I HAVE A BACHELORS DEGREE, NOW WHAT?
ROSIE CASS | GRAPHIC DESIGNER | firstname.lastname@example.org
It's been eight years since I was told by a careers adviser that I needed to start seriously thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, and it's been a year since I finished my Bachelor of Communication Design.
According to everything I've been told, I'm officially in the “real world” now. According to the plan, I'm supposed to be a fully functioning adult with a full-time job in Design.
But guess what? I'm not any of those things.
In the spirit of throw-back-Thursday, I'm going to share a little of my post-grad experiences.
Welcome to the “real world” Rosie.
The last two weeks of uni were crazy – simultaneously exciting and stressful. I was looking for a job to cover the dreaded loss of Centrelink payments, while paying off a well-earned holiday in Thailand and struggling to pull together my final assignments. I knew my portfolio wouldn't be ready to show to any potential employers so I opted for a retail job at a camera store. The idea was that it would buy me more time to fine tune my portfolio and apply for a “real job” in three months’ time.
I was also offered a job working one day a week (here at Tiliqua Press)! YAY! Some design work in the publishing industry! I managed to work my week so that I was doing one day of design, and five days of retail. The money was good, not relying on Centrelink was amazing, and I no longer had to worry about assignments!
One year later...
I'm still at the camera store, and I haven't fine-tuned my portfolio... yet.
I've recently begun the process of starting a design business partnership with a uni mate, (and have been beginning this process for six months now). We've got a few awesome clients already though so that's pretty cool. I'm still here at Tiliqua Press, two days a week, and loving the chance to work on producing this fantastic magazine!
By now, most of my friends have followed “the plan”, and have full time jobs in their industry. So how is post-grad life for me? It's really, really hard, and really fucking fun.
- I'm never bored. Working two jobs and freelancing means that there's something new happening almost every day.
- I get to tell people back home that I own a business and work in the publishing. This one’s great for reunions or when you run into old school friends at the local pub on Christmas eve.
- It's pretty flexible. Working around important freelance jobs usually just means swapping or dropping shifts.
- I get to work for Ligature Journal. Working for an independent journal with only a few key people means that I get to see and contribute to all the ins and outs of the business. This means seeing the print process, learning about distribution, and what actually goes into creating a publication.
- Money. I have none. Ok that's a lie. But working as a casual & freelancer for most of my working week means that if I need to take time off I'm not covered by sick leave or annual leave. Holidays are hard and being sick is not really an option. Trying to start a business also means that there's one or two days a week that aren't always going to be paid for. Which leads me too…
- Taxes. Being an adult and doing adult things like taxes becomes twice as hard when you have an ABN. It means being responsible and taking out tax yourself. (oops) It also means you have to pay for things like an accountant and accounting software. Gross.
- Free time. I have none. This is mostly true. Seeing as I have one to two days working on stuff for my business, this often becomes my weekend, as I generally can't afford to have more than two days unpaid a week. I rarely get time off and when I do It's usually filled with housework or a variety of time consuming hobbies between which I switch frequently.
- Stress and anxiety. It was only fairly recently that I realised that suffering panic attacks and constantly feeling overwhelmed is the text-book definition of anxiety. Something that's pretty common amongst creatives and definitely not spoken about enough.
Guess what is anxiety inducing? No job security, having no time and lack of funds.
So, there are the pros and the cons.
It's been anxiety-ridden and amazing. I still don't really know how to be an adult or why people would ever want to do other people’s taxes for a living, but hey, life is fun and I'm in an industry where I can dye my hair green without any consequences. #goals