A journey coming to an end

two boats on shore

First of all, sorry for not updating this blog but I’ve been busy with school work. There isn’t much time left of this education. Next week (maybe) I’ll know if I passed the exam. On the job learning ended and I made a couple of websites for clients. The hardest part was the report writing about the projects and filling the personal competence demonstration form. There’s no exact word for it in English (in Google it says display plan) but in Finnish it’s called ‘Näyttösuunnitelma’. Don’t ask me how to say it because I wouldn’t know how to write it. But the form got a lot of dots where is says what kind of skills you need to have and how you prove them. What made it difficult was to understand what it meant and since Swedish is my mother tongue, Finnish is difficult to write. I can’t find the words and then all these commas between words. I’ve probably gonna fail the final test because of that. I’m not gonna think that negative because if you do, you definitely will fail. It’s not the end of my world if I don’t pass. Though, It would be nice to have a vocational examination after all the hard work I’ve done.

It’s easy to become bitter if you still won’t get a job no matter how many examinations you have. Sometimes I do feel no one wants to hire me. I can do things but I don’t know what I could do to make a living out of it. It’s not like I’m gonna operate on someone. I don’t have that kind of responsibility. The only thing that could die, is a website that gets hacked. During the web design education I’ve had doubts about my abilities to be a web designer. Especially after the on the job learning time. There’s so many things I forgot to do and I got my thoughts all over the place. My weakness is both coding and project management. I can have stuff in order. But when it comes to web design, I get all confused. It feels like nothing stays in my head. I’m not a person who can solve people’s problems. If a client says what kind of websites they want, it can be possible that I can’t help them. I try to search the solution online but it takes a lot of time. Maybe it’s just unexperienced talking but I feel really uncertain if I can do things right. I’m worried I’ll fail as a web designer and I have to start to think what to do all over again.

Now when this journey is coming to an end, its time for job search again. I’m not looking forward to the next step because I know I have to contact the unemployment center again. At this moment it looks like I end up there anyway. I’ve thought about making it on my own but it has its risks. My father has an own business but it’s very uncertain. You have to do everything yourself and not forgetting paying the taxes. It won’t be easy to get yourself out there when there’s so many who wants the same thing. Web designers also need marketing skills and a good network. You also need to find clients which is another challenge. I’m not courageous and I give up easily. It’s the money that worries me the most. I have bills to pay, you know. When you start a business, it doesn’t take over night to make a profit out of it. The money must come somewhere.
The good side of self-employment is being your own boss. You don’t have to go anywhere. Working in web design and other creative jobs, you don’t necessarily need an office. As long as you have the equipment, it’s all that matters. The freedom is the one that attracts but the other stuff that comes with it, I’m not that keen.

The other solution is work for someone else but that’s the hard part that hasn’t worked for me. I’ve looked through open jobs online but there’s not many of them. When there is, they want skills that I don’t have. The other thing is, the jobs are in another city and I rather not move. I also don’t have driver’s license so it’s more difficult to get there.
In a company, a web designer doesn’t have to do all the work. There are other employees that you work with. You know you’ll get a paycheck every month. There’s less responsibilities than being self-employed. A part of me wants to try my wings on making on my own but it’s the uncertainty that I don’t want to feel. But if I can’t find a job I can apply for, then maybe I should take the bumpy road.

What’s certain is this blog. I will continue to post in it. I have the link in my Finnish portfolio (http://www.miasalminen.com) but since it has a different address and all that, it might not be part of the site. It’s just there temporarily for now. Web design is still a new skill I’m learning so the site descriptions stays. If only I would get paid to have this blog and my dilemma would be over.

 

Advertisements

The passport to a better web designer

passport

First the good news. I’ve got 3 clients for the on the job learning. I couldn’t handle more since I also have to do a lot of others assignments besides client work. I’m meeting the teacher next week for a recap. Every day designers get rejections from possible clients for different reasons and it’s nothing personal. Fortunately, there’s always someone who needs something to be designed. In my case, web design. When you lose some, you gain some. The passport to a better web designer is practice. If you can’t find clients, you never become better. It’s the same with everything is life. Practice makes perfect. It’s a cliché but so true.

web design quotePeople think web design is done under a week and it’s easy but that’s not the case. It takes a lot of planning and it also depends on how much of work there is to be done. If you want a decent website for your business, it should be made by a professional. Website builders are usually made for people who doesn’t know coding and who wants to have it done quickly. But there are no free meals. Even using CMS have paid features. You can go quite far if you use a free template but it does have its limitations. You shouldn’t believe in commercials that say it doesn’t take long to build a website because that’s not exactly true. You can set up one but when it comes to designing, you need to know what you’re doing.

