Starting your career as a web designer is an exciting experience. A whole world of possibilities is available. Thanks to a huge number of learning opportunities, it may seem like the sky is the limit.
Growth takes time, however. Without releasing a popular (and profitable) product right away, you’ll need to put in a lot of work to level up. That means taking on smaller projects and lower pay until you become an established designer.
Part of the challenge is choosing the right tools and technologies. Some offer an easier path to the future than others. Choose the wrong one, and you might be starting over from square one.
If you’re looking to build a successful and sustainable career, we’re here to help! Here are some tips to help you get started.
Learn How Things Work Behind the Scenes
The codeless era of web design has arrived – to a point. DIY website builders and even WordPress have jumped on the bandwagon. The idea is to launch websites faster and with less hassle.
Those are positive steps. But the downside is that you might miss out on the finer details of web design and development. If a feature doesn’t look or work the way you expect, it helps to have some idea of what’s going on under that WYSIWYG interface.
You don’t have to learn it all at once. It is perfectly reasonable to pick up information as you go along. As you gain experience, you will also have a better understanding of how to troubleshoot and put these advanced tools to work for you.
There is a great temptation to work within the confines of no-code site builders. But by doing so, you will also limit yourself.
Find Projects That Will Challenge You
The variety of types of projects available to web designers runs the gamut. Everything from one-page calls to action and enterprise behemoths are out there.
As a beginner, it’s worth experiencing as many of them as possible. It’s not because you’re in charge of projects or a worker bee. There is value in going through the construction and design processes.
The most rewarding projects are often the ones that present the most significant challenges. They test your knowledge and encourage you to learn something new.
That could be a big deal as a programming language. But it can also lead to small tweaks that improve your workflow. These are skills you can take with you – helping you become a true expert in your craft.
Realistically, we all have bills to pay. Sometimes that means taking on projects that aren’t very challenging. That’s fine in the short term. But if you want to move up, look for a project that pushes you forward.
Don’t be afraid to fail
The longer you are part of the web design industry, the more likely you are to experience certain failures. And while it might not be much fun, it’s an important part of growing as a professional.
Some projects don’t work out. Or a tool you invested in could take off. A potential client can waste a project in front of you – only wasting your time in the end.
On the bright side, each of these situations is a learning experience. Looking back can help prepare you for the future. And they could save you from making the same mistake, or trusting the wrong person, next time.
We all want to celebrate our achievements. But it may take some trial and error to achieve it. So, don’t let the fear of failure stop you from pursuing the career you want.
This does not give you a free license to be reckless. However, it can be liberating to realize that there will be ups and downs along the way.
No One Starts at the Top
Let’s go out on a limb and guess that you are both smart and talented! That’s a great combination and one that can take you far in any career you choose.
But it’s also worth remembering that none of us start at the top. It’s especially true in web design, where it can take years to achieve a consistent level of success. This is not meant to discourage you – think of it as a friendly reminder.
The single biggest thing you can do to level up is show you’re willing to learn. Share the code and technical aspects of your work. Attach yourself to projects that will challenge you to expand your horizons.
Certainly, there will be difficulties. But they are also a great source of information. Use them to your advantage as you move through your career.
Getting started with web design is both exciting and difficult. But it is quite possible to get to where you want to go.