Need some advice


letty

New Member
Hi everyone,

I just need some advice from the expert. I am a self taught graphic designer and I've been a designer for quiet some time. I've Been working online for almost 5 years now and currently I'm having a hard time finding job. I really don't know what's wrong with me why I've always been rejected. I just wanted to ask what are your advice for me.

Most of my experienced related to User Interface design for mobile. To tell you honestly, I'm not a pro when it comes to my talents and I know I need to dig more just to stay on the top of the business. Currently, I am using Photoshop and Illustrator for my works.

Any advice from senior design who is successful in their field of skills.

Thanks
 
You told that, you have been working online for 5 years almost. We can assume you are a experienced worker. Are you providing service on freelance marketplaces? If yes, which marketplace you are working and have worked? And what do you think why you are not getting job now when you were working continuously?
 

letty

New Member
My 5 years worked experienced freelancing work online was lots of ups and down. And yes, I've been a member of different marketplace/platform to apply for a worker. I cannot get a job maybe because the competition is very wide, I know there are lots of designers who are far more skilled and experienced than mine. Also, I'm struggling with my English cover letter. I'm having a hard time composing and expressing myself.
 

sprout

Member
If you have sold work for money, you are professional. That is the definition of professional.

However, as you have found, just to be able to sell work in the short-term is not of itself, necessarily enough to build a long-term, sustainable career. If you are not talented or knowledgable enough, you will eventually expose these weaknesses.

I am not meaning to sound hard here, but it is the cold truth of the matter. It is very competitive out there and there are a lot of have-a-go-heros out there, armed with enthusiasm and little else, muddying the waters. Designers with a solid foundation, talent and knowledge are the only ones who will survive the long haul.

Education is the key to everything. Learn, learn and learn some more, then never stop learning. You can either do this with a formal education and then experience (best route in my opinion – gives you a wider view), or get yourself work in the industry working your way up from the bottom, using the time to learn everything you can. If you are selling snake oil, eventually you will be found out and people will go to experienced, knowledgable professionals who produce work that works, rather than looks cool today.

I am not implying you fall into the latter category, but if work has tailed off, something must be going wrong. You need to find out why; whether it is an inherent problem with you, or whether it is caused by external factors.

The advantage of an education is that potential designers get an idea of the level of their talents and skills and have them encouraged, nurtured and honed to equip a student to be able to know what they are talking about. Or, worst case scenario, be told that they should focus their attention elsewhere, as they may not have the aptitude they thought they had.

Find a way to find out where your strengths and weaknesses are, then learn and grow. Even getting work critiques in places like this may give you some idea of where you stand and why you may not be getting the work you hope for.

Always seek the advice of knowledgable people who will tell you the truth, no matter how brutal. If you are surrounded by people who only ever prop up your ego by telling you how fantastic you are (a very common trait these days, fuelled by the narcissism of social media), you will always paper over the cracks and never fix them and learn and grow.

As I say this is not meant to be discouraging. I can only talk generally, as I have no idea who you are, or what your work I like.

Hope this helps in some small way.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
If you have sold work for money, you are professional. That is the definition of professional.

However, as you have found, just to be able to sell work in the short-term is not of itself, necessarily enough to build a long-term, sustainable career. If you are not talented or knowledgable enough, you will eventually expose these weaknesses.

I am not meaning to sound hard here, but it is the cold truth of the matter. It is very competitive out there and there are a lot of have-a-go-heros out there, armed with enthusiasm and little else, muddying the waters. Designers with a solid foundation, talent and knowledge are the only ones who will survive the long haul.

Education is the key to everything. Learn, learn and learn some more, then never stop learning. You can either do this with a formal education and then experience (best route in my opinion – gives you a wider view), or get yourself work in the industry working your way up from the bottom, using the time to learn everything you can. If you are selling snake oil, eventually you will be found out and people will go to experienced, knowledgable professionals who produce work that works, rather than looks cool today.

I am not implying you fall into the latter category, but if work has tailed off, something must be going wrong. You need to find out why; whether it is an inherent problem with you, or whether it is caused by external factors.

The advantage of an education is that potential designers get an idea of the level of their talents and skills and have them encouraged, nurtured and honed to equip a student to be able to know what they are talking about. Or, worst case scenario, be told that they should focus their attention elsewhere, as they may not have the aptitude they thought they had.

Find a way to find out where your strengths and weaknesses are, then learn and grow. Even getting work critiques in places like this may give you some idea of where you stand and why you may not be getting the work you hope for.

Always seek the advice of knowledgable people who will tell you the truth, no matter how brutal. If you are surrounded by people who only ever prop up your ego by telling you how fantastic you are (a very common trait these days, fuelled by the narcissism of social media), you will always paper over the cracks and never fix them and learn and grow.

As I say this is not meant to be discouraging. I can only talk generally, as I have no idea who you are, or what your work I like.

Hope this helps in some small way.

Well put!
 

letty

New Member
If you have sold work for money, you are professional. That is the definition of professional.

However, as you have found, just to be able to sell work in the short-term is not of itself, necessarily enough to build a long-term, sustainable career. If you are not talented or knowledgable enough, you will eventually expose these weaknesses.

