The more I study graphic design and the more freelance jobs I take on, I start to realise that my future in graphic design is not really going to happen.

I've been teaching myself graphic design and how to use the creative suite for about 4 years now. I desperately need to take a design course, but as much as I wish, I physically don’t have the time. Having a full time job and being a parent, I barely get the chance to sit down, let alone study, and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

I work in a factory and like most of them, they are dead end jobs with very little pay unless you want to become a zombie and work 12 hour shifts 6 days a week. And believe me, I watch people on a daily basis fall asleep at work or go hours, if not all day, without saying a word.

I applied for printing jobs as that had some relation to the creative world of design, but unfortunately there were no jobs available.

Does anyone have any ideas or advice on a new career path I could follow? Were you can learn as you go and were you don’t really need a degree? I would love it if it could somehow side line a creative world like printing or being a photographers assistant could do for example.

I love using the adobe creative suite and with so many programmes on it I was hoping that there was a job that might allow me to move out of the dead end world of factories and have a little more of a meaningful job. We would all love to be paid loads but to me it’s not about the money, it’s the idea of spending 8 to 9 hours a day at work and it not meaning anything at the end. I would like the chance to be a little proud of what I do even if the job is still not very good.

  • " the more freelance jobs I take on, I start to realise that my future in graphic design is not really going to happen." What does it mean? The result is not good enough? Do you have a portafolio?
    – Rafael
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


The answers to this question might be of interest to you. It debates if design school is really a requirement for graphic designers.

As for what career path you should follow, we can't answer that, it all depends on what you have the most passion for! I would spend some time playing with photography, web design, photo retouching, print design - the list goes on. I would do this until you are sure of which field you want to go into. I would then fine tune the skills that are most relevant to that field, all the while making an excellent portfolio.

If you can show the employer/client that you can do excellent work, they won't care how you've learned it.

I know you are restricted with the amount of time that you have in a day but this can be done in baby steps. A little each day to find what most interests you, what you really get into will be worth it in the long run. Knowing what you love the most will enable you to invest your time wisely for that end goal. After all if you end up in a design related career that you don't enjoy you will still have troubles with career satisfaction.

Best of luck, be stubborn and you'll get there!


If you're looking for an education in design/code related fields, but don't necessarily have the time to invest or the money to go to a school for it, I recommend the courses at TutsPlus. If you could dedicate even a few minutes a day or a week, you can learn new skills. The only way to find what career path you want is to know what you like to do - something I'm still exploring myself.

This may help determining your passion: http://liveyourlegend.net/

Kathy Caprino is also very good at writing about finding your passion and doing that for a living: http://kathycaprino.com/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/

Right now there's a free 2 weeks trial to check out all that TutsPlus has to offer: http://tutsplus.com/courses

I hope that these help - good luck!

  • These sites teach technique--not necessarily design. That's not bad, but it is a difference worth noting.
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 22:57

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