OK, so you’re looking to make your mark in your chosen career, but how are you going to go about it? You have your graphic design degree, and you’re ready to become an expert in this demanding field, but you’re not sure where to take your first steps on the path to success. As always, you need to learn to walk before you can start to think about running.
Even if you’re bursting with great ideas and innovative concepts, you may find that, much to your disappointment, nobody is prepared to listen to you. Part of the process of becoming a successful graphic designer is about finding the ideal job in the first place. The qualifications are hugely important, of course, but being in the right spot at the right time is also vital.
During your months and years of study, you may well have built up an impressive body of work. At the onset of your career, your portfolio is crucial. Your creations are perhaps even more important than what is on your CV, and many of today’s top graphic designers acknowledge the fact that doors opened for them because of their early pieces of work.
There are a vast number of design agencies in the world’s major cities, of course, so if you’re looking to find a full-time position you have plenty of options open to you. The best advice for any young job-seeker is to send out as many feelers as you possibly can, because you never know which email, phone call or letter will receive the warmest welcome.
So many applicants, but not enough jobs
The job market in general is fiercely competitive in the modern era, and the same can be said for the field of graphic design in particular. Every vacancy is likely to result in a whole host of applications from both newly-qualified students and highly experienced specialists. It takes hard work, determination and imagination to get yourself noticed at the moment.
If you are looking to build and develop a career in one of the world’s major commercial centres, there will be both good news and bad news for you. You will find a great variety of vacancies and opportunities in cities like London, New York, Paris and Sydney, of course, but you also have to realise that each potential job is likely to attract far more applicants.
Perhaps the most important quality you need at this stage is optimism. If you allow yourself to become disillusioned by initially unsuccessful approaches to design agencies, you will soon become open to frustration. If you can be as positive as possible from the very start, there is every chance your outlook will enable you to keep going.