What does financial health mean to you as a designer? Does it mean you need to get a job when you graduate in order to pay off your student loans, create widely seen campaigns, design junk in order to make enough money to buy your hopes and dreams, or focus on smaller that make you happy but pay less? This is a very big question we all must ask ourselves, as we are soon to be graduating graphic designers!
I was curious about the average salary of a graphic designer in today's economy, so I did a little research and came up with a few statistics that "On average, entry level designers can expect to earn $30k-$35k. Graduates with competence and worthy portfolios can expect to earn around $40k-$45k, with potential to earn closer to$75k with experience. If you become a creative director of a firm, you are more likely to earn $85k-$100k." (wiki.answers.com) This is what I basically expected, but the question comes to mind what if we don't want to work for a corporate company or firm? And if we want to choose the path of designing things we enjoy for less, how on earth are we supposed to pay back those large amounts of loans that we took out in the first?? These big questions and concerns can weigh heavily on our stress levels and ultimately influence us on our overall career path decisions. Do I take my dream job and not be able to pay back my loans? Or do I take a job I fear I wont love and suffer through it in order to pay that money back??
Well I think it all comes down to what we think success means. Ellen Lupton wrote a very interesting blog on AIGA website titled "What is Success?" she writes:
"Success is more than going to work everyday and getting paid. Success means finding personal satisfaction in your work and loving what you do. And it means engaging with a social world: a world of clients and employers, but also of readers, users and other designers. It is those things that make us rich."
I full heartedly agree with this statement, I just hope that by working hard and trying to do things I love I'll be able to achieve success in my personal point of view.