4 answers

How do I start in a career?

Updated Troy, Michigan

Hello, I am a recent graduate and I have various skills in design, media, research, and web. Despite this, I am a beginner within all of these fields and I can't tell which career I should enter into or how. A lot of these jobs require a lot of experience. While I am very good and a hardworker, I do not have tons of work experience in one field. Overall, I have only a year of actual working experience. I can't take an unpaid job because of my loans either. The focus of my degree was originally in graphics and communication but I have found that those jobs are not too common in my area and marketing is more common. Any suggestions? I'm afraid if I take the wrong job, I won't get experience to build in a career and won't have stability or benefits in the long term if I don't follow a career path. #career #career-counseling #marketing #recruiting #career-development #marketing-and-advertising #graphics #web-design

4 answers

Renee’s Answer

Updated Hartford, Connecticut

Hi Katie,

Congrats on graduating! It's definitely a tough workforce out there and finding a spot in it can be frustrating especially since you just put in all that work to get a degree. Ken brought up some great ideas and I'd second that networking is EVERYTHING. Something else to add...don't hesitate to pinpoint EXACTLY what it is you want to do. This level of focus allows you to stay on course. If you're into graphic design and love baking why not look for a cooking web site that's looking for a graphic design artist? It may seem obvious but with the internet being inundated with information/opportunities it can be easy to get lost in it all.

Also as far as job applications go someone once gave me the great advice of applying to 5 jobs a day and give those 5 applications 110%. It's easy to start thinking "oh I need to submit applications until I get a phone call" - as long as you're putting your best self out there on paper an opportunity will come.

Best of luck - we've all been where you are and are pulling for you.


Renee’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Well, it sounds like you have something unique to offer. Since you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the digital marketing crowd with your graphic design. Can you present a digital portfolio of illustrations, logo design, fonts and animations 2D and 3D? If so, you should have little problem landing a job in digital production. Many brands such as Starbucks, Nestle and other large corporations seek new grads who can design a new logo for its newest packaging, product line or offshoot.

Do you have such a portfolio for potential employers to view? If not, start digging in your old schoolwork. In what way have your hard skills in graphic design been tested? Where can your drafts and revisions be seen? How does it compare to all the digital design portfolios on Behance and other platforms where individuals and companies can shop for graphic designers like you?

If you have not thought about this until recent graduation, then don't panic. Find out from your classmates graduating with the same emphasis where they are finding career placement. Be pro-active. Don't just set boundaries where you aren't willing to go (unpaid work). Make a spreadsheet of people and brands you are willing to contact for an informational interview Skype or Google Hangout video. If not an informational interview, then consider initiating a meet and greet in your city/town with those who are more senior and are working professionals in graphic design careers. Choose mid and senior professionals. They are likely to be happy to provide one-time career guidance for someone like them but who is just starting out. Don't make the mistake of "luring" someone for a meet and greet coffee to "demand" a job. That's a business faux pas. Instead present yourself in your best light. Be confident, ask focused curious questions and focus less on money. In fact, never mention it in conversation. This is so you can gather information for the price of a coffee to hear who is hiring and what it takes.

Get out there and network. You will land paid work.

Cuong’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi Katie,

It will definitely take some time when searching for a job since you don't know which area you want to work in. I believe the most important key thing you need to do is, make your resume look good and have a portfolio ready to showcase. You have to make your resume formal and informative to each employer for you to apply to. From there, you can get into interviews and practice, sometimes you won't get the job right away after the first interview. Apply to more than one jobs each passing day if you want to find a job. The interviews will help you gauge on how you present yourself and your portfolio.

Sophia’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Also google The 64 most difficult interview questions. It gives you suggestions for how to answer them. If you want to send me your resume so I can critique it I'm happy to do that.