December 8, 2011

Be a part of something bigger than yourself

Steve Gordon, Jr, RDQLUS

Author: Steve Gordon, Jr.

If you're going to work as part of a team from a larger agency or studio, you may feel a bit of anxiety. After all, this closely resembles the situation you left so you could work independently. Instead of letting your chest tighten in a claustrophobic memory of a former work environment, find a way to make your mark by focusing on doing one part, doing it well, and contributing significantly to the overall group effort.

Enjoy the fact that for a change of pace, you don't have the full project on your shoulders. With your smaller clients, you're the be-all and end-all; for these larger projects, you're a cog in a machine that's bigger than yourself. This is not a bad thing. It's a chance for you to find a niche role that lets a specific area of your talents shine. And it can become a means for you to develop a great reputation—and ongoing business—in one part of the design spectrum that you most enjoy. So cultivate your specialization and then go find teams that need your specific skill set.

Here are some ways you can get better, smarter, and more effective in your favorite design skill:

  • Take an online course to brush up on your design skills or learn something new.
  • Attend a conference such as the HOW Design Conference or Flashforward.
  • Apprentice yourself to a master.
  • Enroll in photography courses that reinforce and improve design skills such as composition and color balance.

Source: 100 habits of successful freelance designers