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    Hi all!

    I am in a bit of a stressful ongoing dilemma at the moment and it's making me very, very depressed.

    I graduated in 2008 with a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design after studying full time in school, college and university consecutively. Whilst studying, I relied on my loans to get by, and for most of my time in uni I worked part time. My ultimate goal after uni, my dream, was to have my own Graphic Design studio, and I've read about many entrepreneurs and freelancers who have done this and may not have the best pay, but get by absolutely fine and enjoy their career. However, ideally, I felt that I needed to find a job in somewhere like London to gain some experience first, so I was luckily invited to work for a month as a designer in London. Unfortunately, it actually cost more to live than what I was earning or could earn, and in a 'horrible' bedsit, and so I had no choice but to leave London behind and go back home to Wales.

    For a while I struggled to find a suitable job back home; rarely will a graphic design job pop up in Wales. I realised as I was losing more and more money that I had to go for any job, and I actually found one which I thought was great, working at a computer store, retailing the hardware and software which I was taught in, great, not perfect but fine for now.

    Well it's been well over a year and I'm still working there. And I'll be honest, I hate it. At first I enjoyed it, but now I not only know that I'm not going anywhere with my skills/career/passion, but I feel that I'm not very good at my job.

    Although I really feel that I need to get out of this job, I also feel that I am currently hanging by a thread. I recently let slip to another staff member about how much I was getting paid, not knowing that they were getting paid less. This information quickly passed on and I was told off by my boss. A similar situation happened just recently again, however I did not 'tell' this other person about my pay, they just brought it up and I now feel somehow that my boss thinks that I have been telling other about my pay again! The reason I believe this is because I sort of overheard part of a conversation between my bosses, but I'm not clear on this.

    To top that off, in general my retail sales figures are very low, I'm just no good at this, I try hard, but it's just not where my skills are. I've also been one of the only ones to make several mistakes on our computer checkout system. So right now, and for a while now, I feel that I'm quite possibly about to get the sack, especially since i heard a rumour about laying off a staff member recently. There has also been confirmation of upcoming 'major rota changes'. I feel like I'm the 'runt of the pack', the useless one.

    Well anyway, I quite simply cannot find a job around here that's suitable, I've applied for anything that comes up but never hear back. I REALLY REALLY want to try setting up my studio but I don't feel like I have the time or motivation giving my current mental feeling to get it started. I'd love to go back to uni and do things different, further enhance my skills, but since I've already applied for loans and completed a course, to my understanding I cannot apply for another similar loan. Without that loan I'd have no chance of surviving!

    So anyway, here is where I am. Stuck. I want to leave my job, but I want to do well in my job too while I'm here. But I can't leave as I'm suffering financially WITH this job, even after making sacrifices. But I'm also very afraid that I may lose it too. I seriously want to start up my own graphic design studio, or at least get a graphic design job, but struggling because of all of the above! As a result of all this, I'm pretty damn depressed and feel like I'm going nowhere in my life, I feel like this is the way I will be forever.

    Sorry this message is so long. I hope you can read through this and reply back to me with some advice/help. I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks for reading, looking forward to your reply.

    WXMech
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    Work out the difference between 'want' and a really, genuinely impossible 'can't' in the above post.

    You have just set up dead ends and impossibilities for yourself. If you REALLY want to be a graphic designer, then spend all your energy working out a plan to do that. First of all, think about the realities of setting up your own studio - is there sufficient demand to achieve a living income? Will anyone want to pay someone with very little experience? Does your current portfolio support a solo business? If not, then this plan has to go on the back burner for 5-10 year's time

    If London is REALLY the only place to get graphic design experience, then work out how you can possible live in London. First of all work on all the accommodation options, living further out and oyster carding or cycling in, room sharing etc. People who succeed will do things like live veggie for a couple of years, eat pasta and cuppa soup, quit the expensive weekly trips to the cinema etc, ie they make it happen.

    On the other hand, look through the phone directory of Thomsons Directory and see how many graphic designers are listed? Have you sent your CV to every single one asking if they have any suitable roles. Have you worked out if there are any trade events you could visit and get an idea of opportunities/network at etc?

    Try getting a job that gets you halfway there - a print shop, an art shop, local newspaper etc where you might find allied skills that indirectly support your career ambitions.

    But above all, don't sit there dreaming up how you 'can't' everything you 'want'. Want is something you simply work out how to get, if you want it enough.
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    (Original post by WXMech)
    Hi all!

    I am in a bit of a stressful ongoing dilemma at the moment and it's making me very, very depressed.


    WXMech
    Hi,
    threeportdrift is right about sitting down with a phone book and sending a cv to every single listed graphic designer in there.

    There are other things that you could do as well

    1. If you know some basic html, you coud set up a website for very little cost and start getting your name out there and maybe even start getting some work through it.

    2. Offer you services as a free lance/comissioned designer - even if its for peanuts, offer to do some work for local businesses, groups etc. You can keep your job in the store while you do this, and do you're graphic design during the evenings/weekends.

    3. Even if you can't get any work, keep building a portfolio - there a lots of ways into graphic design, even if its something small like creating a few x-mas cards and see if your local newsagents will sell them for you, stuff like that.

    4. Professionalise your social networking, have a facebook page that you can use as a tool to market yourself, start a blog where you upload your work, create an account with linkedin, have employer friendly bebo, hi5, myspace, etc, etc pages. - Potential employers will google your name, if your F/B is full of pictures of you falling over drunk, thats what they'll see - but if they find blogs and a website etc. with your work on it, they may be highly impressed.

