Wanting to leave design field, what else can I do?
November 14, 2011 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Career change filter: wanting to leave graphic/web design field, what else can I do?

25 y/o female, graduated with a BA in Graphic Design, currently employed as a graphic/web designer . I've been working at job for 2 years, and previously was doing freelance work for about 3 years. I'd like to move out of this field, still love design, but hate the low pay and grind of it.

I have great people and communication skills. Years of having to discuss/explain my design work to clients has trained me to be able to break down complicated technical things into simple explanations for laypersons.

I've also been told I write well, have a good grasp of the English language, work well with groups and am able to motivate people and manage different people's expectations to get the group moving.

I want to find a new job where I can put my communication skills to good use. Some obvious career choices I thought of include being an account executive in a creative agency, or moving into marketing.

What are some other jobs I can consider?

My art college education didn't give me any formal training in that areas other than design, so I'm not sure how open potential employers would be to hiring me. Should I re-write my CV into a "skill based" format instead of the usual sort where it's focused on my job experience?
posted by jollyroger to Work & Money (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
How about project management or an HR specialty in the creative and design industry? Good project managers who can be the go-between person between groups that might not understand each other have quite a valuable skill IMHO.

Similarly, HR is a second career a lot of people pick...HR doesn't have to mean hiring and firing people. Compensation, training and payroll are just some aspects one can specialize in.
posted by Calzephyr at 7:16 PM on November 14, 2011

I was going to say project management as well. Communication and the ability to get people to do stuff (both clients and in-house staff) is what that's all about!
posted by usonian at 7:21 PM on November 14, 2011

I work as sort of a blend of graphic designer/marketer/event coordinator at a non-profit. I used to be a graphic designer and actually moved into this job based on a hobby of reading everything I could find on marketing strategies for small businesses/non-profit orgs. At the job that I have now, I still get to do a lot of design work (on appeals, on promos for our fundraising campaigns/events) but I also get to write our blog & newsletter, and coem up with ideas for events and fundraising campaigns.

Jobs like may not necessarily exist outright, I ended up convincing the place I work to take me on full time, after working there just 1 day a week and showing them how helpful the design/marketing/writing skills could be to them.
posted by nerdcore at 7:24 PM on November 14, 2011

E-learning development might be a good field for you. With your design and web skills, you'll have a big leg up on the technical end. People in the industry make a lot of fuss about instructional design, but it is mostly common sense and good communication skills. Elearning Guild is a good place to learn about the field, and a basic membership is free.
posted by jeoc at 8:02 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

i moved from being a graphic artist/designer to project management for a creative team
posted by raw sugar at 8:22 PM on November 14, 2011

Best answer: Some possibilities (might need more education or training):
* animator
* association manager
* architect
* commercial or industrial designer
* community outreach worker
* community planner
* compliance officer and related
* concierge
* corporate trainer
* counselor
* drafter
* expeditor
* food designer
* fundraiser
* interior designer
* landscape designer or architect
* logistician
* lobbyist
* mediator
* property manager
* public relations worker
* self-enrichment teacher
* set designer
* script supervisor
* technical writer
* usability consultant
* volunteer coordinator
* window dresser

And I agree that educational media technology has potential.

Also, Nerdcore illustrates a good point. That is, when changing fields, it can be good to work on doing it indirectly, finding side doors and overlap.

You should use a "combination" resume format. This uses sections for different skills but also lists your jobs in chronological order.
posted by maurreen at 8:40 PM on November 14, 2011

Best answer: Please become a Technical or Creative PM -- there are not enough of you with your skillset and vocabulary!

I've found in development and design, it is hard to find someone who can walk the walk alongside their colleagues and talk the talk with executives/shareholders/clients.

There are a lot of opportunities in this field right now as software/web development teams expand and need better structure and communication, perfect for people like you. My company is actually in the process of hiring some right now.

Good luck!
posted by june made him a gemini at 9:30 PM on November 14, 2011

Public relations, in many medium sized organisations the PR people are responsible for buying/running the company website and managing the companies identity (graphic design, logos etc) its only one part of the PR persons job so you would have plenty of opportunity to move over to more communications stuff. In the right company you can make very good money in PR but it tends to come with very long hours.
posted by Lanark at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2011

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