For months I’ve not been entirely happy with how things have been going in my life personally, professionally and financially. I’ve spent the last couple of months really questioning “Why?” Why weren’t things satisfying me, why do I feel directionless and hopeless in every aspect of my life and why don’t I know for sure what I want? As you can imagine I’ve been feeling very frustrated and angry.
I graduated from University in the summer of 2012 I was so relieved and pleased to have finally made it through – even with a degree I know I’d probably never use, but I’d done it. Now what? I had a couple of weeks downtime and then it hit me – “What are you going to do now, Amber?” Urrm… hrmm, tough question! I’d always dabbled in Web & Graphic Design, it was between a Graphic Communications degree and Interior Design degree, looking back, I have no idea what possessed me to take Interior Design, don’t get me wrong I learned a great deal, and I’d be lying if I said some things don’t transfer into what I do now but “Why did I choose that?!” Stupid stupid girl.
I decided I wanted to go forward and take my dabbling in Web & Graphic Design to the next level. I wanted to do it as a career. “How are you going to do that, Amber? You have no portfolio and no experience…” God damn those voices in my head! As you can imagine this was a frustrating time for me, I knew I had some sort of design talent, and I knew that if someone gave me a chance, I could prove myself and shine. I needed a portfolio, I needed some clients, I needed to show people what I could do. In June 2012 I decided I would become a Freelance Web & Graphic Designer and I set up Haus of Design. Luckily I’ve had amazing support off my family and friends and I could go ahead and get a portfolio together, doing projects for people I knew, building up a base portfolio and their word of mouth bringing me in paid projects. This was a big moment for me. Paid for doing what I love doing? Perfect! I pottered on for another couple of months absolutely loving what I’m doing, but there has always been something not quite right in the back of my mind, niggling away.
Around November last year I decided I would try to get a full time job at a local design company, I’d built up and worked on some pretty cool projects, the money I was making from freelancing couldn’t cover costs of living *and* my slight addiction to shopping and weakness for shoes and art. It was the next logical step to take. I’d been contacted by someone I followed on twitter about a position at a local design company he thought I’d be a good fit for. Excitedly I applied. I had two interviews in the New Year. Disappointingly they decided they didn’t want me. This was a real knock back for me as you can imagine and that niggling in my head just got worse.
What was my next step? What did I really want? I was getting no responses. I felt hopeless, useless and directionless. To make matters worse I had people on my case about getting a full time job, apparently having this thing called money really helps. Pressure central! I spoke to one of my super friends who told to me to think about an internship. At this point I was ready to accept and consider anything to get me out of the house and away from freelancing for a couple of days even if it was unpaid. Don’t get me wrong the work coming in was good, the company was lonely. Internships it was. I need experience, I need to be around like minded people, I need to get out of the house. I wanted to send out internship letters rather than e-mails, posted personal mail is underestimated, it’s really exciting to receive! I re-designed my CV, a cover letter to match and I made a super awesome CD case which had a CD with my portfolio on in. I showed them off to a couple of people – if these weren’t going to get me employed in one way or another, I may as well give up, pack my bags and go and back to Wales to count the sand grains on the beach. Luckily it didn’t come to that! I had a reply! Woohoo! *dances* I was really happy and my faith in my work had finally been restored! “See, you’re not all that bad, Amber! Chin up!”
I was then contacted by another local design company who had heard I was looking for an internship. Woohoo! Things were definitely looking up! I went in for a meeting with them and they decided that I would be a good fit for their company and they offered me an internship and accepted it I did! I’m absolutely stoked that someone’s giving me the chance to prove myself and show what I can do! It’s two days a week which is perfect for me, at the moment my freelancing work is beginning to pick up so I’ll still have time to do that and it’ll break my week up nicely. I’m looking forward to being around like minded people and absorbing as much information and gaining as much experience as I can.
Things have started to click into place for me one by one, and today I have finally realised that at this *points down* moment in time I can say I am happy with where my professional life is. I have made a big decision to re-brand from Haus of Design. I was never 100% happy with the name and today I’ve started the ball rolling with my new business name which I am *much* happier with. I’ve also decided on the type of business I want to be and the type of designing I want to do which hopefully over time I’ll build up.
However, that niggling feeling *is* still there. Slightly. My personal life is a bit of a shambles. Everyone I know seems to know what they want in life, where they want to be in 5 years, when they want kids, what kind of house they want… I know none of that. I thought I did, I had pinpointed moments in my life of things that I wanted by a certain age; but realistically how can you plan your life to a time-frame of what you think is suitable and socially acceptable? Don’t things just happen anymore without extensive thinking, planning and consideration?
I’m pretty sure that is a completely different blog post so I shall end here with a link to an article I found extremely interesting and thought provoking before I ramble on even more!