You’re in school. You might have just graduated. You’re new to the web design industry. You need some helpful tips. If you identify with any or all of these statements, this article is for you.
It’s tough to set yourself up the right way. What do I mean by “setting yourself up right”? I’m talking about the stuff you do to make you unique and valuable at a company. I’m going to tell you about mistakes I’ve made and the things I’ve done right. I’m no expert by any means but, hopefully some of these tips will help you out.
This is a big one. Work ethic is very important and will separate you from a lot of people. Work ethic involves being proactive. Look for ways to expand on things you’re currently working on at your company. What are things that they might need help with that you happen to be good at?
Personally, I’m very social so, I like to take other roles within a company that can use a little bit of my personality. Also, remember to work smart, not necessarily hard. Learn the shortcuts in Photoshop. TextExpander the crap out of everything.
However, as an important note, don’t take on too much. In no time you could have too much on your plate and feel overwhelmed. You want to add true value to a company by getting your stuff done and keeping it fun for you. Find ways to do that.
Acquire New Skills
Personally, when I started The East Wing, I was only thinking about the amazing people I’d get to talk to. I never thought about the other skills I’d pick up along the way. I’ve learned to be more organized, edit and produce a show, schedule guests and much more. Some of these skills have been amazingly helpful with the companies I’ve had the privilege of working with. Although you might be hired to design or develop, you can quickly learn a lot more than that.
See Everything as a Learning Opportunity
There are a lot of chances to learn new things. Not only the good experiences are learning experiences. The totally horrible ones are too.
A year ago, I was about to move to Boston for a job. I was excited. I had been looking for a new job after being part of a startup and was looking forward to being in a new city. I was in the middle of getting an apartment and having everything ready when they told me I was fired. I had worked for them for about two weeks. I was devastated. I didn’t know what I had done and what was worse they held my last paycheck hostage (which I found out later was completely illegal)
For most people, this would be a horrible situation and believe me, it was. However, I’m not bitter. In fact, I learned some great lessons from the whole ordeal. It taught be to stand up for myself next time, to never let someone else dictate the way you view yourself or the work you do and it showed me how not to ever run my business.
There is a silver lining to every cloud. Find it. Even in the worst situations, there is something of value to pick up.
Even in the worst situations, there is something of value to pick up.
Work Where You Want To Work
This may seem like an obvious one but, it’s not. There are tons of people that are trapped in jobs doing work that they hate. Stop it. If you are not happy with where you’re working and/or what you’re working on, you need to get out. Look for a job and only apply to the ones you want. The best time to find a job is when you have one. Be gutsy. What do you have to lose? Ask for what you want and don’t settle for less. Please don’t say something just because you think that’s what your interviewer wants to hear.
Work for companies that set you up to be where you want to be. We all have an individual path for our careers. Work with companies that will help you get there, teach you what you want to learn and pay you what you want to make.
Be Careful and Remember This is Business
I’m a very trusting person. I trust that people will do what they need to do. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Cover your bases. Get things done the right way and in writing.
In the past, I’ve felt a moral obligation to people and that I should be loyal. These people didn’t feel the same. I was burned but it’s ok. It’s business. On my part, I will always be nice but, I’ve learned that it should never stop me from making sound business decisions. At the end of the day, you need to do what’s right for you and your family.
There is No Ideal
The truth is, things could always be better. I’ve seen that as humans, we always want more and more. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and think about all the great things we already have and be thankful for them. No job is ever ideal. There will always be things that you don’t like. I’m thankful to be working in this industry and to be part of making the web better. I love what I do.
And that’s it. There are many more tips but, maybe I’ll get to those later. If you find the tips helpful but need me to elaborate on them, let me know. I’d love to help or answer any questions you might have. We are awesome people who know how to make the web. Set yourself up right.