The calm after the storm

It was only on the 4th January that I wrote my last blog post, and detailed how I planned to reinvent it. However, two weeks have gone by, which has felt more like two months because of how busy things have been!

“You wait ages for a bus, then three come along at once.”

The calm after…

I am delighted to say I now have a job, on a 12-month contract covering for someone who has gone on maternity leave. It’s only a 25 minute walk from where I live, and I am working with some good people in a lovely office. (The sunsets are amazing, and I can’t wait to share an image of it!) I only started on Wednesday so it is safe to say that I am still finding my way around things but I am reassured things will fall into place soon enough! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings, I’m very grateful for the opportunities to come, and I expect to learn a huge amount – not just about design, but also retail and how businesses run. As for my distant future, it looks a lot more promising, but who knows how things will turn out!

…the storm

My main target for 2016 was to get a job. By now failure really wasn’t an option. I haven’t discussed it openly before, but it has not been easy breaking into the design industry over the last 18 months. It has been extremely stressful, not helped by additional issues I did not expect to face that caused a lot of problems and upset along the way. Thankfully this is all melting away now I have a job, but it has a left a mental scar as I do not want to be in the same position again.

  • Not having enough experience. (Even for some intern positions!)
  • People not replying to my applications, or in one case, blatantly lying to me.
  • Limiting my search to the local area. (I take responsibility, but have my reasons why)
  • The shame I felt as some people I knew avoided me because I was failing.
  • The annoyance people had as they assumed I was on benefits. (I was not)

The Lighthouse

Thankfully there was a lighthouse out to stop me totally sinking. Southpaw Agency decided there was enough promise in me to grant a one-month full-time paid internship, which eventually turned into two-months. It only finished then because they hired an extra designer and the work slowed down before the big push for Christmas. I learnt so much valuable information, which is helping me everyday as a designer, and I will be forever thankful for the opportunities they have given me.

  • Getting some experience improved my CV which helped in tracking down a job.
  • Southpaw’s great reputation helped to open some doors.
  • I worked alongside a team of interesting and talented people who were more than happy to answer my questions and teach me skills.
  • I got to design ‘in the real world’ for major global companies.
  • Managing several projects at once improved my multi-tasking skills massively.
  • I also learnt the basics of print artworking, what running social media accounts for a client really entails, and seeing how the experts deal with clients.

After my internship had finished, I asked around for opportunities and scored two interviews, one of which was with Wayne at Cheeky Communications. He’s a great person, and although he could not provide me with any opportunities, we chatted about my work and aims, I got to learn about his business and how they operate, but most importantly he was one of the few people who treated me like a decent human being. Things like that really matter to me.

WordPress 101

I had just started the WordPress 101 course, which was going very well, and I was achieving my aims. I also got to speak to many other bloggers, and see just how friendly the WordPress community is. However, upon taking the position of Creative Assistant, the time taken up with that and all the other things that have been going on in my life meant I had to stop taking part because of the lack of time. Maybe one day I’ll return and finish it!

A slightly altered focus

While I was working hard to make a job a reality, I had almost lost all hope, so to reinvent the blog was really a way of helping myself to keep optimistic, motivated and keep enhancing my skills. Now I have decided to keep the same aims, but whereas I was planning very regular blog posts, this will now not be the case. Also, new designs for my Redbubble and Society6 shops will not be as forthcoming because now I’ll only have the weekends to myself, so to plan to do a certain amount of tasks over the weekend is just not sustainable when I need and want to do other things with my time.

Fate: “The course of someone’s life, or the outcome of a situation for someone or something, seen as outside their control” (Unsurprisingly, I’m a strong believer…)