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Struggling with Graphic Design Career

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  • Struggling with Graphic Design Career

    Hello everyone!

    I have been struggling to maintain a steady Graphic Design position for 6 years now. After graduating, I did little side jobs as a Freelancer. Then I managed to receive a full-time position at a print shop, but the owner was not fully happy with me because I was not fast enough, so after a couple of months working at the print shop the owner decided to lay me off.

    The owner did sell his print shop, but the little nit picking side remarks he mentioned about whether Graphic Design was a profession I should continue in. I was hurt, but after a couple of months I moved out of town to work for a small business for 7 months, again I was laid off.

    Another two months of being unemployed I got a full time job doing some designing, but mostly working with numbers in Excel. After 4 months of working there I was terminated. Now I am worried no Design company will hire me again and I feel discouraged to continue.

    I am seriously contemplating if I should change careers altogether. In all, the Design jobs I had so far my heart wasn't in them. I'm not a poor designer and I have the potential to become better, but what I lack is making tiny mistakes that are hard to catch when you're trying to finish projects quickly. Any advice?
    Last edited by PanToshi; 04-29-2016, 12:26 PM. Reason: fix formatting

  • #2
    I want to apologize for the uneven text above. I am new here and I'm looking for
    the edit but can't seem to find it.


    • #3
      Hi Watermelon and welcome to GDF.

      i fixed the formatting for you. The forum software is a bit temperamental - and doesn't play well with mobile apps...amongst other things There is an edit button, but as a new member not all your functions are active yet. Posts can only be edited for a short while after posting, so be aware of that once you do have editing abilities.

      We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
      Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.


      • #4
        Thank you Pan Toshi!


        • #5
          Do you have an online portfolio we can view that showcases some of your ability?

          What were the reasons you were laid off from other two jobs? Was it still a speed issue or was it the small mistakes you mentioned?


          • #6
            It sounds like you've been given feedback for two things: lack of efficiency and making mistakes. So, you'll need to work on correcting those.

            - Learn hot keys and keyboard shortcuts. If you spend a lot of time using a mouse to click around the interface, then there's your sign it's time to learn better shortcuts.
            - Make sure you're working with style sheets and using them effectively. If you're doing one postcard or one poster, obviously taking the time to set up style sheets could be a time waster. For multi-page and ongoing projects, they're a must.
            - Learn how to batch files.
            - Learn how to prioritize projects and communicate with coworkers/managers/clients so that you're meeting deadlines.
            - Etc.

            Not Making Mistakes:
            I get it. I have this problem too. Since I'm aware of it, I take extra steps to make sure files are perfect before submitting them:
            - Use spellcheck at the beginning and again at the end right before you turn it in! Sometimes all the editing and formating we do cuts off words or makes things wonky.
            - Use find/replace to find extra spaces and unwanted formating.
            - Use preflight and check your files again in Acrobat if you save as PDF.
            - Print and look at the print out. For some reason, I'm able to catch mistakes on printed sheets of paper that I don't see on my monitor. Printing things out, even on my cheap-o desktop printer help me catch a lot of things that aren't right.
            - At the end of a project, refer back to the specs from the printer and instructions from the client. Did you do everything that was required?

            To be honest, being let go from that many jobs in a short time is going to create an uphill battle for you. Work on the issues you struggle with and try again, be sure to explain to potential employers how you've improved and fixed the issues that got you fired from previous jobs, if they ask.


            • #7
              I don't know anything about your work, so maybe the following is relevant, and maybe it isn't.

              There are places that care more about quantity and speed than about exceptional quality. There are other places that value quality over sheer speed and efficiency. Production-oriented jobs are usually going to be tilted toward speed. Ad agencies and design studios, on the other hand, tend to cater more to clients who are willing to spend a bit more for the time necessary to create the kind of work they need.

              I'm not saying that one is better than the other. I'm simply saying there are different niches in this business, and you need to find the place that best fits your disposition and talents. On the other hand, if you're not especially fast and not an exceptionally talented designer, well, it might be time to figure out another avenue to pursue that takes advantage of your actual abilities and what you've learned.


              • #8
                For me I do illustration. So my advice is to find your likes and dislikes and focus on that. The problem I find is that people want me to do things I have no experience or knowledge about. That is when things becomes an uphill battle for me.

                Focus on your likes and only that and then apply that to your study track.

                You can't do something that makes you sick or have nothing that relates to your primary goal.

                Like I can make a website but I am not a programmer
                ( that is mathematics )

                I can create a virtual house but I do not know how to build a house.
                ( that is construction ).

                Sometimes I realize I talk/ramble a lot. So why don't I make a living using my talkative nature to make some money.
                Last edited by DanArt; 05-02-2016, 02:58 PM.


                • #9
                  I write as a freelancer for a living.


                  • calebninja
                    calebninja commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Really helpful feedback; thanks for providing it!





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