- When I first graduated from college, I got a job at a small design studio that did work for museums and galleries in New York City. I'd sent my resume to a bunch of places, by mail, and I took the first job I was offered, and it was a job, in graphic design, which was what I thought I wanted. But one night, while watching MTV, I suddenly realized what I really wanted to do, what would really make me happy, was to work in television. And then once I was doing that, I realized the difference between having a job and having a career.
When you're doing something you're passionate about, and truly love, you're beginning your career, and it no longer even feels like work. Even if, as most of us do when we begin our career, even if you're doing menial work, you know what I mean, being part of and contributing to something you love, something you care about, is the ultimate goal. So the first step is to try and figure out what your dream job is. There can be more than one, but really try and figure out what kind of place, and what kind of work will make you happy. There are so many options out there.
You can work at a design studio, a digital agency, publishing house, non-profit, environmental graphics, magazines, or maybe there's a specific company, or organization, that you believe in, and you want to work in-house there. Do you hang out at a magazine stand for hours and hours, looking at magazines? Do you spend all your time on Brand New voting on the latest brand identities? Or do you love UX and want to bring more great design to the internet? Figuring this out will require research, like when you chose a college.
Think about where you want to live, what your financial needs are, the size of the company that appeals to you, the cultural climate, all that good stuff. Explore their website. Read any interviews with employees. Watch videos of presentations they've made. You should use a combination of your gut and your heart, and a real understanding of the type of work they do and how they do it, in order to tell if you might be a good fit. Try to separate your school experience, and the expectations of others, and really try to identify what kind of work you truly love, which is hopefully also the kind of work you'd be really good at.
Usually these go hand in hand, because we all tend to do better work when we care.
- Resumes and portfolios
- Preparing for the interview
- Getting contacted for an interview
- The interview process
- How to present yourself and your work
- The interview
- After the interview