Commuting in London. 3 words that can turn a smile to a frown in a matter of 0.3 seconds. I’ve had my fair share of tube annoyances, however recently I’ve been using a little yellow ray of sunshine to be blissfully ignorant of ignorant people:
Don’t get a job… Make a job by Gem Barton has been my tube read for almost 2 weeks now, and what a difference it has made to my 40 minutes of underground madness!
You might remember that at the end of last year I took control of my life by I quitting my job of 18 months to figure out what I really wanted to do. I began to question the ‘traditional’ Graphic Design route of College -> University -> Junior Designer -> live happily ever after, and to quote myself: ‘I don’t think I fit in the traditional ‘Graphic Designer’ box because I have a lot of other skills; organisation, writing, photography, networking etc. Maybe I’m not supposed to sit at a desk 9-6 all day – maybe I can do a few different things using all of my skills?’
Up until then I hadn’t seen a lot of conversation around this area, and some the people that I spoke to about it thought I was nuts and that I should just pipe down and ‘get a normal job’. When I started reading the first page of Don’t get a job… Make a job, there’s only one way to describe it – listen to this.
THIS IS THE BOOK I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!
Tackling the exact issues I have been battling/ ranting about here on this blog, this book is like a breath of fresh air to me. It’s like somebody has turned a light on in our dark industry. Somebody has started a conversation with the elephant in the room – thank you Gem Barton!
There are lots of books on how to get a job in the creative industry; make a portfolio -> send it to studios -> work as an intern for experience -> get hired. This is ‘just how things work’ in professions including Graphic Design, Advertising, Architecture and Fashion.
A cruel way of looking at it is that it’s a case of survival of the fittest, which means that basically whoever sticks it out the longest is crowned the winner (and employed). But what happens when you get tired of working for a very low wage with no job security? Or maybe you just can’t afford to do it anymore? You give up on your dream. It’s very sad, but true, that a large proportion of creative graduates never work in the industry that they studied so hard to be a part of. But does the story have to end there?
This book says no. Don’t get a job… Make a job says that you should persevere and make your own path. It says that the ‘traditional’ route isn’t the only way anymore. This book is exciting and revolutionary; I really hope a copy finds it’s way into every University library!
Covering a wide range of issues from putting yourself out there to trusting your instincts, the book is dripping with inspiration and stories from creatives that have done things their own way.
I spy Alec, founder of Intern Magazine.
These creatives are inspo-preneurs, pushing the boundaries of life after graduation by starting their own studios, collectives and businesses. As students we’re taught that the best way to learn is via researching what has come before, but for many of the people featured in the book there was no ‘before’ and the only way to go was through trial and error. In Don’t get a job… Make a job they share their mistakes and hard lessons learnt so you don’t have to, and to prove that their is more to life than working 9-5 for someone else. It’s not going to be easy (nothing worth having comes easy) but you’re not alone and you can be your own boss.
Seriously, where was this book 2 years ago when I needed it?
These are the real struggles and stories: how they decided to do something different, how they got their first client, how scared they were. Brilliant insights and totally fascinating!
Did my enthusiasm sell it to you yet? If not, let me know because I probably have enough to say on this subject to write my own book! If you’re due to graduate soon and have £12 then don’t spend it on vodka Red Bull; buy this book – available from the 24th March ’16. I promise you won’t regret it!
I already told you a bit about Creating a Brand Identity, but I’ve still got 2 more great Graphic Design books in my review pile so check back soon for those 😉
I was kindly sent this book for review by Laurence King but all thoughts on the creative industry and enthusiasm for change from tradition is 100% my own.