Graphic designers can enjoy rewarding, engaging careers that fulfill their creative urges while still letting them pay the bills. That’s not to say that attractive opportunities for professionals in this space are easy to come by; you still need to make careful decisions if you want to get ahead.
If you’re a graphic designer who feels like you are stagnating in your current role, here are a few tips to follow to give your career the boost it needs right now as well as improving its trajectory in the long term.
Refine your focus
A graphic designer can be a jack of all trades, dabbling in various aspects of design from day-to-day. This is fine for some, but if you are sick of being sporadically deployed to different projects and feel like you’re spread too thinly to really let your talents shine, opting to take on a more focused role could help.
For example, you might consider becoming a motion graphic designer, capitalizing on the demand for this skill at the moment and also specializing in an area that will only become more relevant in this highly competitive segment of the job market.
This is not an option for everyone, but even if you do not want to take the plunge and become a freelance designer rather than working for one agency, there are still opportunities for expanding your portfolio as well as your career options if you take on some freelance work.
Finding clients as a freelancer has never been easier and it is a great way to run a business from your home, escaping the office politics and distractions that can really be vexing. If you develop a following on social media, many clients will end up coming to you, and you could even promote yourself as an environmental graphic designer on social media.
Develop different skills
One of the key reasons that a graphic designer’s career can hit a plateau too soon is if they stop acquiring new skills and are instead limited to doing the same old things over and over again, missing out on job opportunities and promotions as a result.
Training is the best way to overcome this, and there are myriad means of learning new things and expanding your skillset in a way that will make you more valuable to employers.
In some cases, your existing firm may offer to pay for training, or you could make use of free online resources to achieve this. Working as a graphic designer, you always need various kinds of brushes, backgrounds with different textures, e.g. pink glitter backgrounds. Perhaps you may want to dig into web design, motion design or video making. All of those are in high demand right now.
Become an educator
This is an alternative to pursuing an extended career as a graphic designer, but one which many people find rewarding. If you have a solid background in education under your belt, including a postgraduate degree, then taking up the art of teaching others graphic design could be a good move.
There are plenty of different ways to go about this, as well as a variety of approaches to education that you might want to adopt. From dealing solely with the nuts and bolts of graphic design to espousing on the theories which define the practice, the world is your oyster.
This is also an area of rapid growth, with plenty of demand for academics dealing in a variety of subjects. Add to that the fact that remuneration for teaching at a postsecondary level can be higher than you might earn as a graphic designer in the first place and the reasons to make the switch become even more compelling.