Getting Started as a Graphic Designer

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Once you get nearer to completing your degree or classes, you will most likely want to continue your journey to the next step. Finding work and building your personal brand, should be your goal.  We wanted to give you some direction to helping you get you started on the right path to finding work right away.

There are several ways in which you can get begin your quest for paid work that doesn’t require you to give up 40+ hours a week or must be free. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive, and that is especially true when looking for paid gigs. You may hear Millennials speaking of “The Hustle” who spend each day at the beach doing nothing. One guarantee in life is “Do nothing, and nothing will happen.” Get on places like Craigslist and offer to do services at a reasonable and competitive rate. On the contrary to what the stigmatism is to CL, it’s proven time and time again to be a resourceful place that can heed good results. You can also advertise on Facebook, Fiverr, and Up works for creative services where you’re available.

In most cases, seasoned professionals are getting the top dollar in the industry for work. Why shouldn’t they when they have put in the time to become a master craftsman? Don’t worry you’ll get there too. The way to understand pricing or what to charge someone is to call other designers and ask for their rates. Look online at price sheets or do some ghost shopping and get the prices directly. Then, take into consideration your years of experience. Any good business will be somewhere in the middle. In some cases, it pays off to do some pro-bono work. Depending on what the terms are for the job.  A trendy agency trick is to ask you to do a mock job or a test job. Make the decision to abide by their offer. If they are potentially an employer you’d like to work for and they’re offering an excellent package, then it might make sense to show them what you know.

Also, your skills can sometimes outweigh your experience. Actual designers get better through time, but if you are super artistic and the hiring manager likes you, then you might have a jump start on that career.

Let’s way on the air of caution in some situations. A bit of warning when working for free is to understand and know when to walk away from a job. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage when people ask you to work without pay. Freelancers are always running into instances where they don’t get paid; they’re requested to go over and beyond what the work of scope is, etc., Be sure to have a contract or work for hire agreement with every job request, set up a responsible accounting system. Even places such as PayPal can be an asset. If there is money involved, require a deposit for the work, at least 50% and let the team know your terms BEFORE you begin any work.

Contracts and work for hire agreements are vital to maintaining a healthy business. Even when you’re a freelancer, you need to have these items. In retrospect, a lawyer drafting these is the most efficient way to go. However, if you can’t afford attorney’s fees, at least put everything in writing. That includes pro-bono work as well. The last thing you want is hiccups for such redundant lack of detail.

With the help of your school counselors and taking responsibility for growing your skills and business, you will be well on the road to success. Be sure to get the feedback from your instructors as well, since many of them have worked in the field at some point. Best of luck to you.

 

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