I am not meaning to sound hard here, but it is the cold truth of the matter. It is very competitive out there and there are a lot of have-a-go-heros out there, armed with enthusiasm and little else, muddying the waters. Designers with a solid foundation, talent and knowledge are the only ones who will survive the long haul.

Education is the key to everything. Learn, learn and learn some more, then never stop learning. You can either do this with a formal education and then experience (best route in my opinion – gives you a wider view), or get yourself work in the industry working your way up from the bottom, using the time to learn everything you can. If you are selling snake oil, eventually you will be found out and people will go to experienced, knowledgable professionals who produce work that works, rather than looks cool today.

I am not implying you fall into the latter category, but if work has tailed off, something must be going wrong. You need to find out why; whether it is an inherent problem with you, or whether it is caused by external factors.

The advantage of an education is that potential designers get an idea of the level of their talents and skills and have them encouraged, nurtured and honed to equip a student to be able to know what they are talking about. Or, worst case scenario, be told that they should focus their attention elsewhere, as they may not have the aptitude they thought they had.

Find a way to find out where your strengths and weaknesses are, then learn and grow. Even getting work critiques in places like this may give you some idea of where you stand and why you may not be getting the work you hope for.

Always seek the advice of knowledgable people who will tell you the truth, no matter how brutal. If you are surrounded by people who only ever prop up your ego by telling you how fantastic you are (a very common trait these days, fuelled by the narcissism of social media), you will always paper over the cracks and never fix them and learn and grow.

As I say this is not meant to be discouraging. I can only talk generally, as I have no idea who you are, or what your work I like.

Hope this helps in some small way.
thanks for your comment, Although it's frustrating to know, you have a big point, education is the key solution to the problem,.

And that's also come up into my mind, never stop learning and practicing. By the way, do you know any free website courses to study online?
 

fisicx

Active Member
Study what?

Why do they have to be free? If you value your education then surely it would be better to pay to get the right course rather than because it was free.
 

sprout

Member
Free normally comes at a price. Talented educators don’t generally work for free. Be very careful you don’t get dragged into a ’the blind leading the blind’ scenario.

If you are going to succeed, it is not going to come easy. You have make sacrifices and you, most definitely, have to have the passion to see you through the hard times.

Those of us here who are long in the tooth enough, will almost certainly be able to tell you similar stories of late (/no) nights working around a single candle to keep warm, risks taken, getting up and dusting themselves off after the knock-backs, etc, etc.

OK, the single candle is a bit of an exaggeration – but not much of one! Single bar electric fires and working under duvets as a student with fingerless gloves on and seeing your own breath would not be an exaggeration. We’ve all been there, I’m sure.

If you want it enough you’ll find a way, but it won’t be easy.

One of my oldest friends is a vfx designer. He is now a director of his own company in New York and owns a stunning apartment in Manhattan. People still tell him he’s a lucky sod. I remember when he was a student, back here in Blighty, he managed to blag his way into a tv company and have them allow him to come in overnight (doing his degree by day) and teach himself how to use this amazing bit of kit they had, but no one knew how to use. He ended up helping the people who made it rewrite their manual. He is not lucky. He is resourceful and passionate and driven. Even now, he works like an idiot because he loves it and he’s very, very good at it. Oh and of course has what all good designers have; an obsessive personality.

God, I bore myself sometimes!
 

letty

New Member
Study what?

Why do they have to be free? If you value your education then surely it would be better to pay to get the right course rather than because it was free.
To tell you honestly, I wanted to study paid courses but I cannot afford for now. I don't have a job ok?

For the meantime I prefer self-study with the free courses online.
 

sprout

Member
Without being too harsh, I find it hard to believe that you can offer your services as a professional without some sort of education – be it formal, or on the job experience. What is your qualification (in the broadest and actual sense) for doing so? Can you be giving clients a good service, if, by your own admission, you are not qualified to do so. My advice would be get a job, ideally in the industry you want to work in, or if not any job that pays you money and work your way through college.
 

fisicx

Active Member
To tell you honestly, I wanted to study paid courses but I cannot afford for now. I don't have a job ok?
Then go get a job. Filling shelves, online shopping, in a pub, waiting on tables, cleaning offices. There is loads of work out there. This will give you the funds to survive while you build up your designing skills.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I think it depends on what you want to learn and where you want to go with it.

Is it design in general or more the software?

Depending on what you know already there is a lot you can do cheaply and/or for free.
I went to college for three years but much of what I know and do was self taught.

Lynda.com is very good and only about $25 per month but you can trial if for free for a month.
I think it's more software based but it's been a while since I used it so that could have changed a bit.

I know there are places like Shillington who do online design courses but they're not cheap.

There are lots of free resources out there now but you have to try and follow the ones from fairly reputable sources.
That's what I've been doing to learn After Effects and that's not gone too badly.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
OK, the single candle is a bit of an exaggeration – but not much of one! Single bar electric fires and working under duvets as a student with fingerless gloves on and seeing your own breath would not be an exaggeration. We’ve all been there, I’m sure.
I bloody well have!
I didn't have an electric fire so I made a heater out of tea-lights and a plant pot. :D
 
I worked full time and went to school full time for 3 years to get an Associate's Degree, and even though I wanted to go for my BFA I stopped because I got a job in the field and decided to work my way up from experience. If you really, really want it, you'll make it happen. Nobody is going to spoon feed you the job you want.
 
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