5 Things I’ve Learnt as a Junior Designer

Over the past year as a junior graphic designer I’ve learnt quite a few things about design (which goes without saying), working in an office environment and, most importantly, about myself. Starting a job in this industry fresh out of uni with only a few freelance jobs and an internship under your belt can be an extremely daunting experience and of course it has been hard at times – but it’s also been extremely rewarding in so many ways. 

Here are the top five things I’ve learnt:

Ask as many questions as you can.

We’ve all been there. Starting a brand-new job and realising that you have no idea what copy to use, which fonts are best, which colours are allowed, what the dimensions of each creative should be and what the limitations are. No one learns anything by never asking questions so always ask as many questions as you can. Not only will it help you to completely understand the job you’re doing but it will also save loads of time in the long run by avoiding doing too many edits!

Learn from your team.

Your team members have a wealth of knowledge and there are so many things you can learn from them. Work (and life) would be so boring if we all had the same skill-sets and knowledge and there’s a reason why we work in teams. From learning shortcuts to photo editing to what different file formats are for – if you don’t know how to do something then ask to be shown. It’s a much better use of your time than biting your tongue and spending an hour googling. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work!

Voice your opinion.

Just because you don’t have a few years of industry experience doesn’t mean you can’t express your opinion. It really helps to build your confidence and will also build your communication skills every time you put your voice out there. Don’t be afraid to pitch new ideas, concepts and a fresh perspective to tasks. There’s a reason they hired you and your new team will value your opinion more than you’d think.

Keep trying new things.

Remember, the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. There’s no harm in experimenting and just because you’re working doesn’t mean you don’t have time to design on the side. Keep practising outside of work, experiment and develop your style and do passion projects that will not only enrich your life but your work in the office too. Plus, it can be therapeutic designing for yourself without the limitations of a client and you could even pick up new skills and ideas for work that will impress.

Share your experiences.

Tell your friends and peers about your experiences, even if they’re not in the industry. Sharing what you’ve been up to recently will not only give yourself a little pep talk without even realising it, but explaining your role to someone who doesn’t know much about it can help you understand your own tasks and positions better. It’s also good to talk to mates from uni and friends that are in similar roles – everyone starts from the bottom so sharing what you’re doing or going through can help others to improve and learn from you.