Your Diploma is Worthless Schools don’t want to tell you this since they are usually trying to get as much money from you as they can. But not once have I been asked if I graduated or even what year I graduated. There is the chance someone will ask you at some point what school you went to. But they are really just asking to see if you know anyone they might know. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to school, the self taught vs school taught is a whole other debate. Personally I’m happy I went to school, I just wish I would of worried less about the degree. The people you also meet at school are important, which brings us to tip number 2.
Network With People Besides having fabulous work, networking is the best way to get a job. Be social online and offline, you need to meet new people both in your area of work and out. Even if you’re creating the best work no one will ever find out about you if they don’t meet you. With things like linkedin, behance and facebook it has become a lot easier to meet new people but don’t underestimate the face to face. Now you don’t need to attend every user group meet-up or all the industry parties, just make sure that you are hopefully there when it counts. Networking also keeps you up with what is happening in the industry; you may find out who is hiring or what skills people are looking for in freelancers. You also never know who you may meet and they may refer you to someone else if you are just a cool person to chat with.
This isn’t a 9 - 5 Job I can’t even remember the last time I started working 9:00 am and then finished for the day at 5:00 pm. The last time I can even remember seeing the 5 o’clock news was when I was on vacation. Most of the time you will begin working either early to get a jump start or end up working late trying to make a deadline. But you are not usually putting in all these hours for just the money, it is because you love what you do and you want to make sure that you produce the best product. Any designer knows that good design takes time and I’m sure many of those same designers can agree that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Just don’t let the work consume you, make sure you make time to enjoy other things in life.
Keep Learning Just because you are done with school doesn’t mean you should stop learning. I guess this could be a reason that this isn’t a 9 - 5 job, because when the work is done you need to keep moving forward. You need to read, experiment and learn just to stay up-to-date with everything that is going on. Especially in motion design and the web world; trends and software are constantly changing. I am always reading about new work that is happening, new trends as well as doing tutorials. If you don’t do this you will quickly lose touch and there will always be someone else is there to move in front of you.