HOW TO CHANGE YOUR COURSE
7 WAYS TO SWITCH TO DESIGN FROM A DIFFERENT CAREER
01 KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Switching career gives you the opportunity to shape your future. Don’t jump at the first opportunity: think carefully about what you want. What do you love doing? What sort of working environment do you want? Identify what fulfils you so you can make the right choices.
02 TRY EVERYTHING
Duncan Blachford advises fully immersing yourself in a lot of different areas to build up a better understanding of what your new career would or could entail, and where you might be best suited. “Try a range of styles and mediums, use your hands – make it tangible,” he advises
03 START STUDYING
Supplement your practical exploration with studying. You could take an evening class, go back to university or simply expand your reading list. “Dig into design history,” agrees Blachford. “It’s rich in social and political context.”
04 IDENTIFY YOUR TRANSFERABLE SKILLS
You might feel older than the average junior but you will have valuable transferable skills and experience that will translate into your new career. You were a chef? You have organisation and leadership skills. You were a musician? You’re creative and have confidence. Think about the skills a studio wants and show how you have them.
05 MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Start hanging out with designers and creatives working in the area you’d like to be in. Attend meet-ups, go to talks, participate as much as possible and embrace your local design community. The net effect will help you move forward.
06 TAKE IT GRADUALLY
Moving into your new career through a series of jobs can be more effective than trying to reinvent your career overnight. This has the added bonus of potentially protecting your salary, too, rather than going back to entry level wages.
07 EDIT YOUR CV
It might be tempting to include every job you’ve ever had but aim to keep your CV to two pages maximum. Identify the goals of your prospective employer and then tie your work experience, skills and goals into those.