Being a graphics designer since 2006, this would be my career advice for new creative professionals entering the field.
Background / tamheed
After completing my degree and starting full time jobs, like every one else I tried climbing the ladders financially and career wise. Applying for jobs in bigger places with more career opportunities to grow as a graphics designer. Those who have gone through this, realize how taxing this could be on your mental health. Getting a high paying job is like a validation from society and could induce, “I am not that good” (imposter syndrome) in you.
I observed that there are two people who will try to underplay you.
- Boss: to get the best return of investment.
- Ragpicker: to get the best deal
To counter, its always good to do some market research, look at what others are getting paid, ask people either on social media or sites like glassdoor, or search with terms like “graphic designer salary YourCity glassdoor “ may as well look at what employees are saying about the company.
So back to the original story. I applied for a local company which was a good news in industry and paying good salary to graphics designers, along with additional perks. After applying online on their site, they called a selective group and took an entry test. I was impressed with the environment and was hoping to get in badly, but didn’t make the cut. This was a disappointment, nevertheless, my search for alternates continued and I stumbled upon Odesk (now Upwork) – you can see my journey here. This was second largest freelancing platform at the time. Filled with hopes and fear, I applied for some jobs.
Thankfully I got a small $10 job to make some icons, client was excited about the results. That took care of both, getting first job and a good rating, which are most important as a new freelancer. This leads to a happy journey since 2011 and thanks to all happy clients,
Now I am among top 3% in more than 18 million freelancers around the world on the world largest freelancing platform.
A friend who got hired by the company told me, that they had a clause that you cannot do freelancing while doing the job. So I was able to get the job, I wont be able to do freelancing, one of the best thing in my life.
On top of that, after few years that company got into legal troubles, and salaries of employees were stuck. The takeaway from all this is, a setback could be the best thing. If I was hired by that company, I might not have time and motivation to look for alternates and discover Upwork.
Keep trying while enjoying the process and opportunities will come to you.
Freelancing may have its perks, but a tough side too, you can read in more depth about that here if are are on cross roads https://inoace.com/job-vs-business/