It’s been a busy year for me professionally (personally as well). There were many new challenges to face and new skills to learn. My clients’ needs change and evolve as their businesses grow. I have to change along with them, to ensure that I can serve their design needs and keep them happy.
Happy clients allow me to do what I love, and I try never to forget that. When I first graduated from SVA, I wanted to work for a big, well-known design firm. Sort of like Mad Men but without all the overt sexism and drinking. I wanted to see my designs become part of our iconography. (Everyone recognizes the Nike logo and that designer only got about $35 for her design.) I thought working in that environment would make me happy. Fame and fortune!
I interviewed for several large companies. Dragging my heavy portfolio on the LIRR and navigating the subways and streets of Manhattan. I ruined shoes walking in the slush to interviews. Walked blocks out of my way by mistake. Wound up going downtown when I wanted uptown. I sat smiling through endless questions and prepared as best as I could for interview after interview.
I never wound up working for that huge advertising firm. My first jobs were at non-profits, a museum, a university then a trade association. More interviews followed during those years, until I wound up working for a Internet-based startup company. It was the late nineties when stock options seemed the way to become financially stable. I’ll let you figure out what happened there.
Eventually, I settled into freelancing. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. There are struggles, don’t get me wrong. And there was a lot to learn about running a business. In the end, I get still do what I love. As a bonus, I get to meet some fantastic people along the way. I get to create something new, which is a wonderful feeling.
I’m looking forward to what 2016 will bring.
Happy New Year to all!