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Have I left it too late ?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by srlees, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. srlees

    srlees New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am thinking of changing career and moving into the Graphic Design field, I currently work as an Electrical design engineer but have felt for many years that this isn't really the career for me. I wanted to follow a graphic design career when I left school as I had quite a good flare for Art and Design and was and still am quite visually creative but unfortunately I was advised against it by my parents as they felt there was more job security in engineering. I am now 38 and feel like I may have missed the boat but would like to find out about mature student courses that would give me a good grounding in Graphic design and would be useful for gaining employment in some area of the graphic design world in the future. If anybody could offer me some advice or any thoughts, especially anyone who has re-trained later in life to become a graphic designer I would be most grateful.

  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I dont want to put you off but youve got to be aware that once re-trained you'll probably find it very very hard to get anyone to take you on. First off alot of agencies wont see a 41 year old as a viable option because youre very unlikely to work for the same £10k wage as an 18 year old. Secondly by your forties youll be seen as a bit 'set in your ways' and unlikely to mould your way of thinking to tow the company line.

    If you do go for it then I wish you the best of luck and hope you prove me wrong!!
  3. 10thWay

    10thWay Member

    I kind of agree, although nothing stops you moonshining as a freelancer to test the water.
  4. newtothis

    newtothis New Member


    I graduated in 2002 with a ba in graphic design but didnt pursue it until now, im just starting up again, i'm 30 and have had to go back to basics i dont think its too late, check out my webpage
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Being 30 and being 40+ are two very different things in this industry.
  6. dogsbody

    dogsbody Member

    yup ageist bastards! :icon_scared:
  7. Mercy Design

    Mercy Design Member

    I think the ageism relates to the superstar end of the design industry (fixed gear bikes, indoor scarves, you know the sketch)- the agencies courting big brands, the (sexy side of) the arts and conceptual projects. There are a lot of designers getting by producing branding & identity for SMEs and small projects. Sadly this isn't going to give you the creative buzz you're looking for, not probably the cash you should be commanding at 40.
    Personally, I'd treat it as a side project and see what happens.
  8. dogsbody

    dogsbody Member

    I'm not even sure I want to continue in the print design world any more, really mulling things over as to which direction to take at the moment.
  9. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I'm always having days like that. Keep thinking that perhaps I could retrain as a Mac Technician or maybe buy a pub or move into multimedia or yada yada yada.... It changes every day so until I decide what I want to be when I grow up, it looks like I'm staying put! lol.
  10. Mercy Design

    Mercy Design Member

    that's EVERY job though- i think people expect so much of working in the "creative industries" just because we can wear skinny jeans and design CD covers. It's a job like any other. Saying that, I've had a bloody brilliant day writing a tender so I'm chuffed as a buttie today.
  11. SOTRC

    SOTRC New Member

    I'd go with the freelance advice. See what courses are available, maybe a part-time course or evening courses to learn the skills of the trade and then try doing some work as a freelancer to see how things go. In terms of getting employment, I'd say that you'd have a better chance working for yourself... but keep your day job to make sure you can pay your bills.

    I decided to go freelance after I felt that I was getting held back working for other businesses and my skills and experience weren't being recognised. I also knew that there was nowhere else for me to go within those companies (I was unlucky). Now I've decided to go the whole way and set up my own business with my partner Kenny - something which I never imagined doing but now I can see exactly how I'd like the business to grow. I still work part-time as a safety net until I can go self-employed full time and Kenny is still in his job just now while we get our business more established.

    If you have a dream go for it, but think carefully about how you do it.

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