This year is my one-year anniversary at Pulse Marketing and what a year it’s been.
Being my first full-time graphic design job out of college, I never thought I would have learned and grown this much already.
Here are 3 things I wish I would have known a year ago, when starting this journey.
- Don’t be afraid to be creative
I know this sounds like a funny tip, since I am a graphic designer, but above all, I am a total rule-following nerd. I love rules and sometimes, brand guidelines become a cage I struggle to get out of. Toward the end of this year, I began challenging myself to have more fun and to break free from that cage, while also keeping my designs well branded. This has been a process for me, but I believe I am finally naturally having more fun and exploring new ways to be creative.
- Ask for feedback
Another nerdy thing about me is that I really do like getting feedback, as long as it’s put nicely. I always want to know how I can improve my designs or even myself. I know when I ask for feedback, it is coming from other unique perspectives. I personally place high value on this because everyone comes from different backgrounds and has wisdom from individual life histories.
I have always had this view, but when I started at Pulse, I was a little more nervous to ask for feedback from those with more experience. I knew they had quality wisdom to share, but I was afraid of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing. I had gone to school for graphic design, but had no real-life experience in the field yet.
What later clicked is that everyone is still learning and one thing I love about Pulse, is how willing everyone is to help each other grow. No one was judging me. This gave me confidence to start more openly asking for design feedback.
- Become a life-long learner
To me, this is the most important thing that I wish I knew a year ago. Before graduating college, you have spent the last 21 years (if not more) of your life studying and learning. When I graduated, I was so excited to not be in school anymore and to just focus on designing, but no one told me how strange it would feel to not be a student anymore.
This caused me to change my perspective on post-grad life. I now look at every design project as a learning opportunity and I am more motivated to learn and grow in my own time as well. The difference now is that I get to study things I am passionate about. For example, I recently finished a HubSpot social media certification course and passed the exam at the end. Passing that exam gave me a sense of accomplishment I forgot about and craved. Now, I want to devote time to learning another language.
In summary, don’t be afraid to be creative, ask for feedback, and become a life-long learner. These are the top 3 things I wish I knew a year ago. Your top 3 may be completely different, but I challenge you to look back and evaluate where you have grown and what you wish you knew. I also challenge you to look at my top 3 and ask yourself if they are relevant to you and how you can apply them in your life.