Question: “I graduated a few years ago, but have been working retail because I haven’t been able to get a design job. How can I land a studio role when I don’t have any new work to show?” – Alex, 25
Answer: So, you’re two years out with a half-baked folio and no job experience. What’s a homegirl to do? The answer is not Netflix. You need to start designing again. But, and I know you’re thinking about it, don’t waste a year in a dungeon making another folio. Spending a year making something beautiful will not make the work miraculously appear. Students always think their folio work needs to be polished to a tee. It doesn’t. Folios are just another piece of UX design – never finished, always evolving. I asked a studio owner about this.
“Anyone can slap a logo on mobile screen and call it an app. I can see what you’ve done there. I’ve done the same thing, but for much longer than you,” he said. “You can’t impress me with your rhetoric. Instead, impress me with ideas. Impress me with your process.”
Start talking about your folio again. Email studios, not with the view of getting a job, but a quick consultation on how to improve what you’ve got. Also, try your hand at a couple of new projects. Heaven knows there’s enough terrible design out there for you to sink your teeth into.
And ask yourself how much you want to be a designer. Ask most practitioners about their road to glory and you’ll find a story with its fair share of doubts and dead ends. They’ll give you blunt feedback about their ability to be good at what they do. They’ll let you know it’s a bumpy ride. And, above all, they’ll tell you a pretty folio is not a golden ticket to the design industry, but showing up is.
Dizzee Askall will be delivering a weekly lowdown on your design-related dilemmas. If you’re in need of advice or answers, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @sdhelvetica with the hashtag #dizzeeaskall