10 things you need to know when you get your first job as a graphic designer

I’ve employed a fair few graphic designers in my time. Most of which are straight out of uni or as a result of work experience. Setting aside the advise I give in What to Put in Your Portfolio and Get a Job: Graphic Design – these are the top ten things you need to think about, and do, when you get your first job.

  1. Turn up on time, every day. Probably the most obvious thing to say, but you would be amazed how many new designers turn up late. Turning up late will be the quickest way out the door. If your start time is 9 am, that isn’t the arrival time, it is the start time, when you begin work.

  2. Listen. Listen to what your art director is telling you and do what you have been asked to do. If you want to do something else, fine, but do what you have been told first.

  3. Be pro-active. If you haven’t got a lot on, ask for work. If that is not forthcoming, find something to do yourself.

  4. Keep social media, texting and mucking about to your lunch hour of after work.

  5. Tackle every job, no matter how mundane, with the most creative attitude. Deliver the mundane first, then do what you think they should have.

  6. Time is money. Spending hours on a job that does not have the budget or warrant it will mean studio manager will take the work away from you and give it to a more efficient designer.

  7. Communicate. Speak (and not email) to your ‘line mangers’ everyday. Update them on what you are doing. Don’t wait to be asked.

  8. Learn from your colleagues. If you are stuck, ask them how to do something, don’t just try to do it yourself. A two minute conversation with an experienced colleague will most likely sort it and you’ll learn something.

  9. If you have an idea, pitch it in. Even if you haven’t been asked too.

  10. Have fun, enjoy yourself. It’s a great career.

There are lot more things I could in impart, but get these 10 things right and you will be on your way to being a top designer, a valued employee and on a career path for success. In my view.

What to Put in Your Portfolio and Get a Job: Graphic Design can be bought here

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