One of the hardest things about working with a new graduate is that they are very hard to de-brief.
They are so keen to get a job and so scared of saying the wrong thing that a lot of emphasis is placed on what they do know when the information we really need is what they don’t know.
Their confidence in brimming and their folio is full of great work but once hired things can all go pear-shaped pretty quickly.
The key to helping is to understand where they are at. That way we can help them negotiate some of the pits and troughs of the job.
Oran Aziz, just six months into employment as a graphic designer, has been very candid about his thoughts:
5 hardest things to conquer in your first year of employment
- Managing my time — I found this was one of the hardest things as it is a very quick turn around in terms of jobs.
- Being told how to design – guidelines/rules. Being compliant to the particular brand guidelines that I am working on.
- Not having as much freedom in terms of design and time.
- Juggling freelance and everyday work at the same time
- Finding new ideas everyday for the same thing. eg. I regularly have to do flyers for car dealers.
5 things that uni didn’t teach you about being a graphic designer
- Time management
- Working to VERY tight deadlines
- The nitty-gritty things about programs – eg. in depth Photoshop.
- Print managment — it should have been taught in 3rd year and not first, so it is still fresh in our minds.
- The technical side of design – making print ready files – providing the printer with the right things
Now one new graduate does not a sample make, but my gut feeling is that many will have the same feelings.
And the fact is that all of these challenges can be managed with a little mentoring.
Once a graduate is happy with the knowledge they have*, they become a sponge ready to soak up knowledge – and that has to be a win:win situation for any client.
*Read more about the 3 stages of learning in the marketing section.