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.

Life after web design education

laptop code

Hi, there. Long time no see. I’ve been neglecting this blog for my other one, In my world. But also because I didn’t really know what to do with this blog after my web design education ended. I still don’t know but I’ll keep it updated from time to time. It won’t be that often though.

So I’m back to job search again and I admit, I hate it. Never like it either. I’m been turning orange for thinking what to do next. I’m very slow when comes to decisions. I’ve searched the internet about web design business etc. It feels like I’m old compared to all those young hopefuls who’s been doing design for years. At least I’ve had client work so I’m not a total novice. Thoughts keep creeping into my mind that I’m not fit for it after all. I haven’t designed anything since school ended. Soon I’ll forget about coding and such. Maybe I shouldn’t write this on this blog but I’m very lazy when it comes to practice. I want to do something in design. An ordinary job is not for me. Maybe I’m just unmotivated because I can’t find a job that could suit me.

I’m not a risk taker and if I do, it takes a long time to pick up the courage to start anything. Especially when it comes to making a living. Looking what’s out there on the open market, making it on my own looks more tempting. If I search for a job in other places, they have their requirements about who they’re looking for. Then you have to impress them in your cover letters and resumes. I’m not very good at describing myself in words. When I search for web designer jobs, web developing jobs appear. I’m not a developer, I’m a designer who can code but just a bit. I think it’s strange that the tag is ‘web designer’ but the job is still ‘web developer’ Then there are visual, UI and UX designer. There’s just so much out there so I don’t really know how to call myself anymore. I’m definitely not a front-end or back-end developer. It’s too advanced for me and that’s not what I want to do.

Creating your business is easier. It’s the finding clients and putting yourself out there that requires the hardest job. As an introvert, networking doesn’t come naturally. I don’t know if I have the nature of being self-employed. My father is but he got that never give up attitude. I give up too easily. Sometimes I’m excited about something but that doesn’t take long. It’s easier just to be and do what’s fun but that doesn’t pay the bills. I’m not the one who wants to be out of a job the rest of my life. I have thought about becoming a light entrepreneurship. That’s a good way to try how it is to be self-employed. What worries me the most is, am I good enough so people will choose me to their projects? I put my work on Behance and online in general but I don’t get many likes. So the whole promoting your work on social media is a lot of nonsense to me. It hasn’t helped me much. I don’t get much reaction from social media on my personal account so how will it work on the business side?

They teach things in school about the basics of web design (or any design school) but they don’t teach you how to market yourself. They don’t teach you how to find clients either. Thankfully the internet is full of different tips. What’s so great about web design is that you’re never ready. There’s always something you can learn. I still want to do web design but I also want to do more than just that. I told myself it was enough of education but I did apply for another education but in graphic design. I don’t know if I get in but it doesn’t matter if I don’t. I’ve already had a basic examination in graphic design but that was in 2011 so things have changed since then. The education is just part-time so if I get a job, I can still go there. I want to do both photography, web and graphic design. They all different and yet the same. I like versatility and if I only did one thing, I would get bored. I mostly want to do digital design. I learn better if someone says what to do, so a school is a better choice than being self-taught. For some, it might work but I’m not patient enough to study alone.

I don’t want to be rich, I want to have enough so I don’t need to be hungry. Whatever I chose to do, I’ll know I’ll do it as well as I can. Whatever I’ve studied has never been in vain. I’ll always find a positive side of everything. Some things happen for a reason and maybe the design is my reason. When I do find what I’m gonna do next, I’ll get rid of the orange colour of my thoughts.

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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