    I understand that quitting the job that you have now may not be an option financially, but there are plenty of things that you can to (that cost next to nothing) that will fit around your current job and help to make you far more employable - Just do it, get your name out.

    In fact, why not google your name right now, just to see what you need to fix, and what you need to add - what you see will be what potential employerss see.

    Good luck
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    If you haven't already, buy your own domain name and put an online portfolio of your work up/create your own graphic design website.

    Contact companies direct and see if they want their website redesigning? I'm thinking here of companies who have badly designed websites etc. Say you'll do it free of charge, in return for them providing you a reference/allowing you to put your work for them on a portfolio. An online portfolio would be a good idea. Although you say you're struggling money wise etc, by building up a portfolio you'll hopefully be able to acquire more work and the companies you help out may use you in the future or recommend you.

    Like everyone else has said, contact all graphic design companies in your area and send a speculative CV with examples of your work. There must be some graphic design companies in Wales? :confused:

    Check out do-it.org.uk (volunteering website) because they often have office based/home based jobs. Although these are mainly unpaid, there are all sorts of jobs out there including graphic design work and it would be good experience working for big charities, police and local authorities (I've seen all of them advertising jobs on there). Again, you could ask if they would mind if you used the work for your portfolio.
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    (Original post by WXMech)
    Hi all!

    I am in a bit of a stressful ongoing dilemma at the moment and it's making me very, very depressed.

    I graduated in 2008 with a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design after studying full time in school, college and university consecutively. Whilst studying, I relied on my loans to get by, and for most of my time in uni I worked part time. My ultimate goal after uni, my dream, was to have my own Graphic Design studio, and I've read about many entrepreneurs and freelancers who have done this and may not have the best pay, but get by absolutely fine and enjoy their career. However, ideally, I felt that I needed to find a job in somewhere like London to gain some experience first, so I was luckily invited to work for a month as a designer in London. Unfortunately, it actually cost more to live than what I was earning or could earn, and in a 'horrible' bedsit, and so I had no choice but to leave London behind and go back home to Wales.

    For a while I struggled to find a suitable job back home; rarely will a graphic design job pop up in Wales. I realised as I was losing more and more money that I had to go for any job, and I actually found one which I thought was great, working at a computer store, retailing the hardware and software which I was taught in, great, not perfect but fine for now.

    Well it's been well over a year and I'm still working there. And I'll be honest, I hate it. At first I enjoyed it, but now I not only know that I'm not going anywhere with my skills/career/passion, but I feel that I'm not very good at my job.

    Although I really feel that I need to get out of this job, I also feel that I am currently hanging by a thread. I recently let slip to another staff member about how much I was getting paid, not knowing that they were getting paid less. This information quickly passed on and I was told off by my boss. A similar situation happened just recently again, however I did not 'tell' this other person about my pay, they just brought it up and I now feel somehow that my boss thinks that I have been telling other about my pay again! The reason I believe this is because I sort of overheard part of a conversation between my bosses, but I'm not clear on this.

    To top that off, in general my retail sales figures are very low, I'm just no good at this, I try hard, but it's just not where my skills are. I've also been one of the only ones to make several mistakes on our computer checkout system. So right now, and for a while now, I feel that I'm quite possibly about to get the sack, especially since i heard a rumour about laying off a staff member recently. There has also been confirmation of upcoming 'major rota changes'. I feel like I'm the 'runt of the pack', the useless one.

    Well anyway, I quite simply cannot find a job around here that's suitable, I've applied for anything that comes up but never hear back. I REALLY REALLY want to try setting up my studio but I don't feel like I have the time or motivation giving my current mental feeling to get it started. I'd love to go back to uni and do things different, further enhance my skills, but since I've already applied for loans and completed a course, to my understanding I cannot apply for another similar loan. Without that loan I'd have no chance of surviving!

    So anyway, here is where I am. Stuck. I want to leave my job, but I want to do well in my job too while I'm here. But I can't leave as I'm suffering financially WITH this job, even after making sacrifices. But I'm also very afraid that I may lose it too. I seriously want to start up my own graphic design studio, or at least get a graphic design job, but struggling because of all of the above! As a result of all this, I'm pretty damn depressed and feel like I'm going nowhere in my life, I feel like this is the way I will be forever.

    Sorry this message is so long. I hope you can read through this and reply back to me with some advice/help. I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks for reading, looking forward to your reply.

    WXMech
    It's a hard industry to get into...
    When i left i did a hell of alot of work placements at various agencies before i actually got offered a job with one. Have you ever tried that?
    It did involve work very hard for free/next to no money, but it gets you lots of experience above anyone else applying for jobs (and alot of companies hire purely from interns) It is def worth doing (maybe take a weeks holiday off your current job to do it so you are at least getting paid?)

    Failing that, become a freelancer.... it'll take alot of work, but just make sure you get your portfolio and a website up...try weebly or carbon made for great free websites.

    Need any help with website/portfolio, just pm :yep: good luck
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    I agree with the suggestion to freelance. That way you may even be able to work half-time in a "steady" sort of a job (to pay the bills!) while you get some more experience in design.

    The other thing is, not all design jobs are in London - have you thought about going somewhere else? I work in marketing near London, but the main design agency that I use is based closer to Cambridge. I'm guessing the people who work there live outside the city, and probably don't pay nearly as much rent as you would in the middle of London. Just a thought.
 
 
 
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