I will never forget the best interview I’ve ever had. It wasn’t the best because I got the job. I didn’t even get a call back. It was the best because it made me realize I shouldn’t have been applying for the job in the first place. At the time I was working for ADT as a sales rep. I hated, no loathed, my job. Ten to sixteen hour days five days a week. I worked about every Saturday and made the equivalent of minimum wage in commission. (Side note: don’t ever take a job with ADT.) They’re rated one of the worst companies to work for and they live up to their reputation.
I needed to get a new job. My skills set I developed from working with ADT and doing fundraising with a previous employer would say I should look for new employment in sales. Makes sense, right? At least it did to me, so I began to apply for sales positions on the usual job boards. I got a few interviews but the one I'm writing about was with an insurance broker.
Originally, I took the sales position with ADT because that’s what my previous experience was. Like I said, I had developed skills for it and that led me to this interview. Before I got there, I had been practicing answers to possible questions I thought they may ask me; however, I wasn’t prepared for the first question. “Why do you want to sell insurance?”
The first thing that passed through my head after being asked this by the interviewer was “I don’t want to sell insurance”. Obviously I didn’t say that to him. I spun some kind of positive answer. I can't even remember what it was. When I got into my car after the interview, I couldn’t stop laughing. I realized that in no shape or form did I ever want to sell insurance or hold a sales position again.
Ever since that day, I’ve been pursuing the career that I want - a career as a visual designer. I didn’t have all the skills and knowledge to do it, so I went out and got them. I enrolled as a Communications Design Certificate student at PNCA and started freelancing as a logo designer.
Don't go after careers you don’t want. If you do find yourself down a path where you don’t want to be, don’t fret. It was a lesson that you needed to discover - that that path wasn’t for you. Check it off your list and forget about it. You’re one step closer to knowing what you do want.
I've been reading through Aaron Draplin’s Pretty Much Everything. In one section of the book Aaron talks about pricing your work. This is probably the most uncomfortable part of the whole design process. Clients throw out a low number, you counter, then they counter back. Sometimes potential clients walk away because of price. Maybe they were cheap or just had a tinny budget.
"Be open to just kind of going for it"
Let's dive into the final edition of the Inspire Series and think about PURPOSE & PROMISE.
There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us. Purpose that connects us. Purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us. It is purpose that defines us, purpose that binds us.
Your purpose is your role in the world. It is why you're here. In the Matrix movie trilogy, Agent Smith said his purpose was to "take from you what you (Neo) tried to take from us." Your purpose as a business should be simple yet inspire. As a freelance visual designer, my purpose is to create custom crafted logos that share the heart and passion of a business.
You may actually never say this to your customer. Even still, it's an important part of inspiring your customers to buy your product or services. What is the promise of a store like Target? It could be something like, when you buy a product from us, it's going to be inexpensive but not sacrifice on quality or style. The promise that I am making to my clients is that your logo will be long lasting and set you apart from your competitors.
This concludes the Inspire Series. These are just a few things I have learned along the way as a designer. I hope that it proved helpful to you.