Making a living as a graphic designer isn’t as easy as just hanging out your virtual shingle with a website and sitting for hours creating elaborate designs that sit in a file on your computer, unseen by potential clients. Working as a graphic designer is, well, working, and it requires dedication, time and effort, as well as the ability to choose quality clients who will give you repeat business and pay on time without problems. Should be a no-brainer, right? Yet there are dozens of would-be designers who think that getting a degree is the rocket-launcher that will set them on a journey to a dazzling career amongst the stars. The truth is, being a graphic designer is hard work, and only a few of those who enter the field will still be in it in five years’ time. Want to be one of the few? Read on.
There are two basic approaches to a career in graphic design. You can go it alone as a freelancer, or you can try to land a more traditional job as part of a team with a corporation. Graphic design jobs tend to be found with large corporations that have enough work to support a team. To be considered for a job at one of the big companies, you’ll need to shine in your college studies, stand out with your professors, and create an outstanding portfolio. You’ll need solid references to support your work ethic and integrity as well as your talent. You’ll need good people skills to ace that interview. And, chances are you’ll need a good job coach to help you find the opportunities and position yourself to take advantage of them.
What can a job coach do for you? They can help you develop specific strategies for making the most of your networking opportunities, coach you on the best way to answer interview questions, help you maximize your resume and quite often provide you with insider contacts within the industry that won’t show up on job boards. In an industry as competitive as graphic design, it only makes sense to take advantage of all the resources available to you, and a job coach can be a great tool for opening doors.
The other approach to making money as a graphic designer is to go it alone as a freelancer. This is a good choice for people who are self-motivated, very disciplined, and confident enough to work on their own. Working as a freelancer means getting very creative about taking advantage of opportunities to make money. Client work is just one source of revenue. You’ll need to consider other ways to increase your income, like texture, stock image and template sales. Are you a competent writer? Writing blogs can be a great revenue stream. Writing articles about the industry, creating tutorials, and filling a blog with solid content can mean a steady income.
Of course, to be a competent blogger, you need to have some rudimentary writing skills. You may need to consider hiring a writer to produce or edit your blog’s content, which, in turn, frees you to focus on design and building your portfolio. No matter which road you take to success as a graphic designer, hard work, dedication and knowing your own strengths and weaknesses are the keys to success.
|Tom Chu work for PsPrint and PsPrint Blog. When he’s not sitting behind a computer, Tom likes watching sci-fi movies and Japanese cartoons, hitting the golf course and playing with his four dogs. You can connect with Tom via Google+ or Twitter.|