I’ve been lurking around for a while on here, and have soaked in a lot of positive information from this site. I’ve never posted as a guest, but have had a burning question for designers so I decided to register and post it up!
Has anyone ever taken a job that you know can pay the bills, but can almost work against you in search of advancing your career among more professional studios and your reputation? Feeling that deep down your adding to the ever growing mound of bad design, dead typography, and cheap layouts (ie, the “fast food” chop shops of our professions.)
yea…living through it right now…used to work at the “up’n’up” firms…then got married, had a kid…wife stays at home raising the kid…corporate jobs were the only option in the area offering salary/benefits I needed…now my design life is…ughhh.
I just get the feeling that when you’re in a smaller city where employment opportunities are few and far between, and you take the chop jobs because that’s what’s available then you’re almost blacklisting yourself from the opportunities that you are really striving for.
Not to mention steadily “unlearning” the values of design that you feel are an important contribution. How can you hone any skill on a 2 hour turnaround time or while pumping our business cards?
I know this is more geared towards graphic designers/advertising, but I think it’s applicable to any design field.
I liked tha part “unlearning” design values that you feel itÂ´s important for you growing…
I felt like this and sometimes still feel…I was working at a place that I could pay just a few bills, I was like “unlearning” there, I had no benefits, plus I took 2 hours to go there and to come back there everyday…I just stayed there for 5 months, cause there was no conditions to work in a place like that…The best part is that the owner became my friend, and IÂ´m doing freelance for her…
I started out doing toys and hated it - I was doing the giveaways at mcdonalds and other sorts of crap - i did it for a year and then got laid off - I hated toys but after a few months you start to accept your shackles, anyway, it was hard after that to get into product because everyone said “you have no product experience” only toys - talk about a way to get me pissed! - this after a year of doing crap work. I digress, I did find a job doing medical products and loved it - and was there for 2 years doing sweet designs - then we got bought out and I was laid off again.
After that I took a contract job at a big company, and they wanted me to do lots of shop work - like half my day - the other designers didn’t have to do that! so I just left after like a week and a half. After doing something you hate for a year I just don’t take that sh++ anymore. then I had to take a job as a CAD designer for like 3 months while I looked for design work, and now I’m at a consultancy. I was so pissed that I had to take the CAD designer job I came home every night and put like 4-5 hours a night into my mailer and job applications. The consultancy is sweet though, I am the master here, and call the shots. Yahoo for me
I think it’s important to remember that there are positive and negative aspects in all situations. The perfect design job with only positive aspects exist only in our minds. Therefore, we have a choice. We can focus on what’s good or bad about a situation, and whatever we choose is what we’ll experience. If we’re happy to be involved in any aspect of design even if it’s a chop shop, we’ll find that the small rewards add up to bigger ones. We then take that experience with us into the next. There is no wasted talent or design ability unless we choose to view it that way. And what we choose is what we experience. It’s all a matter of perspective.
I’m not sure what the current climate is like for the design industry in the USA but in the UK i sometimes feel that it can be very ego driven.
Look at what ive done!
Look at what ive won! etc… etc…
Sometimes the designer looks at the work he/she has produced and knows he/she would have done it better, different, etc…
Keep in mind, if the design works for the client, target audience and you have done a professional job you should be just as proud as some who as just finished a so called big world-wide job.
I think there is always someone in a worse position then yourself whatever you do. I would prefer to design 10,000 crappy leaflets than have to deliver 10,000 crappy leaflets door to door.