Entry-level designers tend to be energetic, hopeful and chock full of fresh ideas. It’s a great feeling to be on the totem pole, even if it’s the low end. Either way, you have to start somewhere, and now an opportunity has landed your way. Before you dive into your role, there are common mistakes to avoid. By starting out confident but slow, you can enjoy a smoother, more successful route to being a senior-level designer that others look up to!
Here are five sins to avoid as a first-generation designer.
1. Getting Possessive
The design world often feels personal. After all, it’s you who comes up with an idea and puts it into action, so why shouldn’t you own it? Even though this is a normal feeling to have, design companies don’t want to hire someone that is going to get possessive. When you work with a studio, everyone contributes. The finished product does not belong to anyone in particular. Though it can be hard at times, remember that collaborative work speaks volume in this industry.
2. Hiding Mistakes
It’s embarrassing when you make a mistake on one of your first projects, so your initial reaction may be to hide it. However, this is a mistake in itself. If you run into a problem, tell someone right away. They will appreciate your honesty and, together, you can work toward a solution. This is a far better outcome than having your employer or the client discover the error in the later phases.
3. Sharing Too Much
It’s exciting when you start fulfilling your dreams, but be careful about posting too much online. It’s possible that you could breach confidentiality or make clients look bad. Think of social media as something that everyone reads – including your boss. If you wouldn’t want him or her to see what you wrote, then refrain from posting. Review the best practices for social media etiquette so that a simple post doesn’t turn into a juicy screenshot.
4. Not Listening
Of course you wouldn’t ignore someone on purpose, but sometimes, beginner designers think they know best. To be successful in this industry, you must take advice from senior-level designers and apply your own knowledge and experience. In other words, you can’t dismiss what others say entirely just because you are fresh out of the box. Take notes, ask questions and show that you are listening. This demonstrates that you can take direction and are eager to learn.
5. Feeling Discouraged
It’s never fun when higher ups refuse to give you more responsibility, but remember that everyone has to start somewhere. You will be amazed at what you are learning through the tasks that you are accountable for. Don’t get discouraged if you think you should be getting more responsibility than you are. Continue putting your best foot forward, and you’ll get there.
Starting out comes with mixed emotions. You’re excited and anxious, but your employer may not be ready to hand everything over to you. Channel this energy into the tasks that you are given and prove yourself by keeping your enthusiastic personality. Eventually, things will fall into place and you’ll be giving other beginner designers advice!
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