Need some advice on what I should do?

Hello, so I had came to this forum before when I was starting out as an graphic designer during college where I had made this post some years ago. I can’t link the post but you can see it in my profile history I think when I last made it.

Now I am pleased to say I had graduated out of college last year with an Associate Degree and I had my first Internship at the same time there at my school where I did graphic design work for the first time.

But now I am out of the job(unemployed) and I had been stuck on what type of career should I go for in Graphic Design.

And kind of stress at finding an new job since I know the graphic design job market is really oversaturated and I know I need to do things to make myself stand out which is what led me to being stuck on what I should do as an Graphic Designer in the first place.

Like right now, I been trying to do both photoshop related works and illustrating works since I liked to do cover ads, books covers, play with images, and do illustrations. But I don’t know if I should stick to one thing like try to mainly focus on Illustration since I liked doing art-related work and that’s the field where I have less projects to show at the moment.

Or if I should branch out to do something else.

I also wonder If I should try again to dip back into freelancing again on Upwork just to gain experience and get an good resume to show to future employers that I handle dealing with clients before. And make as much money as I can for the time being.

Illustrators, while occasionally needed, are about to be knocked a fairly death-dealing blow by AI. It was already hard to get work as an Illustrator. Now, unless your ‘style’ is in current demand or something comes up that a client thinks your work can be bent appropriately, it’s darn near impossible to make a living at it. Probably most of us who hire illustrators already have a stable of go-tos for various styles and projects. Not saying you can’t do it, but it’s hard.

Plus Commercial Illustration, like Graphic Design, is not about Art. The images you create are a commodity to be bought and sold. And always on a deadline. A lot of ‘artists’ can’t do their best work with those hard deadlines.

What was your internship? Did you make contacts while doing that work? No leads there? Are there any print shops or sign shops in your locale? Think a little outside the box. What you land might not be a design job per se, but it could give you valuable print or production experience you can use in your career.

My Internship was an student-work internship with my college. I hadn’t got much lead sadly except for one which my communication director gave me some business card on.

There is some print shops and sign shops near me but two of them rejected me and most of the other shops are downtown but sadly I don’t want to go downtown to work at those shops because of how awful the traffic is in the city and I have to use Uber to get there which is expensive.

Which is why I’m trying to bank on getting an remote position somewhere and look at print shops as an last resorts.

Silk screening businesses are another place to look.

You’ve only been rejected twice. This isn’t a good industry for the timid.


Okay I looked into that!

If your city is a large enough city there is a good chance that there is some sort of placement agency that you could look into. Somebody like Aquent or Creative Circle. In some cases they can help at least with short term (and potentially long term) positions to help you build up some experience as well as to build up your network.

Also, since you are a fairly recent graduate are there any sort of job placement services available through your school?

As you said, the field is very oversaturated and it is very difficult to break in.


There is an job placement service for my school but its pretty empty when it comes to graphic design or even printing jobs. But I will try through there if thats any luck.

But an Creative Circle or Aquent sounds very interesting. I will try to look for those since my city should be big enough for those to exist here. Thank you!

You have quite a good experience. As I understand it, you’ve already submitted your CV for job applications? If you’re currently at a crossroads in your profession and aren’t sure what to do, then freelancing is a good idea. After all, you can add those projects to your catalog or portfolio and later try applying for graphic design positions. I’ve noticed that the market is currently oversaturated, with far more candidates than there are job openings. Because of this, recruiters and HR personnel can be picky and choose only the best of the best. So, I believe you are or will become among the best and will continue to grow in the field of design. Best of luck to you!

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It’s been a loooooong time since I graduated, but places like Aquent didn’t take new grads back then. Do they now? They are usually looking for plug-and-play experienced temps that don’t have to be trained in the temp work they are going to be doing. Maybe things have changed, but I know that here where I work, we don’t take temps that require any more than the most minimal ‘get them up to speed with the file system’ training.

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Good point. I’m not sure if Aquent or Creative Circle take new grads or people with little or no experience.

If I were you, I’d stick to looking for work at local printing / sign shops, that’s where I got my start, and even though I started as a printer, I got the needed background of how a printing press operates, which in turn helped tremendously of how to put artwork / separations together for the different types of presses in the industry.
And holding out for a remote position is very very thin these days, unless you know somebody.
In a few years you can be that graphic designer, production artist, freelancer that you’re shooting to become!