time I have ever cut and pasted a folder, only to lose all the data that was inside the folder. As a note to all designers out there, it's better to back up your files and do copy & paste, avoid the cut...I had to learn the hard way.