Creative fields are just as competitive, if not more so than other careers. Finding a stable job as a designer can be challenging even if you have a relevant degree— So, how does one separate themselves from the competition and score a long-lasting career?
In this article, we’ll delve into some of the top 7 design skills in demand for 2020 to set you apart from other prospective designers. With a little persistence, hard work, and commitment to these seven skills, you’ll be a rockstar candidate for any and every design job.
1. Eclectic Inspiration
Not every client wants a minimalist or modernist look to their project. As a successful designer, you’ll need to make sure that you can bring your client’s vision to life, which sometimes means stepping outside of your preferred style set. Competitive designers know how to bring any idea to fruition and can see the beauty in other stylistic approaches, even if it’s not something they would choose to do for themselves.
All in all, it makes much more sense for an employer to take on a designer who is open-minded and all-encompassing when it comes to style inspiration than one who has pigeon-hold themselves.
2. Basic Graphic Designs
One of the best ways you can put your creative brand to work is by investing a little time into learning how to craft graphic designs. It’s likely your design background will work well for the medium, and it’s an essential skill to have to develop a polished portfolio. It’s sure to come in handy while creating an eye-catching website to send to prospective clients.
Graphic designers are highly in demand, especially as freelance positions. If you invest enough time in it, this could become a lucrative side-hustle to help fund other design passion projects or investment.
3. Communication Skills
Half of your job as a designer involves actual designing; the other half is client relations and translating. One of the best ways you can set yourself apart from other designers is by investing in your communication skills. Your art can go a long way on its own, but there’s nothing more reassuring and appealing than a dazzling, in-person first impression.
To build up a more than sustainable client base, you need to take some time to learn how to communicate effectively, establish boundaries, and draw out your client’s vision in a way that makes stylistic sense.
4. Social Media Fluency
One of the largest markets for designers and other creators alike is on social media. Regardless of whether or not you’re working directly under a brand, you’re going to need to know how to promote yourself on social media. Building up a following takes time, so it’s best that you start early.
Nowadays, many prospective employers will ask for your social handles upfront. They want to see that you’ve curated a portfolio online that speaks to your ability as a designer. Make a point to work on your social media at least once a week.
How you present yourself is extremely important as a designer. Think about your website or online portfolio. Is it easy to navigate? What do the graphics and typography say about your stylistic perspective?
In another sense, remember that designers are expected to look extremely put together when meeting clients. After all, why would a client take advice from someone who doesn’t seem to have mastered basic stylistic principles?
6. Software Mastery
Having a handle on modern software is almost essential for any design job in 2020. Not only will proficiency in popular software like Adobe Indesign give you an edge over the competition, but learning this skill is likely inevitable, as you will use it at some point.
Take it upon yourself to start learning the software before you absolutely need to. There are thousands of free web resources that take you through software step-by-step, bringing you closer to mastery.
One of the best ways you can set yourself apart from other prospective designers is by staying organized. Nothing looks worse than showing up to the client or work meeting late, even if it is just by 5 minutes. As a designer, you’re likely to have multiple projects running at once, which means that it’s super important that you have all your deadlines in order. Fortunately, there are many companies such as GAM Inventory management that can help you stay organized by providing storage and inventory management services. So, if you don’t trust your organizational skills, be sure to know who to ask for help.
Becoming a successful designer isn’t easy, but it can be done. Hopefully, these seven tips brought you one step closer to the design job you’ve always dreamed about. It’s up to you to take the initiative and learn these vital skills for the future and the continued success of your career.
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