I decided to reach out to a former instructor for some career advice. He gave me some great pointers, in regards to my resume and portfolio. One in particular stood out to me. It had to do with the title I was giving myself.
I’ve read and been told many things about what a graphic designer should call themselves, to gain attention from possible employers. On LinkedIn I was calling myself a Creative Director. Even though I am the Creative Director of Rowlison Creative, the title wasn’t helping me. I chose it because, I thought it made me sound experienced and capable.
My instructor asked me “What job title are you actually wanting and applying for”. I said a “jr. designer”. He explained that design shops looking to higher jr. designers aren’t looking for creative directors. They were probably dismissing me when they saw my title. His suggestion was to call myself an emerging graphic designer. This title dose two things. It tells hiring managers that I am a designer looking to start a career. Secondly because they know I’m trying to break into the industry, companies will be more likely to want to help me. What are you calling yourself? Is it turning off potential employers?
Ultimately God will decide whether or not you fail or succeed in your endeavors. This truth has been a gut punch to my egotistical creative self. I have been reading the insightful words of Jordan Raynor, the author of Called to Create. In his book, Raynor discusses how God calls us to "hustle" - to work really hard. Remember how the Israelites had to march around Jericho for seven days? That was a lot of work, but God was the one who brought down the walls of the city, handing it over to His people.
Who wants to fail? Failure is not what any creative sets out to do when they begin their career. Creatives work hard and long hours, filled with many caffeine-fueled nights, getting projects done. We have to make a living, right? We have rent to pay and a hungry stomach to fill. These things are all true, but for creatives who follow Jesus, we must remember the truth Raynor speaks of. It is “God, not us, who produces wealth and success."
When we remember this, it does two things. First, it frees us from feelings of worthlessness and failure. If your business endeavors failed, it’s okay. Just do what God has asked you to do with everything you have, and give the responsibility of success to Him. Secondly, it humbles our hearts. The glory of achievement in life is not ours; it is His. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) When your creative entrepreneurial dreams are realized, give thanks to the Lord for your abilities and talents and for giving you the dream in the first place.