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Spirit Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Atlanta, GA USA
Insane since: Aug 2001

IP logged posted posted 10-24-2001 22:40 Edit Quote

I guess this would be most appropriate in this part of the forum.

I have grown up around computer graphics, always just messing around as a hobby. Now, I am looking to get a job in this field. I have skills, I have a decent portfolio. I *DON'T* have a work history in this field. I basically want to get into an entry-level position somewhere (very rare, it seems) and work my way up from there. I consider my skills to be a little more than entry-level, however, I don't have a work history to prove that with. Just some pictures and websites on a CD. So, first question. Any ideas on where to look for work?

Second, I don't know how much I am worth. What type of salary should I expect to recieve from an entry-level job? I realize that salary will depend on the financial times and the area where I am looking for a job. Probably some other factors in there, too. So, I am just looking for a ballpark range.

Anyways, thanks in advance for any and all help and information you provide.

-Spirit Hawk

Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted
IP logged posted posted 10-25-2001 04:59 Edit Quote

Hey Welcome to the Asylum! Enjoy your stay here.
As far as looking for work, well, do you have a website?
Since you have grew up around such things, I would think that you can make a pretty good presentation, no? I'd hook up the site, start putting your name out there and maybe you will get somone to give you a shot. You often have to do things for free if you just throw yourself out there, but when you start saying "Im a web designer" or "I am a Photoshop artist" then people start to see you diffrent. You could say that you really haven't done a lot of things as far as clients, but you can show off your skills. Im sure twitch or Doc could give you some links on where to start. Hey! enjoy the ride man.

:: Jon ::

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 10-25-2001 17:42 Edit Quote

What kind of salary for an entry level position? Bugger all, that is, if you can find one….

Now, you mentioned computer graphics (cg) but that doesn't really tell me much. What areas have you focused in...

Web design
Illustration and Graphic Design
Multimedia Authoring and Animation (Director/Flash)
3D Animation


Formal education is always a good starting point, they'll help set you up in the industry once you finish the course. It's an increasingly tough world for self-taught designers nowadays. Trust me, I’ve been there, now I'm going back to Uni. That piece of paper really counts unless you have amazing talent and dedication like a certain little weed I know.

Like many of us, you've chosen what appears to be the most 'popular' career path this decade, the problem is, there just aren't that many positions around. Networking can help a lot, but sometimes it's hard to get inside those design circles. Again, formal education can help a lot here. Dark's suggestion of making a CV site isn't bad, but every want-a-be web designer's been doing that for years and most of them stay as mere want-a-be's...

You'll need to go those extra five miles to get noticed in such a cutthroat industry like this one. Like say mailing your application/CV with a huge box of chocolates straight to the director of the company. I also read about some guy who did his CV and folio (Which was on a CD) wrapped up as a Kit-Kat bar. Apparently he spent hours getting it just right, and he got the job for his extra effort and show of creativity.....

So, if you think you’re up to it, go right ahead. If' you’re not too sure then spending a year or two at Uni might be the best way to go....


Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-26-2001 01:30 Edit Quote

I've actually found my education as no detriment whatsoever to getting a job, my experience is that potential employers are far more concerned with portfolio than degree. Experience, however, will hold you back from some positions. I find the "need experience to get a job, need a job to get experience" thing to be some rather circular logic It took me a while to get my first position as several places couldn't see past the fact that i didn't have professional experience even tho i did have the skillset. Is this a relevant argument? In a certain sense it is, working in a real-life environment with client deadlines is different than school no matter how much you argue it.

For salary, from what i know Atlanta is a similar cost-of-living area to Houston so I can ballpark it for ya. Most entry-level positions here for web/interactive work seem to start at about $30k and range upwards a bit from there depending on employer. Print positions are generally $3-5k less as a starting salary.

As far as looking you first need to have an online portfolio, it's really nice to give a potential employer a place they can reference your work, plus it's a place you can have a bit of fun with and show your personal style. After that I'd start checking websites like and flipdog for postings, is another good one. Also do some research and look for local chapters of things like Art Director's Clubs, AIGA, advertising agencies, etc., and see if they have websites or job boards with current openings.

Hope that helps, good luck.



Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: San Diego CA USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

IP logged posted posted 10-26-2001 08:44 Edit Quote is a good place to go to see what you are worth in your area.

Also, just try to get an internship through your school, if you are a student, and if not, try to go to a trade school/vocational school/workshop program.

The first paying work I did was for a local club promoter. I met him at a coffee shop and we got to talking, and pretty soon I was doing flyers for him. Did not pay much, but it was a start. Then I got a job first as an intern, then a paid employee at the museum that I just quit working for... so now I am looking for a new job too!

If you can't get regular work because of a lack of working experience, try volunteering for a non-profit or a charity.

And also get in touch with some local firms around town, walk in and ask if they are hiring, if they say no, ask them if they know anyone who is.

Hope that helps, wish you luck! (and me luck too!)

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-08-2001 03:18 Edit Quote

Well, at the moment, I do freelance work, because the job situation here in Germany is not great...even though the skill level here is...well, not up to standards (just check out some .de's for proof). Many of the suggestions (getting a portfolio) are very good, employers want workers with usable skills, that will turn a profit. My portfolio is expanding, I do work for this (small) client, and that one, always trying to keep good contact. Why? Because that often leads to more. A good web-presence is one of the best ways to 'sell' your skill, especially if it was paid for. I went to school for my diploma, but it hasn't brought me riches. Instead, it's the everyday skills (and I use my second job to contact people, I work in a bar at night), that mostly counts.

Red Ninja
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Detroit, MI US
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-15-2001 20:20 Edit Quote

See below. I accidentally posted twice.

[This message has been edited by Red Ninja (edited 11-15-2001).]

Red Ninja
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Detroit, MI US
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-15-2001 20:21 Edit Quote

You guys REALLY want to go that extra mile? Try this. This is how I learned it from career counselors. Come up with a list of companies that you would like to work for. Look up the person in charge of hiring for the department you want to work for at those companies (most of them will be there, with their phone numbers, usually). Call the whole list and give them your thirty second commerical where you tell them what you do and what you want to do. Then you ask them if you could set up a meeting with them for whatever day to discuss the best way to get into that field. When you do, you are NOT there for a job interview. You are there to get advice. But you have to make an impression on them just like it WAS a job interview. You also ask them to take a look at your resume for you. Don't take it back of course. If they try to give it back, take it, but hand them your nifty little business card (which you will have handy). That way, instead of trying to ask people if they know someone who needs a job, they will have you in mind and your contact info handy. There's more to the whole process of networking than that, but that is a good one. And even if, when they DO have a job opening, they don't call you, you still got advice on how to get into the field.

By the way, don't try getting round the gatekeeper (secretary who won't let you talk to them directly). If they are running interference, ask THEM what is the best way they know of to get a meeting with so and so. If you do this, do NOT say Job. Instant transfer to human resources.

Here is a good place to find direct contacts for people in charge of hiring in just about every company in the U.S. Guess what?! It also has a section called "what it takes" where it explains the skills needed for just about EVERY job there is. I think I might have seen "stripper" in there.

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: usa
Insane since: Sep 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-29-2001 07:28 Edit Quote

Hi spirit. You mentioned having some web sites on a CD; my recommendation is that if you're interested in a job in web design, you do a few free sites for friends. Bands, small businesses, personal interest sites, whatever. If you have a friend who's doing something interesting, ask if they want a web site, and also make one for yourself as an online portfolio and contact. Then when you apply for a job, you have some published web sites. Your first employer will not know that these were done for free, and these sites will be that illusive "previous experience" that everyone puts so much stock in.

"They mostly come out at night. Mostly." - Newt, Aliens

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