First, a big thank you to everyone who read my first blog post – the feedback was amazing! If you haven't already read it, can I say you're definitely missing out.😅
Blogging is something I've always wanted to try but never taken the leap – it was worth it for sure. I've decided that every other week will be focused on junior designers; their highs and lows and some advice where I possibly can.
I mentioned in my previous post that there had been a noticeable boom in the industry, I mean everyone, and their mums considered dipping their foot into tech during the pandemic. I feel like I can ramble on and on about the possible reasons for this, but I'll highlight a few;
- The pandemic itself, the obvious. – Many people lost their jobs and were furloughed, myself included! I went from working full time to being sat at home, idly most of the time and it was very boring.
- Social media. I'll be honest, I didn't really know all that much about tech pre-pandemic. Social media sort of put a spotlight on the tech industry during this time, it was the place to be! People were looking for a fun, exciting way to make money and tech appeared to be the solution. Or certainly, it appeared so from my point of view.
- EVERYTHING IS ONLINE NOW (or most things at least). This means companies NEED designers. For the most part, companies recognise that having an online presence is key. WE socialise online, shop, learn, attend gym classes, doctor appointments – that's just the tip, a lot is online.
- The BOOM. Did anyone notice the boom in individuals studying psychology for example? Articles document how the number of students studying psychology increased dramatically over the years as the importance of mental health became more widely accepted and documented – which is to be expected. So as everyone notices that companies NEED designers because, unavoidably, they really do need an online presence – there is a boom in junior designers.
The issue now lies in, where are the opportunities for the junior designers? Many companies aren't willing to take the leap and provide roles graduate or junior level roles for designers, wanting a quick, easier solution that is found with more experienced designers.
But that feeds into the next issue, right? Anyone in the design industry can tell you how candidate short it is here. In the grand scheme of things, tech is still pretty new and ever-changing – there was never going to be a crazy amount of experienced designers available pre-pandemic, so imagine now after such a life-changing event.
I do want to touch briefly on just a few reasons on why I think it is key to consider adding junior designers to your team;
- Junior designers are INNOVATIVE. They solve problems! A lot of junior designers are individuals that grew up on the internet and understand it inside and out. They understand what appeals to the audience and how to draw people in. For those that may not have grown up on the internet, let me tell you – these current design courses are FULL of amazing information and teaching material. They have the knowledge.
- Junior designers are DIVERSE. An industry once thought to be just for specific kinds of people has been revealed to be a space for everyone. The internet has brought us all together time after time, from all over the globe. This means the tech space is filled with such diversity now which is so important. Getting to work with different people and meet individuals from all walks of life, it's PRICELESS. You can learn so much and can avoid silly mistakes. I'm a neurodivergent black woman who understands how much diversity and innovation go hand in hand. Don't miss out.
- Junior designers are ready to SUPPORT. In an industry in which teams are finding themselves overloaded with work, junior designers are ready to support and learn from the senior designers. They are keen to develop and speak to those that have been in the industry, willing to go the extra mile too.
- Junior designers are essentially the FUTURE. In any industry, you need trainees, you need the juniors. You need to be training the next-gen. Who will be next in line? I mean, we can see the shortage of mid-senior designers, and the crazy number of junior designers. It's important not to neglect them, we do need them. 💖
I really do empathise because I don't imagine it's easy. I would love to provide help where I can, so I am open to ideas from both designers and companies on how to bridge this gap. I mean, I have ideas – my mind doesn't stop, but I'm also not a designer and wouldn't want to speak over anyone. So do not hesitate to drop me a message, even if it's to discuss a particular aspect of the industry.
Here are a few recent job openings, I'll be doing this in my blog posts about junior designers. I hope it helps!