When you’re starting out in a creative career you receive so much advice from so many different people. It’s difficult to take it all in. It’s also difficult to know which advice to listen to and which to disregard. In my opinion, it’s good to take a little bit from everyone. Below are my tips.
Be Flexible with Your Career Options
Everyone knows what their dream job looks like. But our dreams change and evolve as we grow. A degree in one creative field can lead to so many other options. The field is called creative for a reason. Don’t set your heart on one particular job. You may realize you were meant to do something completely different. Be creative and use your imagination to determine other types of positions you have the skills for.
I never expected my degree in Graphic Design to be so helpful in creating a blog. I never thought I’d learn so many new skills after I’d already finished school.
Keep your Skills Current
Learn new programs and software in line with your specific creative career. When the field of Graphic Design started it was called Graphic Arts and computers weren’t used. Times change and you need to be able to adapt to those changes or you will be left without a job.
The programs that you learn in school will be out of date the year after you graduate, possibly sooner. There will always be new versions of software. As you apply for jobs throughout your career, they will want you to know the latest software versions (Pay no attention to the CS3 in the above image…). If you aren’t right out of school, you’ll need to do research to stay current.
Seek Out a Mentor
Mentors can be found in the most unlikely places. They can teach you lessons you’ll use throughout your entire creative career. A current colleague as well as former one became mentors that really helped me to expand my skills. One taught me so many skills in the web design field. She was interested in teaching me as much of her design skills as possible, which is very surprising in any field. I was not only learning. I was getting hands on experience that was in a sense an internship within an actual job.
The second colleague helped me to become a greater problem-solver. She showed me that you can take what seems like nothing and make it into something great. That our minds are the only limit to what we can accomplish. I’ll take these lessons with me wherever I go.
Overall, just continue to learn. Do this in your personal life as well as your professional one. Improve on what you already know and learn new skills.