Day#29: A realistic approach to job hunting, part 1

Day#29: A realistic approach to job hunting, part 1

This post is going to be a somewhat personal one, I have noticed a lot of issues not just with people in the Design and UX industry but in general. Firstly, when you apply for a job and they let you down it is a horrible feeling especially if you really liked the company and position and even more negative if you absolutely needed it. I have been in all those scenarios on separate occasions. I have lost jobs I really wanted and taken a job just to pay the bills, its life we all do it. The hard part is self-realization, which I struggled with as well, leaving college I felt I had paid my penance, worked hard to deserve the best job with the best pay. The worst part is your lecturers make you believe that you are worth so much. The problem when you face reality you really aren’t at that point there are tons of people with qualifications left right and center.

I have been in many different industries over the years and design in my opinion is the most fragmented in relation to remuneration. Firstly, by the sheer fact that there are designers who are willing to do projects for basically nothing has changed the market very drastically. Yes, there will always be clients willing to pay more, but it confuses the client if they don’t know how to interpret a portfolio based on the content and then base their decision on the price difference that two designers would charge.  I’ve known many businesses that just look at pay scale and can’t be bothered about the skill that is needed.

The core issue for me in this scenario was self esteem and the need to have actual valuable work experience. I took projects where I was paid very little to gain experience and did internships where I didn’t even get paid. At this point in my career when given the opportunity for freelance work I often ask myself the following questions, which help me determine if I want to take on the project

  • I work out my current per hour rate during the day and then work out an amount that would make me happy to sit and work on this in my time off
  • There after the client needs to be aware of the amount of changes that will occur and how the process works, nothing worse than dealing with a client who feels they have the right to ask for x10 large scale core changes. I have had to accommodate such things in the past simply because I didn’t state otherwise initially
  • If you are doing a client a favor don’t let them take advantage of you! Firstly, be wary of doing favors in general, business is business and you worked hard to have the skill set you have. By agreeing to a lessor amount than what you would have liked, you already start the project on a negative and often clients still want top service for that same price
  • I decide if the actual project is something I want to work on, for me its about being passionate about the process and type of the project, not the actual clients project/service. For example, at once stage I was working more and getting basic design experience and took on a lot of freelance design jobs where as now I am more inclined on taking UX based work
  • Finally relax! This is something my partner and I struggle with, we must remind ourselves to take breaks every now and again because often you get so consumed with your goals, money and the future and you forget to enjoy your life.

I have worked very hard to be where I am in my career and look forward to sharing more of my journey as I aim to continue learning UX and Design, take care!

Bye for now!

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