Feel like I studied the wrong subject

(8 Posts)

I graduated in 2011 with a degree in graphic design

I decided just before Christmas that I'm not sure I really want to work in design. It's gone all web and mobile based and I have no experience in that, or in fact any desire to do it!

Before I gave up work to raise my DC's I worked in animal rescue
This week I applied for a weekend job there and even got an interview but yesterday was turned down. The successful candidate had an animal care qualification

I feel I have wasted my whole life faffing about between design and animal work and have got nowhere. I now feel I'm too old to do more training. I would be 50 by the time I qualified. I haven't had a full time job for 20 years
I feel a complete failure and am not setting a good example to my children.
I just want a job that I enjoy but I'm at a loss to know where to find it

I am grateful for my family and DH but I need to be doing something else, something not based around being mum all the time.

Don't know what the point of this post is? Just a self pitying whine really!

BranchingOut Sat 12-Jan-13 13:16:18

WHy not take the animal care qualification?

Keep positive, most careers-related situations can be turned around. WOuld tell you my life story if it wouldn't take too long!

I've missed it this year so would have to wait till September
Seems a long way away

Trying to keep positive, but really wanted that job
Most other part time training requires you to be working with animals already
Thanks for replying

tribpot Sat 12-Jan-13 14:08:10

So let's try and break it down a bit.

You graduated in 2011, and that's no small achievement in and of itself, so first of all well done. Presumably, unless the course was totally off-beam, it at least partially prepared you for the fact that a lot of graphic design is web-based these days? What is it you find off-putting about that? Do you find the fact that it's more technical off-putting? Ultimately it is still the same work, albeit executed in a different way. So maybe you need to spend a bit of time thinking about what aspects you like and dislike, and how these could be fulfilled. For example, you could work with a web designer so you could focus on the graphic elements. Or you could work in print, or teach, or do follow-on study to take you in a different direction.

If you think animal work is what you really want, is there anything you can be doing before September? Voluntary work? Any online study? Did you ask for feedback from the place that interviewed you on Friday, to see if they could offer some advice on how to make yourself more marketable? What about the place that does the training, could they advise on anything that's available sooner that would be a good foundation?

Don't worry about the example to your children - it may help them to know that adults, even parents, can flail a bit whilst trying to find their next role. But I think you know what you'd say to them if they were struggling - sit down, have a proper think, make a plan and keep on going.

There was a 6 week block of web learning in the first year of the course and that was it. We just designed a web template, it didn't have to work

I much prefer the illustrator / photoshop side of design. But it all seems to be template, layouts, and HTML that is asked for. I really don't want to do a web course. It's not the side of design that I enjoy, but seems to be where it is all heading. I don't think I have time left to catch up and be as good as those that have grown up with it IYSWIM!
I couldn't teach. I tried it for 6 weeks and hated it, I think teachers are fabulous, it's one thing that I could just never do.

I am now thinking of voluntary work. The person from the job interview explained that the successful candidate had an animal care qualification and that's why they chose them.
thankyou so much for your suggestions. I do think working with animals is what I want to do.

tribpot Sat 12-Jan-13 22:10:55

If animals are what you want then it makes sense to follow that goal.

I will say, though, my User Experience people at work only do the template/HTML stuff for prototypes, and they would expect two different people (even organisations) to handle the illustrator/design side of the site vs the layouts and actual HTML. If you hadn't decided against it I'd suggest looking for a mentor to talk through the career options and the direction of travel for the industry so you could start to find your feet.

I realise the other candidate had the animal care qualification, would the company offer you any more detailed feedback? Or is it basically a case of volunteer until you can take that course yourself?

WinkyWinkola Sun 13-Jan-13 14:08:11

And I wouldn't worry how old you'll be when you qualify for anything. We're all going to be working until we drop anyway! grin

Have you considered joining an in-house design/creative resource within a corporate company? That's what I do & although there is a bit of e-marketing to do, we also do a lot of brochure work and corporate communications. Sectors like law still do a lot of print (lawyers like paper!). Those jobs are rarely advertised as they usually go via recruitment agencies. Larger companies also offer good benefit packages & standard working hours which made me make the switch from design agencies.

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