Will an unglamorous first job hurt your chances of getting hired somewhere better in the future?
We recently opened the forum for emerging designers to tweet their burning questions to Ram Castillo, career expert, senior designer and author of How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed. Tweet your questions about scoring a great design job @thegiantthinker and check back here to read his insights.
Will taking a less glamorous first job (i.e car flyers, PowerPoints) ruin my chances to find better work later on? —@ KatieMazikins
Getting your first job in the industry is far more important than where it is. Having experience somewhere is better than having none at all. No
matter who the client (big or small), it's your chance to put your ideas and know-how into action. Your design thinking and crafting must be transferable
even if it’s a car flyer or PowerPoint presentation.
When starting out, your main objective should be to learn as much as possible on the job with real briefs, real deadlines, real pressures (and a real paycheck never hurts). Getting 'on the job' experience is what matters. Whether it's a brochure for Audi's new A5 Quatro or a flyer for Andy's Black Friday Used Car Blowout Sale isn’t important at this point. Both require strategic problem solving with exceptional design execution.
This is also a good time to hone in on your technical ability and speed on the Adobe programs. You should also consider the benefits of networking. All people are potential leads to new opportunities. You’d be surprised how the seemingly irrelevant contacts you make now can payoff later on. So you're never going to "ruin your chances" to find better work in the future. If anything, it shows that you're hungry to get your foot in the door, and there's certainly nothing stopping you from quietly job hunting on the weekend.
For more, pick up a copy of Castillo's internationally and industry-acclaimed book How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed.