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If you are in college or just out of college and you are frustrated with the way your career is going, you have to keep doing it often. By doing it I mean graphic design. Sure you are upset at not finding that job or having clients. But doing graphic design work often will polish your skills.
Because you have to truly want to be a graphic designer. Think for the long game and not the short game. Many times we focus on the now and what can we do to get paid. Even though I do understand people have bills to pay and demands to be met. You just have to truly believe in your heart that it will get better.
Truly loving graphic design comes from within. If you are thinking I will be a graphic designer because it is easy. Well its not easy at all. You can teach people how to be creative, but being creative is whats difficult. Just because you learned how to be a graphic designer in college it does not mean you have finished learning.
Also if you believe like I do that your time may not have come yet. By that I mean you have not reached your plateau yet of being a good designer. Or you have not found an employer who is willing to invest in your skills to make you a fit for the position you are applying. Because people will promise you so many things and then do absolutely nothing.
Learn to see through the bullshit immediately. If someone says I will recommend you after you do this job for me and not want to pay you. Well they are doing nothing other than taking advantage of you. You want to know why? Its because they do not value you and or your profession.
Setting goals for yourself as a designer are very important. There is many ways you can set goals and achieve them for yourself. I for one set a goal to do at least one branding project that will help someone at least once a week. Well I fell off the rails and slipped up and let life creep in.
The amount of discipline being a designer takes a lot of time. You have to sit down with yourself and then focus on your strengths. I for one focused on my strengths of typography and I have made drastic improvements.
If I took the time and did not focus on what I was somewhat good at I would’ve taken a longer route. Which is pretty interesting on how that works. When you focus on your strengths then the weaknesses are very minuscule. Then they tend to take care of themselves.
The act of cutting out what you are doing that is not helping you as a graphic designer is needed. If you want your life to change you have to focus. For example being out with friends drinking, and getting in trouble or whatever you’re doing is not going to do any good. They are simply distractions from the real goal here. But I mean if you are just being a graphic designer for the moment that is ok. We are able to use what we learned as a graphic designer and move with those skills in the real world to other industries and starting up a business.