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Will I ever work again? :o/

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by rachaelbethany, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. rachaelbethany

    rachaelbethany New Member

    I am 22 years old and I am currently studying my second year of a BA Graphic Design course.
    I have spent my whole life in education but I am now starting to worry as I haven't actually had a job in nearly 7 years. I don't even know how I got to this point, and now I don't know what to do! Made even worse by the issues regarding employment at present.
    Am I completely screwed? Is there any hope at all? What should I do?
    Thank you for your time,
  2. CYoung

    CYoung Member

    Job Centre?
  3. thebluefox

    thebluefox New Member

    Don't panic! There's always work for good designers.

    Make sure you have a decent portfolio and be prepared to do some leg work.
  4. sarah_a

    sarah_a Member


    I am in the same position only I am in my last year (3rd). I have contacted studio after studio looking for a place. However I recently got a break - I emailed a studio in newcastle named: the point design, and I am doing three weeks experience with them. I guess all you can do really is keep trying, I know thats not really what you want to hear but thats all I am doing really. Just keep pushing on contact studios asking for experience or thinking about doing freelance for them maybe....

    All the best
  5. Pete

    Pete Member

    tl;dr - Stick at it

    Normally a studio won't look at you without 2/3 years experience, the sheer speed that work comes in and flies back out again is enough to overwhelm anybody and small mistakes can be costly. Get your portfolio together, start working for friends, work for free if you have to.

    I've been questioning the higher educational system for a while now, especially when it comes to New Media. I spent 6 years studying Film and Television at College/Uni. Pretty hardcore production stuff; left with a great portfolio, I'm actually a pretty good camera op (which is what I wanted to do). Our lecturers from day one made us all think we'd float out of uni, straight into camera assistant jobs, assistant editors etc, just to fill course places. Probably a handful of my friends actually managed to get jobs related to their study. After 4 years, my housemate is still doing the crappy freelance grip/assistant to the camera team jobs that aren't regular. He found out after leaving Uni that he was going nowhere without at least 8-9 years experience. In short, he could have skipped Uni entirely, he'd still have been starting at the bottom. It's all about being in the right place at the right time, getting a job at the bottom (in house is where I started - eww) and moving up.

    In short, don't give up, get a job that supports you and spend all your spare time sharpening your skills, learning new things and getting some experience. You'll be taking your name with you from job to job, employers know that their business is only as good as their designers. There are loads of people coming out of Uni with degrees now, it's no longer a way to stand out.

    If you're serious about getting a job as a Designer, it's a complete lifestyle change. I work at a studio, then when I get home I work on my own clients, in my spare time I'm out trying to sharpen my photography skills or add another skillset to my portfolio. It's a constant, life consuming task trying to stay on par with the thousands of talented designers out there.

    Don't give up though. And get a portfolio online or you're going nowhere!
  6. Lisa

    Lisa Member

    Hi Rachael
    Get your portfolio together and start knocking on some doors. I am a studio manager for a large graphic design agency based in the north and we get in undated with work placement students of which we offer as many as possible a placement mostly are third year graduates thinking that they are going to get offered a job at the end of it, they have to be really good to get offfered a job though!

    I personally favor the second year students that we have had so far. Why you ask? Well I can ear mark them early on and follow their progress through their final year, these early starters for me make the best juniors as they are focussed from the beginning and continue to do so through their final year, ultimatly they leave uni and they have already started to hone their commercial side (as they had an early taste of the industry). Third years with no experience of the 'real design world' are often for ME to arrogant and not as willing to learn. That is my opinon though not every body else's!

    I think you are doing the right thing and thinking about you options sooner rather than later so get as much experience as possible, ask for one day a week placements over the summer holidays (these are good for employers as they are less hassle in a busy environment) as well as the traditional 1/2 week placements. Also don't rule out asking printers for experience in their repro departments, this I promise you, will seem like hard boring work but in the long run will make you a better more informed designer and set you apart from your peers.
  7. Pixels Ink

    Pixels Ink Member

    Lisa that was a great response and really informative :icon_thumbup:

    Wish i'd had that pep talk from you over 10 years ago when i was still at Uni :icon_biggrin:
  8. webasoft

    webasoft Member


    Hi there,

    I own and may have some work in the near future. Do you use PC or Mac (we prefer PC) we work with AI, PS, FL, are you familiar? I would be interested to see your work:

    What would your hourly rate be? We are a small company based in Manchester:icon_rolleyes:
  9. dogsbody

    dogsbody Member

    I'm at the other end of the scale (duffer) and about to be laid off, but I have no qualifications just 20 years experience, not all good mind!

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