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Recently I have graduated from The University of Tennessee, where I got a degree in graphic design. Since I got got my diploma “license”, I have moved back home to Nashville Tennessee and I have started taking steps to becoming a “professional graphic designer”. It can be very confusing and many questions arise as you start your career, especially if you are seeking freelance work or even where to begin looking for work.

One of the biggest problems I have found is where to apply, I know how to apply and feel like my portfolio as well as my web site are ready to present to the rest of the world, now how do I find clients or in some cases how do I find work?

So far I have looked on every job search .com I can find and have found several things. First you can not limit yourself, for example I recently moved home so I was only searching for jobs in or around Nashville. Now I realize if I really want to succeed as a designer I can not limit my future to Nashville alone. And since then I have found thousands of jobs in hundreds of cities and applied to many. If you want to do well you can not ever limit yourself in any way shape or form. Second, I have found that I have to be open to doing new things, in school I learned a little bit about all types of design. My favorites in school were print and typography. But, it is 2009 and web is the fastest growing type of design and everyone is looking for web designers. It seems like most “design” jobs no days are web designer jobs. This also grightened me at first but now I see it as just another thing I am going to have to know, since we are responsible for everything as designers. Thirdly, do not be afraid to send out multiple resumes, at first I was only appliying to one place at a time, now I am sending out multiple resumes a day.

How do you know what your applying for, any job that you think might be the perfect job might end up being awful and an awful job might turn out being the best experience of your life. Right now I am looking for experience and I want to find the perfect job but if it takes a few awful ones to get there I am willing. I guess what I am getting at is how do I know exactly what I am applying for, if I apply for a job at “averagejoedesign” am I going to get the same work as “kingsofdesign”? Its very unclear to me, maybe there are questions I can ask when I am interviewing that will clear these questions up.

Contacts might be the most helpful thing I have found, everyone wants to help, and everyone if they can will try. I have found that if I tell someone that I am looking for work as a graphic designer, they will a: give me a friends name and number to call or b: actually take a copy to a friend for me. People are for the most part willing to help, especially if you let them know your looking, you can not be stubborn or try and do it on your own. And maybe one day you can help them out and return the favor.

THE MOST DISCOURAGING THEME: it seems like everywhere and anyone I talk to is looking for someone with more experience, but how am I supposed to get any experience if no one will hire me? When I see ads online or contact a company and tell them I am a designer out of college and looking for a career, they ask how many years experience do you have. It seems like you can not get a job without at least “2” years experience. 2 seems to be the common number of years everyone wants. But what if I am as good as a person with 30 years experience, faster at accomplishing a task, cheaper, all these questions are bothersome and often times discouraging. I am simply going to stick it out and keep trying, keep applying, keep designing. How is someone at a young age, who is more than likely more willing to work harder and faster supposed to get a decent design job?

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