As a freelance designer I would be predominantly self-employed. However, there is opportunity to work freelance for a company i.e. you work for the company from home. The job would entail creating designs for me to then sell on. In terms of progression, there could be the opportunity to set up a business if I was successful enough in selling my work, in which case I would need good management skills. I would need to be able to work well with people and employ others. Because of the nature of this profession (working from home) I could work anywhere. In order to be a successful freelance designer (self-employed or for a company) the skills I would need are as follows: people/communication skills – I will be talking to clients regularly; time management – there is no escaping deadlines in any career I’m afraid; the ability to carry out my own research and find inspiration for my designs; self promotion skills – I would need to be able to get my name out there to attract customers/clients; and the ability to be adaptable, every client will be different.
The way into a career like this would be to either register myself a self-employed; or find employment in a company that offers freelance work, potentially after completing a work experience or volunteering. I would need contacts and experience in the field in order to keep the work coming in (self-employed) or superiors satisfied. A degree is not necessarily required for this career if I was to venture down the self-employed route, but it would be needed if I were to work for a company. Technical skill is a big part of this career. I would need to be well versed in the skills required for my design work (drawing; creating repeat print; using digital software; sewing…) so that your my work is of a very high standard. Also, if I were to set myself up as self-employed or begin running a company I would need funding of some kind.
If I decide this career is one I’d like to pursue, or you would like to pursue it; the places to find more information would be:
- Online. www.prospects.ac.uk is a really good site for giving you all of the information you need about a job.
- Books and journals. A lot of freelance designers either publish books or write articles about how they got into their line of work and continue to work.
- Speak to other freelance designers. Most will be more than happy to give you a few tips or point you in the right direction.