Ed. note: A version of this article was originally published on Giant Thinkers. The perspective expressed is solely that of the author. AIGA encourages commentary, discussion and debate among members—share your thoughts in the comments.
If you were a child who had severe asthma but absolutely loved soccer, and found it “too hard” to play a full game, would you give up and just play FIFA 2013 on Xbox? (Don’t answer that. It’s actually really addictive.) Honestly, would you think it was impossible to become a professional soccer player with such a terrible respiratory condition? Well, David Beckham didn’t. Arguably one of the greatest soccer players in the world, Beckham still has asthma and has suffered with it since he was a young boy.
This didn’t stop him from playing 65 games a season for more than 20 years, winning countless world-class trophies. Bobby Charlton was his mentor. A former English football player, Charlton is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time and is considered the greatest English player of all time. In recent times, one can point not only to David Beckham, but Richard Branson, Michael Jackson, Roger Federer, Eminem and Nelson Mandela as notable icons who benefitted from the investment of a mentor.
A career mentor is a person that acts as an adviser, motivator, counselor and guiding force in your career. This person would have relevant industry experience—a professional whom you can talk openly with and from whom you can expect to receive sound, unbiased career advice. Traditionally, mentoring is something that you would not purchase and would not require a monetary exchange. The relationship between a mentor and a person being mentored is far higher than what money can buy.
Take a look at these positive statistics:
Not having a good mentor is costing you dearly. Without their guidance and experience, you are going to have to start at the very beginning and make all the mistakes yourself.—Jonny Gibaud, designer and entrepreneur
You wouldn’t go swimming alone with sharks, so don’t do it in the work force. You would do your research first, right? And no matter how much research you do, you’ll soon find out that the best way to do something is to speak to someone who has done it before. Ideally someone with quality experience and someone who can provide you advice on the best approaches for what you are looking to achieve.
For more, pick up a copy of Castillo's internationally and industry-acclaimed book How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed.
If you'd like to be a designer, read Ram's internationally industry acclaimed book here:
Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, CreativeLive.com Instructor and Author of the internationally acclaimed book 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed'.
He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog
GiantThinkers.com which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, AIGA.org and Apple.
Despite the connectedness of the current business world, aspiring design professionals face new challenges in the age-old problem of getting noticed, especially by the elite practitioners. George Nelson’s wit and insights helped me understand design as both a serious profession and a creative adventure. Here are a few of his choice observations and some thoughts on the special relationship we know as mentoring.
As the largest professional association
of designers in the world, AIGA is committed to advancing the value and
impact of design, both locally and globally, and working together to
inspire, support and learn from each other, at every stage of our
careers. Whether you're an established designer looking to give back or a
student just starting out, there's a membership level for you.
Section: About AIGA -
Take advantage of the many benefits that come with being an AIGA member: savings, information, community, inspiration and more.
If you feel that your solo in-house design role provides minimal professional development, here are five ways to overcome it and grow your career.
Section: Inspiration -
in-house design, INitiative, Professional Development, Design Job Series
Art Department ManagerCandeo Creative
Oshkosh, WisconsinMarch 31 2016
darralynrieth (darralyn rieth)
Beautiful and inspiring. #AIGAdesign https://t.co/pAfl9Ps0qd
8 hours ago
Willy St. Co-op T-Shirt