Job Search Strategies Introduction
Which Job is Best for Me?
Begin by seriously assessing your own talents, skills, interests and desires for your career. Think about your favorite classes during college. Did you really like Web design? Prepress? Graphic Design? What projects did you like most? Designing brochures and print advertisements? Web pages? Animations? Pre-flighting and preparing files for printing?
Now, picture yourself walking into your first job… It’s 8:00 a.m., and you sit down at your desk/computer/work station and are about to begin an 8 hour work day. In which areas of the graphics field do you feel most comfortable working? Which areas best fit your skills and talents? Will you feel overwhelmed doing any of the jobs mentioned in figure 1? While it is okay to feel a little nervous on your first day, you shouldn't feel like you can’t do the job—this will set you up for defeat before you start. So… think carefully about your abilities, skills, education, work experience, and desires, and choose a job that fits you.
Hopefully you have invested the time and effort needed to learn what makes a good designer. This may be freelancing and working on projects to hone your communication, design and business skills. I hope you also took the time to attend college courses, or earn a degree in your field to help prepare yourself for your career.
Now… you are a well-trained designer who has just completed several years of intensive training learning how to design and create professional marketing and advertising materials. You should feel confident that you are talented enough to work in the design field. If you have prepared yourself, and shown the devotion and commitment needed to make it this far—you are now ready for your first job.
Be confident, choose a career path that is best for you, and go get that job! Look through the table of job possibilities in the graphics field (figure 1). Where do you see yourself starting your career? Remember that you can begin anywhere on the table and always move into another area as your career progresses. Well, maybe you won't begin all the way to the right, but you can start somewhere near the left side or middle and set your sights high! Don’t feel locked in to any area, and remember, your first job never as to be your last. Work somewhere for a few years and see how it goes. If you like it stay, if not find something else to grow into. I have had jobs where I thought, "this is the greatest job in the world, I could retire in this job!". Then, several years later, things change, and I was—unfortunately—looking for a new job to grow into. On the flip side, I have also had jobs where I was thinking, "This job is okay, I'll do it for a while until something else comes along." After a few months into that job I found I really liked it and wanted to stay there forever—I was singing a different tune. So don't be too quick to judge a job, you never know how it will turn out.
How do I get Started?
Reading this web page and a lot of others just like it as a great start. You could also take a job hunting course at your local college, find a helpful seminar to attend, or visit a local business that helps people write or update their resume and portfolio. But these are just good first steps.
The suggestions above may lead you through the job search process, give helpful advice and tips, and show you what you should expect along the way. Ultimately, though, you are going to have to design a plan of attack to get the job you really want. Continue reading the following pages, the next page is always linked at the bottom of each page.
These web pages will hopefully reduce your fears and anxiety during the job search process by preparing you for the average things you will encounter—and hopefully some of the unexpected. While you never know who you will be interviewing with, and you can never prepare for every situation, you can fine-tune how you plan, prepare, present yourself, answer interview questions, and present your portfolio.
Remember: Finding a job is hard work! Selling your talents, skills and abilities is a draining, difficult and time-consuming process. But it can also be a path to one of the greatest rewards in your life—a job you love! Stick with it, it’s worth it.
Let's get started…onward!