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The career objectives of the graphic designer run the gamut from visionary to business savvy. Throughout their careers, graphic designers often fend for themselves. As such, designers must create a recognizable brand that allows them to be free in their vision, and also attracts the right kind of business to be financially secure. These career objectives come from the variation of tasks the graphic designer has to do, such as staying up to date with industry trends, illustrating new concepts, gathering materials to help her better perform her job, and coordinating with other agencies or designers on a project.
Have Something To Say
The goal of any graphic designer worth her salt is to own her designs. "Own," in the sense that the design is a part of her artistic sensibilities and no one else's. Accomplishing this takes confidence. Creating a powerful design full of charisma is a way for a designer to exude confidence and have a design she owns in every sense of the word. Having confidence doesn't necessarily mean being braggadocios, but rather means having a message so undeniable that it has to be spoken at any cost.
Generate a Passive Income
Having passive income -- income that generates while you aren't actually working -- is an important milestone for the graphic designer. This goes double if the designer is a freelancer. There are several ways to go about this, such as by starting and running a successful blog. Money comes in through advertisements and other endorsements while the designer is free to work on other projects that generate active income. Other ways designers achieve this goal is by creating apps or building Wordpress themes to be sold over and over again.
In order to reach her financial goals, the graphic designer has to aspire to be masterful in her creative life. As such, one of her most important career goals is to have the ability to see things differently at any given time. This ability, being able to connect two or more seemingly unrelated pieces together into something new and inspired, is important to both the designer's mental well-being and the future of her career. As such, designers will constantly try to see things differently, learning what to look for when other people aren't looking for anything, and finding patterns in what seems like randomness. This goal is one attained through experience, and comes to all good designers in time.
Find New Business
Being artsy is all well and good, but without anyone to commission your work, there's no career to be had. Graphic designers have ongoing goals -- or at least should have ongoing goals -- that include finding new clients interested in their work. This requires knowing the ins and outs of good marketing, building a brand that is self-perpetuating. The goal in this regard is to build a "storied" brand -- a brand that speaks for itself. Graphic designers with a story, or at the very least a persona, are able to sell their brand without the typical advertisement ploys that many people are desensitized to.
Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.