In the last two years the world has changed exponentially and as a result, so has the professional landscape. The world has gone digital, even more so than before; with sites like Zoom and Tiktok becoming part of our daily vernacular. A career footed firmly in the digital world, a career like graphic design has never been more in demand, as just about every industry is finding use for one.
So, in a job market that wants you, how do you stand out against your peers? Developing your technical skills will not only help you to find a job, but ensure you keep it as well.
Back To Basics
In order to be at the top of your craft, you can’t disqualify mastering the basics. Taking a graphic design course can give you that competitive edge by earning an extra credential whilst simultaneously sharpening your skill set. It is important to know the fundamentals before you can move on. Mastering programs like the Adobe suite are critical in ensuring you’re intimately familiar with the core skills of your craft. In turn this will help you to develop the more difficult ones. Of course, it isn’t simply about honing your craft. Taking a course introduces you to possible mentors and makes contacts out of classmates, which is endlessly beneficial, even after graduation.
Being the ultimate expert in coding is not essential when it comes to most graphic design jobs, however having the basics downpat is vital as it will teach you all the work that goes into creating a website. Knowing the basics of HTML, and the rudimentals of Java will help you to stand out amongst a sea of eager designers.
Whilst it can be tempting to stick to the tried and true techniques. Experimenting
with potential methods is a way to ensure you don’t get stuck in a rut. This may sound like simply an enjoyable side project or possibly a way to put yourself at risk for creating a slight mess; but testing your creative skills is a way to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and find a new style to help you stand out amongst an abundance of peers.
It can be difficult to take feedback sometimes, with it becoming tough to differentiate
between constructive criticism and well, just plain criticism. However, feedback from your mentors and peers is a critical way to develop your expertise. Once given feedback; create goals and work towards them, this is a useful way to indicate your success and understand your strengths and weaknesses as a designer.
Whilst many of us would perhaps prefer to ignore our weaknesses. Having a thorough understanding of where they lie gives us a better capacity to improve throughout our career.
Adapt Adapt Adapt
Much like being able to take criticism, being able to adapt your work is integral to your present and future success as a designer. Graphic designers need to be able to adapt their style to reflect the style of their client. By adapting your work you are showing future employees that you are willing to do whatever it takes even if it goes against your personal preference in order to achieve client satisfaction. In addition to this, it provides you with different approaches in creating a final product, showing you new skills that otherwise may have remained untapped.
Communication Is Key
Similar to receiving feedback, communicating with your peers can be daunting. However,
reaching out to others in your field can have the biggest payoff. As previously stated, it is so important to find a mentor, however you’re not limited to their feedback. Contact creatives, whether it be through that course you took, via social media, or through a networking event. Learning how to properly communicate with others in your field can lead to some integral interactions, though most importantly you’ll gain a plethora of knowledge from external parties that will help you to develop your own work.
What Is The End Goal?
Be it reaching out to others in your field, or taking the relevant courses and continuing to reevaluate your strengths and weaknesses over time, this will make certain you will have a thriving career in an industry you enjoy. Even after the job contract is signed, continuing to evolve your skills as a designer through the resources at your disposal is imperative to a successful career.