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I am feeling frustrated in my job search?

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  • I am feeling frustrated in my job search?

    I graduated a few years ago with a degree in graphic design. Since then I have been working on and off for this company as a contractor, doing print production work for them. My contract ended and I am now looking for something which is permanent or at least more stable (my last position was seasonal so we wouldn't always be guaranteed hours.) However all together I only have a year experience. But it's hard to find a job with little experience, and it seems that is what most companies want.

    I would even work for free to get experience. I have even done volunteer graphic design work for different companies to be able to build my portfolio, and I am taking on another project now. I have also expanded my job search to include some administrative jobs, and some which are related to design in some way. But I really need some advice and tips on how to find a graphic design job. Thank you

  • #2
    Hi GM86 and welcome to GDF.

    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.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.


    • #3
      It always rankles a bit when a designer says they are doing work for free. It also bothers me that there are companies out there willing to pay someone absolutely nothing for something they know to be of some value. Sad state of the economy.

      I'll post this but it won't make you happy:

      Now compare that data with this:
      Notable quote:
      If there are overall 450 four-year programs, 1,300 two-year programs, and each graduates, on average, 25 students a year, then Davis estimates these schools could be releasing as many as 40,000 students (with and without degrees) into a field supporting around 200,000 (1) practitioners (not including interactive designers).
      I don't know what to tell you.
      Of my graduating class of about 20 designers, only 2 of us are still in the design field and both of us are in print production.


      • #4
        BTW, that AIGA article was written before the economy tanked just about 10 years ago. If anything, things have gotten worse.


        • #5
          The advice I got when I was in art school over 20 years ago was "don't stay here." But by the looks of the maps PD posted, there are very few places to relocate to.

          It's not impossible to beat the odds. If you can find a secondary source of income, just stick with graphic design as long as you can, and eventually an opportunity for more stability will come your way. It might require taking a job where graphic design is the secondary function of the job. Graphic design is on it's way to becoming a secondary skill.


          • BlueCrab
            BlueCrab commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree with this sentiment. Graphic design in respect to only doing print work is becoming secondary, and therefore much more competitive. Finding a job that involves some graphic design is a good start and then during that period you can round out other related skills that help you appeal to a broader group.

        • #6
          Welcome to the club.


          • #7
            This is a depressing thread.


            • #8
              If you really think about the state of the Graphic Design industry, it's all pretty depressing.
              And probably about 20 years too late now to stop the slow slide off the cliff.

              It's all well and good to follow your muse, but you gotta eat. Far too many kids get into Graphic Design thinking it's an easy college degree. We had a few in my classes that just could not wrap their heads around ''art with a real world purpose.'' Many had trouble even conceptualizing projects, let alone implementing them. Yet, they still graduated, with a pat on the head and a kick in the ass, minus several thousands of dollars from their pocketses.

              It's even more about that money now, as far as the colleges are concerned. They could care less if there is an actual career ahead of the student once they leave. Not just Graphic Design. Any course of study that ends in ''Studies'' is really iffy on the career path.

              Last edited by PrintDriver; 02-23-2017, 10:11 AM.


              • designzombie
                designzombie commented
                Editing a comment
                I predict that the worse case scenario is graphic design reduced to secondary skill status.

                What is ''the cliff?''

              • PrintDriver
                PrintDriver commented
                Editing a comment
                The point at which no one is able to make a living in a once thriving profession. Your ''secondary skill'' definition would be that cliff.

            • #9
              Try being 60 and looking for work. Forgedaboudit. I trained as a graphic artist. Now, employers want you to be a graphic artist, web designer, photographer, video editor, AND production warm body. Five separate disciplines they only want to pay minimum wage for one person.
              "I love deadlines. I love the 'whooshing' sound they make when they go by." - Doug Adams


              • PrintDriver
                PrintDriver commented
                Editing a comment
                Gromit, market yourself differently. Tell them what you can bring to them that will make them more successful. Peddle your years of experience at doing what you do well and given that they will see you retiring in under 10 years, what can you bring to the next generation of their employees. Might work. Might not. But you can't compete with what they say as a one-stop-shop.

                Besides, anyone looking for all that in one package for minimum wage doesn't understand the market and won't value you as an employee anyway.

            • #10
              As someone who is in the process of hiring a junior graphic designer, I can't say how important it is to thoroughly read job descriptions. I put a couple hitches in the posting I put up and in doing so immediately culled approximately 90% of applicants (I'm not even kidding, I was floored, still am). In other words, I've only looked at the resumes and portfolios of about 10% of the total applicants because it was immediately apparent that they read the job description within seconds of opening their email. Of those 10%, roughly a third had spelling errors and formatting mistakes.

              What I am saying is, in my experience, if you are looking for an entry level position, paying attention to detail can easily get you into the top 6-7% of applicants.
              Last edited by kemingMatters; 03-24-2017, 07:38 PM.
              Design is not decoration.


              • #11
                My advice to you GM86 is not to look for just a design job, but find your niche. What is it you truly want to do? Production? Signage? Branding? Conceptual advertising? Decide on that and then suit yourself for that field. Make sure your portfolio samples and your resume highlight whatever it is you want to do.

                This is a real competitive field and it can be discouraging when you apply for a job and the person that gets the job is a referral who then quits six months later... I've seen it firsthand. What that also serves as is a lesson of you want to work for a person or company that understands and appreciates you.

                I graduated in 2006. For the tuition I paid, I was hoping for some better leads than a gang-run print shop I freelanced for. It wasn't until about 6 months after graduating that I landed a position with an apparel company. It wasn't what I imagined doing after college, but it helped pay the bills and I learned a lot. I stayed at that job to weather the economic storm circa 2008. Next thing I know, I was there four years and there were talks of the company being bought out.

                For personal reasons, I took a two year hiatus. That was before quitting your job at Facebook or Google and posting a picture of you in Alaska was the cool thing to do. After coming home, I wondered if I'd have a future in Graphic Design. It was 6+ years since my graduation and all I had to showcase was some student work and apparel designs. I applied the advice I gave you and felt prompted to take an unpaid internship. It was supposed to be a 3 month gig, but I impressed the crew after 1 month and ended up being brought on as full-time. Fast-forward to 4 years after that point and I'm at a secure job working for a reputable client and making double the salary. I know you have the potential to have a similar experience.

                Hope to have added a little light to this dim thread.






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