If you want to be successful in the Design Industry, being creative, bright and a bit of a forward thinker is great, but there is one other little thing that you cannot afford to forget about - networking!
Yes, we know we have told you 1000000 times how important it is, but it truly is the only way to get inspiration from other designers, get hired for heaps of jobs and improve your skills. That's why our Design Team in Sydney put together a repeating session for young designers to get together and talk shop - simply titled 'The Young Designers Meetup'.
JMC caught up with Josie Bober, designer and blogger who recently attended the Young Designers Meetup, here's what she had to say.
Tell us what you thought about the Young Designers Meetup?
I believe in the power of growing your network, and being part of a community that encourages participation, challenges your current views, and being around all kinds of people, with each person bringing their own set of experiences, skills, and stories with them.
The young designer's meetup was a great ground-level approach to connect passionate young designers of all specialisations, with the excitement of getting to know people who will push your thinking and encourage growth through new experiences.
I love the way we were able to explore our ideas without a set curriculum, talk about what challenges we were facing, our wins, and generally having a lot of fun in a space that was both relaxed and inviting.
Why do you think collaboration is important in the design industry?
The people we see at events, meetups, and talks we go to are the people we are going to be surrounded by, for the most part, our entire careers.
Without a network, designers begin operating without any input on new ideas. Having our views challenged, and most importantly, collaborated in a social setting becomes the heart of communication within design and that is exactly what my field, visual communication, is all about!
Designers often work in-house with a team of other designers and other industry professionals where collaboration is a huge part of the individuals, teams, the company’s produced work. As a freelance designer, I’m learning how important the value of a team is. Working on my own, I have made it imperative to engage with my wider design community. By valuing the input of others and the friendships I’ve gained with like-minded people this has benefited in my goals of opening my own studio which I will be completing soon.
Why do you think meetup groups are important for students?
As a student in my final year of study, I didn’t realise there was so much more out there when I was beginning my degree. I believe that I have gained so much from opening myself up to connections that weren’t just immediately in front of me and it leads to thinking on a bigger scale.
Through these meetups, you begin to seek opportunities and create valuable connections with people you could potentially work with in the future and make friends with people in different disciplines. Most importantly, asking these new contacts for help when you need it was highlighted as the most encouraging feedback from meetups. I believe this ‘real world’ networking experience is something you can’t always learn at school, and to be the change you want to see in the world (as cliché as it sounds) required encouraging people to seek out education they aren’t currently receiving, this is something I also do with my blog; The Dame of Design.
Want to study Design (Visual Communication) at JMC?
Do you think networking is an important part of the design world?
As many people would know, word of mouth is the biggest driver of work in the design industry, this is especially true of graphic design. Here’s a story about where networking can take you:
I religiously listen to the podcast ‘Australian Design Radio’, and on one episode an experienced designer named Matt Haynes who is the managing director of the Design Conference was speaking about pushing through challenges and forging your own success. I really connected with what he was saying and reached out to him via a social networking site. I saw the value in connecting with him, if I wasted the opportunity to speak with him I would never have been invited to come to this year's Design Conference in Brisbane. On my own, I ventured to Brisbane knowing nobody at this conference and made it my mission to leave knowing at least 10 people. Don’t get me wrong, I was as nervous as anyone would be in this situation, but networking is the key to success in any industry. I ended up making friends with a lovely girl called Laurie and ended up on stage in front of thousands of people with her. With Matt preaching the value and power of pushing through our boundaries and making meaningful connections, this experience became possible.
This anecdote, I hope, is a powerful one, for anybody who wishes to succeed in this industry that people are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. I am a regular at talks, conferences, and meetups myself and hope to see you at one!