To those who are coming out of fours years of study: while 2020’s graduation season might look a bit different than previous years, this is a major accomplishment to be celebrated. You did it!
Now that school is done and your (virtual) commencement is over, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone tell you exactly what to do next? Unfortunately, unless you want to follow the advice of these celebrity Success Oracles cards, the next chapter is up to you.
Below are some tips to aid and inspire the recent creative graduate as they hone creative skills and contemplate their post-grad plans. You might not yet know what will take shape, but there is a world of possibility waiting for you.
Prepare and set goals.
“First, draw up a shortlist of companies to hit: If there are no goals, you can’t score. Become a design detective, and trace through every resource available to research your companies. What kind of work do they do? Where are they? Who do they work for? Read all the trade magazines and blogs, visit websites and ask around. See if your tutors agree with your choices. And talk to students/friends who have been through the experiences because, trust me, there will always be something you’ve overlooked.”
Recommended reading: Oh Sh*t What Now: Honest Advice for New Graphic Designers
A straight-talking, funny, and frequently irreverent guide is a must-read for all creative arts students. Covers anything and everything that is of use to those looking to break into the creative industries, sharing experiences, ideas, advice, criticism, and encouragement. With sections covering education, portfolios, jobs/freelancing, working process, and personal development.
Specialize your skillset.
“Having a specialism, being unique, and putting your eggs in a perfectly designed basket can be scary. However, as the world diversifies and our needs and wants vary, it becomes increasingly difficult to offer something different. Pursuing your interests is often a good bet – if you like what you do, you're likely to do it well…If you do something very specific and you do it well, you can quickly and easily become the go-to person for that task. Get focused. Be special.”
Recommended reading: Don’t Get a Job… Make a Job
Don’t Get a Job… Make a Job celebrates the various strategies that students and graduates have taken to gain exposure, while also including interviews and inspirational advice from those who are now enjoying success as a result of their creative approach to employment. Exploring strategies for graduates to gain exposure in the creative industries – including design, fashion, and advertising.
"The world of networking can often be mistaken for a cutthroat, self-promotional shark tank, but really when it comes down to it networking is just another word for meeting people. Meet people like you so you can support each other. Meet people who would like to be like you (and work with/for you) so you can give them advice or recommendations. Meet people who you would like to be like (and work with/for) so you can ask questions and get advice or recommendations. Networking can be shameless, and that’s OK, but it doesn’t have to be – you are in control of that."
These self-help cards improve your idea generation and inspire your working life. Need some practical starting points to get your brain working? Take a break, break the rules, throw it away and start again. Each deck offers 50 cards of bite-sized, yet practical advice by an expert in the field. Get the cards and get your ideas flowing!
Train your mind to look for connections.
"Seeing connections is a mindset, a way of looking at the world. It’s ability you can train. Once you start focusing on making connections, they will come to you from all places, expect the unexpected…Creative people see what everyone else is looking at, and they create something completely different, because they connect the dots differently."
Recommend reading: The Secret of the Highly Creative Thinker.
By enhancing your ability to see connections, you can enhance your creativity. Supported by the latest neuroscience, this book gives you hands-on advice on how to enhance your own creativity. An inspiring combination of theory, techniques, anecdotes and exercises to help you access better ideas and bigger breakthroughs.
A creative life is a never-ending journey so learn to trust the path.
"Don’t compare yourself to others. Your uniqueness is your power. Look for things that bring you greater delight, instead of specific jobs or talents, and make a career out of those."
Recommended reading: Make a Living Living: Be Successful Doing What You Love
Make a Living Living is for anyone who has ever wished they could build a successful career doing something they love. Structured around the stories of inspiring individuals, from a vegan chocolatier to a nomadic photographer and a tiny-house builder, the book explains how they achieved their ideal existence, and the challenges they faced along the way. A set of practical exercises helps readers learn how to trust themselves, take risks and develop the skills needed to achieve their ideal life.