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Career Doctor
Where to look next?
posted on Thursday, 10 March 2011 22:26

I am a 37 year old British Born Chinese woman that has been a graphic designer for over 12 years - five in the UK and then six in Hong Kong, where I am currently based.

I have been thinking about changing careers for a while, so when an opportunity came up a year ago to work as a project manager for a branding design agency, I took the job without hesitation.

But a year on, I feel that I am not really cut out for the sales part of my role, which I didn't realise the job would entail.

Nevertheless, I am expected to try and get as much business out of existing clients as possible so that I can meet my monthly revenue targets.

I know that I am not cut out to be a sales person and can't see myself staying in this company for long. Having said that, I don't really mind the management part of the role.

I don't want to go back to being a designer full time as I find the hours are too long. I would ideally like to find a nine-to-six job that is still fairly creative. I would even consider part-time.

What options should I consider?

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Anonymous's picture
Posted Saturday, 09 July 2011 03:27 PM

It’s quite a career move up for you to shift from graphic designer to a more managerial project manager post. In many aspects of our lives, we have to be a ‘salesman’ – sell ourselves for a job, to our boss, and to our clients etc. It’s unavoidable. At least you don’t have to cold call or try to poach clients etc.

And it seems you have a pretty good deal if you are working for an agency. You say that you aren’t really cut out for the position, but one year on, you are still hanging on. And I assume you have been able to meet your monthly revenue targets, otherwise they would have given you the boot by now.

Why don’t you raise this issue with your boss at the next performance appraisal? Let him or her know what your career objective is moving forward and whether the sales aspect of your position can be scaled down or delegated to someone else. There’s no harm in trying. The worst that can happen is your request gets shot down.

Holding down a steady job is definitely a better option than opting for the unpredictable chaos of a freelance designer’s life.

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Career Doctor  
Posted Monday, 28 March 2011 02:24 PM

I’m afraid the only solution to your problem would be to work on a project/freelance basis. To be honest with you, there are simply no standard 9 to 6 jobs these days, even if that’s what is stated in your employment contract.

I should say that even if you’re working on project/freelance basis, you’ll still need to meet deadlines and may even need to put in long hours to complete your tasks. I know quite a few freelance designers with unstable but decent incomes. How much they earn, of course, depends on how “hardworking” they want to be. Perhaps you ought to give it a try.

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