How to get back into the design field after 2 years away


New Member
Hi Everybody,

I really need some advice in how to get my foot into the graphic design industry?

My introduction to graphic design took me a lot longer to figure out, as after I left high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But with always having a passion for art and drawing my college career took me down a very long and progressive route. From doing BTEC Art & Design courses to National Diploma Graphic Design. (All together I did 4 years of college).
Moving onto to my University career I decided to do a 2 year Foundation degree course - followed by another 2 years B.A Hons Graphic design degree (Another 4 years of studying).

Moving forward I graduated at the age of 24 with 2.1 degree in graphic design, But like any other student I had to move back home (duo to having no money or job). It became a time where my focus was not on graphics but on finding any job that could help me with an income. Fast forward 2 years later and I am still in my 9-5 job with no way of how to get back into graphics.

Over the course of my university I have had worked with clients/ work experience, but I have sadly not done much since starting my 9-5 job.

Can people give me some advice on where to go, My current thinking is:

>Try to get some work experience?
> Graduate scheme?

My other problem is do I be honest with why I have had a 2 year break away from design?

I would really appreciate any feedback

Thanx Claire
Hi Claire,

Let me say that you are not the only person in this situation, there are many, many graduates like yourself in an unfortunate place. However I do admire your spirit and energy to get yourself back into the graphic design routine.

You have the education which is good stuff, but as you may know most creative employers seek work/experience and personality. I remember my last job interview and the interviewer went straight to the work.

It’s a big transition from your current job for 2 years to a graphic designer, it’ll be a challenge.

Year in, year out, young graduates fresh from University are applying for creative jobs. Also mature graduates are applying for these creative jobs. Plus established designers are applying for these creative jobs. Can you see how competitive and challenging it can be to land a design job – the market is saturated!

In terms of Graduate schemes like at Sky or Virgin Media, or perhaps a large retailer, once again, it’s incredibly competitive, fierce and cut-throat. Sorry to be blunt, but once you realise the market and an idea of the situation, you may want to come up with something creative to get yourself in front of the rest. However most creative employers would want someone who is active or working as a designer. If you said that I’m working 9-5 in a job but I’m doing freelance in the evenings and weekends, the employer may question you based on your freelance and ignore the fact that you are doing an irrelevant job.

I’m a graduate myself, and the value and superiority of being a graduate has diminished. Focus more on your design work!