Ask Esther // 20

Hi Esther
I’ve started late. After dabbling in a few creative outlets, I was convinced a career in g-design was for me.
I scored a job at an exhibition company. Not a day goes by where I don feel lucky to be employed as a graphic designer.
However…
Its an entry level job and the hours are very long. The briefs require a good level of mind reading and my skill set is growing rapidly.
Aside from preparing concepts for print and production, I also film and interview exhibitors. The footage is later edited and published, on the company’s website, by yours truly.

My conundrum is that I feel unappreciated. I’m grateful for the experience but I don’t really get involved in concept development.

Are these feelings normal in my awkward years of graphic design?
Should I look elsewhere, or keep learning and developing on the job?

Any light you could shed, would be greatly valued.

It sounds as though you might be trying to run at sprint speed over a marathon. Pace yourself.

Just because you started a little late doesn’t mean you have to make up for “lost” time!

Being keen is great, and employers will always take advantage of that. But you’re in danger of ending up with no time to work on ideas because you’re too busy taking care of the back end.

You need to make time to develop the creative side, not just your production skills.

But you are picking up extremely useful experiences and skill sets, so it cuts both ways. My guess your employers recognise your value and are just taking a bit of advantage of you, because you are so willing.

Take stock.

By pulling together your cv and your folio, it forces you to look at your job more objectively and where it’s taking you. You may or may not have more to learn where you are, or it might be a good time to go.

Work out how you would sell yourself to your next employer. You will see which areas you need to develop, and how to emphasise the direction/s you wish to pursue. And you will know whether you are in the right place to keep growing, or whether you have learned all you can and need to work in a place that can provide more opportunities to develop your ideas.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at wtf@lifeatthebottom.com (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom NULL.com).

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 06/09/2012
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .