Landing your first junior graphic design job is an important turning point in your career as a graphic designer. Most of us know the industry can be tough when you’re just starting out. It can be hard to believe that you can make a living from a career in graphic design that is compelling and satisfying. Finding your first job in graphic design is important, not only because it’s your first “real” job, but because it’s a great continuation of the learning process that begins even after you graduate. Looking for that “big break” might not be so difficult if you put in the effort.
Even before you start searching for a position, you’re going to want to do some soul-searching. A few questions you should be asking yourself is what motivates you, what kind of environment do you want to be working in, what type of work you want to do, etc. These are important questions because although you want to worry more about the learning opportunity your first junior graphic designer provides, you want to make sure you’ll be happy and productive at your job. Write down answers to the follow questions on a piece of paper to help clarify your goals:
-A little about yourself – What are your strengths, weaknesses and motivations? (What will make you perform at your best?)
-The type of work – What kind of projects do you want to work on most? (Business cards, branding, logo design, web design, etc.)
-Understanding the job market – Is your job in high demand? Is there lots of competition for your spot? (What sets you apart if there is a high level of competition?)
-Doing your research even before you start to begin your journey will be very beneficial in solidifying your goals as a junior graphic designer. If you do the right research, you can find yourself in a better position to catch the attention of sough-after employers.
Find Agencies You Want to Work For
By making a list of graphic design agencies you’d like to work for, you can use the process of elimination and finalize which agencies you’re going to contact. If you rank them based on the above criteria, it will be easier to make a decision about where you’d like to work. The size of graphic design agency is an important factor you’re going to want to consider. Normally, larger agencies we have you working on more “intern-like” duties or small jobs such as editing photos, colors, etc. but you will have access to understanding how a large agency functions as well as the feedback and support of many other seasoned co-workers. A smaller agency will be able to provide you with more responsibility on tasks and projects because of the smaller size. Although this is great, you may receive smaller compensation than a larger firm.
When seeking agencies to work for, remember to choose the one that fits you best and where you will learn the most. As a junior graphic designer, the skills you learn at your first job will prove to be invaluable – it teaches you how the graphic design industry really works in the real world (when real money is involved), it will sharpen and build confidence in your skills and improve your ability to communicate with other designers and clients. If you choose the agency that allows you to work at your full potential, you’re more likely to have complete job satisfaction.