Before I started to study web design, I thought is would be easy. It wasn’t a drag and drop thing. You have to think how a site is built and understand coding. I’ve used WordPress platform for blogging and learned how to use it. But designing a website is a totally different challenge. Using WP in blogging has been a big help, though. Without that, it would have been harder to understand it. Finding a good theme takes a lot of time and when you do, you have to examine it how much you’re allowed to edit it. It takes a lot of time to explore different themes and to learn how everything works. If you make a site from scratch, it takes even longer since you have to think about code. That’s a different world and I really admire those who bother to learn it and like it. Luckily a web designer doesn’t have to learn all the codes in the world. As long as you understand them, that what matters. Making a good site takes a lot of time and effort.

There are as many different kinds of designers as there are photographers. Both professions seem to look easy and people wonder why they cost so much. It’s not only about a click of a button or dragging a mouse across the screen. They plan, meet clients, photo editing, some need to travel, pay different taxes and so on. Running a business is not cheap. Being creative is tough and you can’t do a job for free. As a beginner, you also have to market your skills and that doesn’t happen over night. It’s not only about designing things, you also need to communicate, manage a project, stay updated for new trends and you also need to update your portfolio from time to time. So before judging how much it costs, think about how much work there is to be done. Designers make a living off their skills and a good one deserves all they get. If I decide to continue on this web design road, I hope my passport is good enough for the journey.

 

Tallenna

Immersed into my studies

study

I’ve been so immersed into my studies, I haven’t had time to write this blog. I don’t remember exactly what we have learned. This post is more of an update than how it has went so far.
We had Joomla and then some more WordPress. I also got myself an own domain for my portfolio. Even if it’s CMS, it’s still difficult. It’s the finding stuff, themes, codes etc. that is a pain in the neck. It’s nothing like the blog version of WordPress where you don’t have the chance to change the codes. In the website version, the one you can download on WordPress.org or your web hosting service. You have to search the widgets, themes and plugins by yourself. You can also download some plugins through WP. In Joomla, it’s even harder so I prefer WP to that. Also because I’m used to it.

On the job learning begins next week. I had 4 clients but now it seems, there’s only one. What I hate the most is waiting. I’m still waiting for a reply for 2 others but I’ve lost hope. I really hope people would email back instead of keeping me waiting for ages. This is not good. Failing on the last-minute. I really need clients to make sites for. I won’t graduate otherwise. Client work is the main thing. One client was sure but I still haven’t got the contract signed. I’m really worried now. I’ve come this far and I don’t want to give in. The job learning is for 6 weeks and if I don’t have a job during that time, it’s been useless. I have nothing to show to the assessors who’s gonna grade our work. Am I cursed somehow? I had a hand full of clients and now soon none. It’s so close now and then clients fail me. At least it’s not my job where I get paid. I would become very poor if I had an own business. Maybe people don’t want to rely on a student. But how can a student gets experience, if no one wants to give you practise. Everybody doesn’t have friends and family to make sites for. I’ve searched the internet for ideas how to get clients but they won’t help me. Maybe I’m driving people away. It makes me feel like a person who thought they were creative but no one else sees it that way. I won’t become a real web designer and I have yet again think what I want to do for a living. It was such a good idea at first. But losing clients, have made me think if I can do it after all.

Every wannabe designer have trouble getting a crack at it at first. That’s what I want to think at least. When you lose a client for no special reason, you get up again. But when you study web design and you need to find clients, you get almost desperate and worried you won’t find new one’s. Other thing is, can I really do it? It feels like I forgot everything I learned. In the first on the job learning, it was really difficult and it didn’t become a site. I can’t use that in the last exam. It’s not impressive at all for a client work. When something is being the target of assessment, it should be decently done. You need to prove your professionalism because it is after all a further vocational qualification. Not getting a client, is a lame excuse and I don’t want to be seen as a loser.
So this post won’t become a negative one, I’ll end this with a happier note. Things is never too bad, you can’t handle them. I got through the first client work with decency and no matter what happens, I shouldn’t give up hope.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