The Six Things I’ve Learned One Month Into My First Agency Job

October 27, 2020
Emily Burrows

Stepping out into the “big, bad world” in the middle of a pandemic after graduating from Columbus College of Art & Design in May was quite overwhelming, to say the least. There were quite a few occasions in my job search when I began to doubt my abilities, but I didn’t give up hope. Because of the network that I built in school, I was able to make a connection with the designers at Origo, and three months later, I began my career as a Graphic Designer.

The number one thing that my professors always preached about in their classes was the value of networking. They always said if I only took away one thing from my time at CCAD, it should be the drive to build relationships within the creative community and keep in touch with alumni. Boy, were they right! Now, because of my connections, I get to come into work every day to a job that I am truly passionate about; allowing me to make a positive change in my community. 

Agency life is electric and exciting. The endless pots of coffee and creative buzz of energy that comes with agency life is something that I will never grow tired of. Every day is different and brings on new projects from multiple industries across the country, which keeps each workday fresh and exciting.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask tons of questions. Trust me. Especially when you’re flustered at your desk and don’t know what to do. You may be afraid to bother your co-workers, but push against the fear and reach out anyway. They want to help and actually see you thrive. As an added bonus, asking them questions is going to show initiative. Plus, assuming you know the answer can lead to miscommunication and waste time.
  2. You need a planner. A notebook. A piece of paper. Anything to keep track of all the projects on your plate. You may think you have it all memorized in your head, but I promise you don’t. Keep that list of tasks right in front of you as a constant reminder of what you need to tackle.
  3. Start every day planning out the day ahead of you. I have found it incredibly helpful to sit down every morning with our Art Director, Kelly, and map out exactly what needs completed by the end of the day and end of the week. This helps plan out the priorities for each day, and ensures that I always hit my deadlines on time. 
  4. Be adaptable and flexible. You’re going to get projects sent back to you with edits, meetings are going to get moved, deadlines are going to be pushed up, and you need to be ready to adapt to anything that gets thrown your way. Client strategy can change at a moment’s notice (especially in a year like 2020) and you need to be armed and ready to adapt to these changes to make sure you can add value to your team in a positive way.
  5. Get another set of eyes on it. When you are staring at a project for too long it is easy to gloss over the small mistakes riddled throughout it. Especially spelling errors. Having someone else look over what you’re working on is going to ensure you are presenting the client the best possible design.
  6. Keep your desktop clean. Just make it easy; name your files correctly and put them where they belong. It’s going to save you a lot of time in the long run and make your files accessible to your colleagues if they need to use the file. 

Bottle up all of the knowledge you can like a sponge. You never know when that new hack you learned from Skillshare two months ago will help you on that new project you’re tackling. Continue to seek out new knowledge that not only helps you grow as an individual, but also helps you to become a better designer.

Looking ahead, I can’t wait to continue honing my craft, expanding my abilities, and creating work that truly makes an impact with a team who is passionate about making a difference. Check back in soon to see what I add to my list next.

Emily Burrows sketchbook

Would you like to learn more about the experts at Origo?

Please contact us or visit the About page.

Back to News