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How to Get a Job in Design in [mmjs-city]

Design Jobs

How To Get Design Jobs

If you have a creative eye and you enjoy creating art-whether it be web design art, painting, sculpting, drawing, clothing art or home décor-then you’ve probably been thinking about leveraging your skills and your passions into a degree that will let you get a job.

So, you went to school and that’s great, but what do you do after or during your degree to help you get a job (or many jobs) in design?

It’s not nearly as easy a path as things like biographies and interviews make it out to be; like the artist himself, the path from nothing to something is personal and unique. Still, there are some common factors which can be used as a foundation to start finding work successfully and that’s where we’ll start.

Be warned: working in design is neither for the faint of heart nor the thin skinned; you’ll have to stand your ground, believe in yourself and your work, and always keep your eye on the prize-whatever that happens to be for you.

What to Do While You’re In School

Unless you want to strike it out on your own (By all means, feel free), chances are that you’re going to school for design, either to get a certificate, a diploma or even a full blown degree. Getting an education in design is useful because it can help you fine tune your talents, teach you how to market yourself, and of course, get you those networking which is always useful, not matter what sector you work in, including design. While you’re still in school, you should be doing things like figuring out what aspects of design you like, building up a portfolio of personal projects and school projects you’re proud of, network with other students and teachers and start joining design organizations and taking part in their events. There are scads of design groups in the country and they are usually happy to take student members. This will really help you when it’s time to start job hunting, so start that networking now!

You can also do things like volunteer your new skills to charities and non-profit organizations that speak to you and apply for internships while you’re still in school anyway. This way you won’t feel as though you’re cutting into time that could be spent looking for paying work and you’ll build up you contacts and your network. Internships are particularly useful as many of them can lead directly to a job or at least give you a leg-up on the competition when you start looking for work.

Finally, it might be a good idea to start figuring out if you’d prefer to work for a firm or a company or if you’d prefer to freelance. Both have their pros and cons and it will likely come down to your personality and what you feel is important to you, plus how comfortable you feel going at it alone versus working in a more conventional setting.

Market Yourself Everywhere

As a designer, even if you do want to land a job in a company, you still have to do a massive amount of legwork to prove that you have the skill that others are looking for and that means mass amounts of self-marketing. Set up accounts with sites such as Behance and Deviantart to showcase your work, have a social media presence in places like Facebook and Twitter to show off your work, take part in competitions to show what you’ve got (sites like Threadless let you design things and then put them up to vote for money), and of course, try to break into local events through volunteer work, contests and simply by telling people you exist. If clients and companies don’t know who you are, how can they hire you?

Your Colleagues, Not Your Competition

There is a misconception among new graduates of design (and other programs like it such as writing) that your peers are your competition, like there are a very finite number of jobs out there and once they’re gone, you’re hooped forever. But this is far from the truth; your peers are there to be an amazing support right from the start, not to (generally) steal jobs from you! Most design students end up with their specialties and that means that there are fewer toes to step on which means you should be using each other to find good jobs. For example, one designer who specializes in photography may help a web designer find work by both going in on a job for a client who wants a site about photography with a good design and good examples.

In short, going at it alone is foolish when you have people who went to school with you who bring their own experiences, networks, and talents to the table. If you don’t choose to utilize them even slightly, you’re cutting off your own nose.

Always be Creating

Finally, it’s important to always be working on something, even if you have no work. Try out new programs or new styles, push your muse to keep giving you ideas, experiment with your medium and never fear a backlog of unfinished projects! By always keeping the fires burning, you’ll have more to offer in your portfolio, you’ll never feel as though you’re stagnating, and you may just get that creative inspiration you’ve been waiting for. Plus, there’s no such thing as a perfect craft; you can always work towards something better and that means always working on something.

It is not easy to break into design, whether you want to work in traditional settings or freelance. You have to be patient, you have to market yourself all the time and you have to always be willing to keep learning and be willing to give clients what they want (even if you personally hate it). However, if you have an artistic soul and cannot envision yourself doing anything differently, then this is the path for you and in spite of the pain and the frustration, it’s worth it. Good luck!