The talisman in design jobs

Merchandise
Graphic Design studying on the way in August

Hello again. Missed me? It’s been a while since I posted here. So how is it going, you might think. Well, when it comes to finding work, it’s non-existence. Maybe I should have some kind of talisman, a good luck charm to get anything. Getting a job in any occupation is difficult. The truth is, there’s always someone who won’t get hired. There are more job seekers then there are jobs. In design, the competition is even harder. There’s so many of them and different kind. I wonder how there are enough of clients for everyone. In a small country like Finland (compared to bigger countries), you would think it’s even more difficult. Here you need to stand out even more. It’s not only about applying for jobs, it’s finding something to apply to which is my problem. Searching jobs in the open market is a pain since the requirements from the employers can be quite unrealistic. I see no point in applying because it’s obvious I won’t even get an interview. I don’t have the skills to the job or the experience either. Luckily there are other ways to find work.

At the moment I do an employment training course in entrepreneurship. I applied to one earlier but I didn’t get in so I applied to another. This one is mostly online. We’re supposed to watch educational videos made by the consultants and then write a business plan with questions. Trying to write it has made me realise how unready I am to be an entrepreneur. I have never seen me as one. My father has an own business and so was my grandfather (who died when my mother was a child) but I just give up too easily. My weakness is marketing. As an introvert, networking is a pain. I find this course a bit boring so my motivations aren’t very high. It seems like anywhere you look, web designers offer the same. I don’t think I don’t have anything new to offer. I’m not an inventor, I do design. I’m been thinking about what kind of services I want to have. I don’t only want to do websites. When I studied web design, I got this idea I would have both web/graphic design and photography if I become an entrepreneur. If I only did one thing I would get bored. I like variety and I got experiences of all three. Photography would just be a bonus though.

I don’t really know what to call myself. Web Designer who does graphic design or Graphic Designer doing web design. Maybe more of the first since I have a qualification. I would like to do graphic design that is only used online. But of course, if a client wants it in print, that’s alright too. Last time I studied graphic design was in 2011 so I thought of updating my knowledge. I applied the 2nd time to a graphic design education in Helsinki Design School. I studied photography there in 2015. It’s not full-time so if I have a job I can still study at the same time. It starts in August. It’s still a long way to go so anything can happen. Maybe something I already know is learned but every teacher is pro in their own field. Last time I studied there it didn’t get me anywhere. I go there with an open mind. You never stop learning in design. I really hope I have something by then. If it’s entrepreneurship or working somewhere else. My mind is complicated and has a lot going on. It would really be time for me to make up my mind for the future. Everyone needs a little talisman in their life and I hope I find mine.

I passed the test!

I passed

Today is the day when I can happily say, I passed the final exam of my web design education 🙂 I wasn’t sure if my presentation would have been good enough. It wasn’t as bad as I thought at first. The evaluators were really easy-going and they gave me good advice. I would have been satisfied with just getting the preparatory training certificate but the qualification one is even better. It makes me feel I have achieved something. Even if I had difficulties, I still managed to get through them. But there’s no use of all these certificates if you can’t get a job.

That’s the next step I have to take again. I already applied to a few but I don’t think I’m qualified for those jobs. There’s no harm in applying though. It just shows you’re not being lazy. Finding a place as a web designer near your hometown is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Both of those jobs I applied for are in Helsinki area. The other option to get a job is self-employment but that’s not for everyone. I have considered that too but it’s a lot of work. It does tempt me because then I can do things at home. It’s the other stuff that I don’t want to go through. It’s riskier than working for someone else. I really liked the time when we had on the job learning thing. I learned to think on my own. I felt freer and I didn’t have to work from 9 am to 5 pm. I could do the work from 3 pm to something else. I could do everything in my own time. There was a deadline when to get the work done so I couldn’t really be lazy whenever I wanted. Now it’s a little different because now I have to know what to charge the future clients.

Another thing could be self-employed or freelancer, if you like, is to find clients. That’s where the work is and also you have to sell your soul.  I mean your skills. It’s difficult if you’re just starting out. What I like the least is networking. Online it’s easier but you also need to meet people in real life. At least that’s what I read about. For an introvert it’s hell. I handled all my clients through emails and it took a while before I got a reply but yet I got it done. It could be the same for real too. There’s also a chance to become a light entrepreneur where you don’t need to have a business. All the paperwork are done for you. That could be a good way to try your wings on freelancing. The easiest way would be trying to get a job somewhere but if that’s not gonna happen, then it’s their loss. One thing is for sure and that’s not having a job at all. Going to school is not an option either.

This is the first time in my life that I can actually say what I do. I’m a web designer, yes I am. What is left is to get a job where I can make a living out of it. It’s time to put these new skills to action.

 

 

Tallenna

Tallenna

Tallenna

Tallenna

Tallenna

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.

 

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