• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

i dont know what to do

So yeah, as some of you know im in the process of setting up my own design business and while i think im ok i do have allot to learn still. Im lacking confidence and i thought a few weeks work experience would help loads, you know just being able to look over the shoulder of another designer and make their coffee lol. Apparently not, i have emailed every design agency/designer in the NW region and mostly i got no reply at all and the ones i did said they where either full or i would need to be doing a degree :(

So im at a loss as what i should do, i know its a very competative field. I just need to see how this industry works and see someone in action. Any ideas? Im starting to become a bit despondent.

If this is in the wrong area im sorry.


Senior Member
Phone some of the companies that didn't reply, ask them if they got your request, ask them if they wanted you to come in for a chat, if not ask why and if they have any suggestions on getting placements :)
Thanks Renniks, i never thought about being that "upfront" with them.

I think my main problem is that i havnt done a degree, unfortunately i didnt have that option with the recent cuts to adult education :( no btec = no degree = no placements it seems


Senior Member
Like many people have said, having a degree is far from necessary. But at the same time, many people have them.

It's a difficult situation where the only place to get experience is free placements, and even those are full.


Senior Member
hey harlequin, ill DM you with a few agencies I know of that do take placements, they might be full at the moment but its worth a go, and definitely ring people up rather than email, i know that can be intimidating but people cant ignore a phonecall, weras an email can be easily binned
Vaporizer review


Senior Member
no worries mate, just keep plugging away, dont give up, and while you are waiting for placements to start, do some personal projects for your portfolio. why not enter the DF competition?
Herbalaire Review
Thats what i have been doing, i would like to enter the comp but between writing my business plan for blue orchid, designing my new wordpress portfolio and trying to learn html i dont have much free time :S i still might though.
Hey Harlequin don't give up or lose hope! Anything worth doing always seems more difficult at first. Degrees count for nothing if you don't have the talent or skill, which you most certainly have! Most clients look for talent first right?

Like Dave suggested keep doing personal/self-initiated projects to build-up portfolio and enter competitions. Keep the faith alive dude.

Wee Jimmy

Senior Member
Get yourself a diary, set aside 30-45 minutes a day for HTML, if you try and fast cram from basic to advanced you'll end up shooting yourself in the foot and not retain those important little bits that make good code. When I've got a few projects on, I write a "daily planner" so I know what I need to do and when to do it, and more importantly, when to just relax and grab the sketchbook :)

Try not to rush things, especially when it comes to getting your own business running. A business wont get off the ground if your lying flat on it ;)


Well-Known Member
I'm starting to wonder if design degrees should incorporate modules on running a business. It would help a lot of people. Not us, as such. But you know, new uni people. But then why would I wish helpful skills upon the competition? Ok I retract it all.

Good luck Harlequin! :p


Senior Member
Jimlad said:
I'm starting to wonder if design degrees should incorporate modules on running a business. It would help a lot of people. Not us, as such. But you know, new uni people. But then why would I wish helpful skills upon the competition? Ok I retract it all.

Good luck Harlequin! :p
Would probably be more useful than any of the web developer degrees they do
Thanks guys :) and thats a really good idea jimmy :) thanks.

Jimlad, i understand the weariness in helping the possible competitors, but i am really surprised that how helpful people in this field are. Iv been part of a business before (unrelated feild) and they are nothing on you guys.
Oh i know jimlad, i mean in general, im surprised how helpful people are considering its their competitors. I know its a case of we all help each other but still it is refreshing.
To be honest while I was lucky enough to get a few weeks of experience when I was living down in London with a web design agency...I wouldnt say it helped me at all from running a business point of view. I did pick up some basic CSS stuff that at the time I didn't know...and picked it up very quickly.

I am also fortunate enough to have a degree, which I do think helps add a bit of credibility but is not essential. The main thing it taught me was the learning. i.e. it enocouraged us to go out and learn what we needed to. All the skills I use on a daily basis (design wise) are predominantly self taught. However, my degree did cover some business elements...mainly from a finance and accounting point of view, which was useful. The guys that started my course had all come from a self employed background and were very successful in their own fields so at least realised the potential of this.

My main advice would be to just get out there, try and get your first couple of jobs under your belt, do the work the best you can, and build on that. Pound the streets...visit local businesses, go to the local business gateway, chamber of commerce, and go to any networking events you can. (Business Gateway usually do them monthly for free!)

I've learnt so much over the last three years just by jumping into stuff and getting it done.

I'm not knocking the idea of getting some experience elsewhere...but just don't let it prevent you from getting started.
Oh it wont stop me, its just there is still so much i dont know on the design side of things... well im not sure if i know them or not, after not having anything to compare it too. Im just worried about taking on a job only to find i cant do it. bgut then again i suppose there are tutorials for nearly everything under the sun these days lol.

The business side of things im not too worried about, my city has lots of training courses offered for free to do with things like taxes ect.

I have just finished my business plan today and meet up with my business adviser on tuesday to get some funding (£500 from business link) which will get my cards and leaflets printed. so i should be officially trading by august the 1st. im trying to do it all legit.

I guess its just a confidence thing, which is suppose will come with time.
Totally...I struggled with confidence at first too, but that will come.

I went through the Business Gateway (i think that is the equivalent of the business link) and was lucky to get the grant too. It's a big help starting out.

Do they still do the sales, marketing, and accounts mini courses? If so get a long to them...can't say I learned a lot from them, but its a closed audience who are usually all start ups with no logos, stationery or websites! I got my first big job at the time from the other folk round the table.