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May 27, 2022

Do you have what it takes to pursue a graphic design career?

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If you aren’t a professional graphic designer, you might think that working as one is an absolute dream job. Yes: immersing yourself in creative work is very fulfilling, but it’s not always that easy. There are many beginning designers who start to realize that the way they envisioned this career is, in reality, very inaccurate.

Based on my experience, I have developed a few questions that you should ask yourself if you want to pursue a career in graphic design. If you answer them honestly, you can find out whether you have what it takes to succeed. 

Starting with…

Are you able to learn & apply?

If you think there is a point in a graphic design career where you’re done with learning, nothing could be further from the truth. This industry is constantly evolving, meaning you can learn new stuff every day. There are new technologies and trends emerging, and even customer behavior is changing as we speak. Flexibly adapting to these changes is what makes a true professional. 

Even the most successful designers in the world are still looking for ways to improve their skills. Are you willing to do the same? Are you willing to sacrifice a lot of your free time taking learning courses and reading books? If yes, then you have much better chances at succeeding.

Can you recognize good design?

Does this question sound weird to you? Let me explain. There are natural talents that people are born with. Having an eye for design is one of those, even though it can be improved with practice. Are you naturally able to tell when some design just works? Have you always gravitated towards art and colors? Having natural talent is an enormous advantage that you can make use of in your career.

If you’re hesitant, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t become an expert in the field. It just means that the process might be more difficult for you.

Are you willing to do boring work?

As I’ve said, a lot of people think that a graphic design career is a dream job. You play with colors, shapes and design interfaces that the users love…. right? Well, it’s a whole different story in reality. There is not a single job in the world that is just about fun. In fact, there are many boring activities that you will have to do on a regular basis.

And the truth is, not every project that you will work on will be exciting for you. There are going to be many of those that you just can’t seem to push yourself to complete. The problem is, in order not to destroy your reputation, you will have to deliver the same quality as with those that you find exciting.

Can you work under pressure?

While working under pressure has been normalized in our society, it doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. As you surely know, stress is linked to many chronic illnesses, so being able to regulate it is a vital skill. At times, working as a designer might get very stressful. Sometimes, you just won’t be able to meet the deadlines, no matter how much you try. Other times, there might be a client that criticizes you for pretty much everything you do and puts unrealistic expectations upon you.

That will put a lot of pressure on you. Are you prepared for that? Get ready to start working on building your stress resistance. Meditation, yoga, exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle will help you do just that.

Are you a team player?

Some designers prefer working alone, others love to work as part of a team. With time and practice, you will have a chance to choose the best fit for you. However, in the beginning, you will probably be grateful for every opportunity to make some money. Therefore, you won’t be able to choose who you’re working with.

Having a team spirit is crucial in this kind of career. If you rather dread working alone, realize that there’s going to be many projects that you will have to complete all by yourself. If you’re willing to take this much responsibility, then you’re off to a good start.

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