Hello! I’m fresh out of college and cannot find any job that accepts an associates degree. I’m willing to learn and adapt to a companies style. i know illustrator and taught myself figma as well, i truly just want to be a designer and can’t find a place to get a chance. i’ve had interviews and consistently ghosted. Any tips?

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I never finished my degree, because your book matters much more than a piece of paper.

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A portfolio with case studies showcasing your problem solving skills are integral. Focus on industries you want to break into and the kind of work that is valued.

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Make and post examples of work that show your talent and the type of work you want to do. Focus less on the degree, keep networking on LinkedIn and design hubs. Get business cards to pass out when you meet people. Reach out to local small businesses and orgs to see if there is any interest.

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My agency frequently used design freelancers that were hired through agencies. There are also multiple LinkedIn groups for freelance /searching designers. Most cities also have an Art Director’s club, where you could network face to face with creatives that influence hiring. I would also recommend connecting via linked in to hiring managers at companies you’re interested in.

The advice about picking up local work and building your book is great advice- everyone wants to see what you’ve done! I have a former ACD that was laid off- he has gone freelance and French posts G’s new work. He recently put together a 3d mailer and did a quick video about it. That is as 3 weeks ago and I still remember the post.

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Find a niche to apply your skills to and go solo. I play drums, do graphics and screen print.

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Your book matters. Make it the best of the work you WANT to do. I’ve seen graphic design students that come out of community college that are better than some big shot art college.

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When I started out I was expecting to land a design job right out of school with an associates. I was working at a print shop doing a little design but mostly printing. Then I moved to what I think of as my 1st real job. I wasn’t hired as a designer but I was hired to do production work which to honest, was better than all the things I was tough in school. I really learned a lot but kept working on my design skills and worked my way through the company over 6 years. I’ve been working full time as a designer for 25 years now and just about to start with a new company in 2 weeks.

Learn everything you can, work on your portfolio constantly, and keep at it.

Look for jobs in production. You need a proven track record.

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