Professional Identity

This week we discussed how media workers are portrayed to those around us. We gave insight to the assumptions people make or the stereotypes associated with pursuing a creative career. Additionally we spoke about the future of our careers and what the reality was regarding them. Throughout this, I focused on my discipline, which is Graphic Design.

People often mistake graphic design for graphics (architecture, 3d modelling etc.) This is a point I made in the lecture as it’s something I get asked constantly. When you respond with the proper definition of this people generally start assuming it’s a very laid back,  non-stressful career. All creative careers, not just graphic design get assumptions made like this. Personally I think it’s because everyone else considers what we do a hobby, they don’t take it seriously or they think it’s extremely easy to do.

There aren’t just hundreds of jobs waiting for us to take without questions, which is a common misconception of the creative world. The same interview processes and qualification checks take place as they would in any other business. Employers want you to have a degree, they want to see your portfolio of work you’ve accumulated over time and they want to see that you can consistently produce quality work.


(Rosli, D. (2012). Portfolio / Self Promo. Retrieved from

In a certain sense you could say that creative careers are even more difficult to achieve, your style defines you and employers will take that into account, there’s not always a set formula for whose chosen. Even if you do get employed, your job could only be small or for a certain period of time, there’s no long term guarantee as projects will come and go.

Finally, hours and pay are two things that also hold a common misconception. For me people either assume there’s no money to be made in graphic design or that there’s an endless amount at my fingertips. They also assume it’s laid back and I won’t have set hours. ‘Most people in new media work for low pay’. It’s rare to have big hits as graphic design is so competitive as are all the disciplines. Also depending on what type of design you choose (working for a company, freelance etc.) your hours differ, freelance work obviously has a lot of long over time that you won’t be paid for so you have to manage your time carefully.

Regardless of the realities of the careers, doing something you love is much more rewarding and I won’t regret not going after what I wanted and picking something ‘safer’. Even if it’s difficult you’ll enjoy the challenges put towards you because you’ll constantly be learning and growing your skills in something that you’re passionate about.

“Effective problem solving in design requires a balance of strategy and spontaneity, intelligence and creativity.”
Maggie Macnab, Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design




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