I would like to have some kind of creative job role while I teach myself graphic design.

I currently work in a factory on an assembly line that has nothing to do with what I'm studying. So I've recently sent off my CV asking for printing jobs as print design is something I like to study the most but unfortunately no jobs are available.

Does anyone have any ideas of other jobs roles I could look for that would be a good bridge over to graphic design?

Many Thanks

  • I'd focus on school first. After getting a few semesters in, then you'll have some relevant schooling to enable internship options and the like.
    – DA01
    Sep 2, 2014 at 19:33
  • Thank you for your reply but I'm married with kids and unfortunately I don't have time to do a course as much as I wish I could. That's why I believed getting a job in printing would be a good start. With what ever time I do have I learn from a site called Lynda.com and do the odd freelance job her and there. Sep 2, 2014 at 19:45
  • What type of assembly line? Products is it? Maybe they have a packaging design team you could try to negotiate working with for a couple hours a week?
    – Ryan
    Sep 2, 2014 at 20:13
  • I wish they could but I have tried Sep 2, 2014 at 21:19
  • Oh, you're teaching yourself. Well, honestly, I'd go with a job that had NOTHING to do with graphic design. That way you're not so burned out on the day job that you have no motivation to learn it at night.
    – DA01
    Sep 2, 2014 at 21:21

3 Answers 3


From my own perception, the market is flooded. You'll be hard-pressed to get an actual job designing without any experience.

There are hundreds if not thousands of graduates looking for employment every year in addition to the hundreds or thousands of self-taught people looking for employment.

Your best bet is to study, work as much freelance as you can and learn as much as you can on your own for a couple years. Once you have a solid portfolio in the field you'd like to enter, then contemplate looking for employment.

I'm not aware of any company who would hire merely based on the desire to be a designer. There are far too many looking for work who have at least some experience.

  • Thank you for your reply and I do agree with everything you said and that's just what I'm currently trying to do. I applied for a ton of print makers jobs hoping that maybe I could work my way up from printing to a designer but like I said before unfortunately theirs no jobs available. Do you have any ideas on jobs like printing I could get into while I teach myself? Sep 2, 2014 at 20:25
  • My point was there won't be any jobs*. "Printing" requires knowledge. There's practically nothing to do in the printing processes which is strictly "entry level". The only possible entry level area for printing would be in Quality Control - where all you do is look at proofs to ensure there are no problems.
    – Scott
    Sep 2, 2014 at 20:29
  • 1
    You might try a sales rep position as some "quick printer" or "quick copy" place where you learn how to write up print jobs. These aren't always "ideal" positions, but without any experience it may get you close to something related to printing.
    – Scott
    Sep 2, 2014 at 20:46
  • It's tough to get into printing, but if you can find union run shops, they may still have apprenticeship type roles for entry level. But keep in mind that while related, there isn't a direct link between printing and designing. One doesn't necessarily lead to the other.
    – DA01
    Sep 2, 2014 at 21:23
  • Oh I didn't quite realize that about printing jobs, i feel like a bit of a nob now. Sep 2, 2014 at 21:46

Unfortunately without any experience you're rather limited. Places require you to know things before they trust you with a job. Inexperience costs a company money that they usually aren't willing to pay for, not when they could hire someone who already learned what they need to know.

In the beginning you're best off working any job you can while going to school. You can shift your focus to something more creative as your education progresses. Maybe start with some night classes -- see what's out there. But you can't be too picky to start.

I didn't go to school for Graphic Design, I did Computer Science. I worked two part-time jobs while going to school -- neither which were related to programming or even computers (one was security and the other was at a restaurant). It wasn't until two years into my degree that I landed an internship at a software company.

Likewise my girlfriend has been going to school for graphic design for a couple years now and just landed a job at a print shop. I don't think she could have gotten that job before she started her studies.


Any job is about having a strong CV and a good portfolio, more-so for creative jobs like design. Make some mock-ups, make them good, maybe some templates that you sell or give away. Then get some freelance work.

From there the choice is freelance or an actual job. whatever you choose you'll need to be able to show examples of good work and explain what you did. at any level.

I taught myself design whilst having a job as a developer then after a few freelance gigs (business cards, wordpress sites, car decals) looked at jobs in front end development and got a few offers as a junior at around £26k

If that isn't enough to keep you going, and the assembly line pays better then i'd suggest keeping it as a hobby and doing freelance work at the weekends or something

  • Thank you very much for your reply, it means a lot! No production line could ever pay me enough to stay and I would happily work on minimum wage if it meant my brain was aloud to get a little creative. Its not I think I'm to good for that kind of work, its just with production lines; if its not brain numbingly easy, then it hasn't been designed properly. Sep 4, 2014 at 13:07
  • sounds good! keep at it and im sure you'll be in this line of business in no time!
    – LiamHT
    Sep 4, 2014 at 14:15

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