As a result of the growing scarcity in the job opportunities which traditionally come together to account for the concept of job security, I won’t lie, I’ve been doing some rather extensive research with regards to possibly completely going the freelance route with regards to my own career, once I’ve finished my course. I’ve been following the freelance careers of some self-taught graphics designers in particular and the general feeling is that it’s quite erratic by way of opportunities and the subsequent paying work.
I’ve also been following the developing careers of those graphics designers who went through the formal qualifications route and still chose to go freelance instead of working for an agency, as is the case with my own career path as a consideration. It’s pretty much the same by way of opportunities and paid work, but from a little bit of a different point of view.
These officially qualified graphics designers are best served targeting mainstream clients whose work they want to follow specific design principles and standards. Otherwise their Achilles heel is that they’re often overlooked for the projects which otherwise make for a steadier flow of work, simply because they’re “over-qualified.”
Either way, the beauty of getting into a career such as that of graphic design is that as soon as people actually realise just how much value is contained in the work of a talented and/or qualified designer, they’re willing to reward that value accordingly. They very quickly learn that they can’t just use an online logo creator for example if they want their brand to be taken seriously, so the opportunities definitely are there.
Okay, but what I’m getting at is that it’s important to isolate some kind of main focus for your career or craft if you want to stay relevant in a way that keeps paying the bills and perhaps helps you advance your career. This can perhaps be applied to any field of study and subsequent career, but I can only really use mine because I possess some extensive insider information.
How exactly do you do this though?
I’ll demonstrate with an example – one which I plan to adopt as my personal modus operandi should I realise my desire to operate independently, and that is a plan to perhaps focus on the special occasions industry as a target for my mainstream graphic design work. I want the special occasions celebration market to be my bread-and-butter, with some specific plans to put myself out there as a graphic designer to brighten up the holidays and other events worthy of a celebration.
Sourcing great birthday gift ideas for her is always something of a complicated task for the men in our lives, so that’s an example of a specific occasion a graphic designer can target, providing services such as helping with the sourcing of digital and physical cards, gift baskets, etc.
Every single day of the year, some girl somewhere is having their birthday and that presents an opportunity for a graphic designer to be part of the process of making it that much more special.