Whether you are just stepping your foot into designing field or have been doing this for a while, there is no doubt that having a mentor is the best way of building your skills as a web or graphic designer. However, with many people making their way towards this industry, mentors are hard to come by since their demand is high.
New designers often cringe at the mention of mentorship as they think that it is some sort of formal apprenticeship that will last for many years. But it need not be like this. Simply, a mentor is someone who has more experience and helps guide the newbies in the right direction.
So, if you are a professional designer, you might need a mentor at some point in your career. Let us explore some of the reasons why a mentor can be beneficial for your designing career path.
Access to Industry Specific Insights
Since mentors are experienced professionals, they can provide you with the industry-specific insights that you cannot get from anywhere else. Think of your mentors as an unofficial walking and talking guidebook. They have been in your industry before you, so they know the secrets and unspoken truth.
Considering their experience, they know which influencers are worth the effort and which ones are going to become a waste of time. Moreover, from experience, they can tell you about the tools and training sessions that are valuable and can help you achieve your designing goals.
The biggest challenge that inexperienced designers face comes in the form of unrealistic goals. Without someone for guidance, you have your own opinions regarding your abilities. Unfortunately, such opinions are not always accurate. This is the reason why you need to take help from a mentor who is going to be honest with you.
For example, you want to switch to Laravel web application development program. At this point, you have no idea what goes into the web application process. Without someone to guide you, you may dive directly into the development program. You may use free e-books and you may even get a few clients, but something seems off.
After all, you lack the mindset of a web developer. Your applications do not seem to work with functionality and your designs are off-putting from the customer’s point of view. Your first option will be to hire a developer to share your burden but this is not how you should approach this issue.
If you get a mentor who actually cares about your personal growth, then they will definitely have a tough conversation with you concerning your skills.
Making promises is easy. Do you know what is easier? Being answerable to only yourself when you fail to meet with your stated goals. As an independent designer, not having to answer to anyone saves you from the embarrassment of not making it to the deadline but it also promotes slack behavior.
Having a mentor comes with accountability because there is someone waiting for you to hit the deadline. With a mentor, you get to realize how flimsy your excuses can be if you are directing them to other people.
With a mentor, the pending tasks stay at the back of your mind and you are on a race against time to complete them. This not only provides motivation but also helps you to stay on the top of the things.
Believe it or not, but mentors have the power to take you to the top. If they think that you have the potential and the drive to achieve your goals, they will be more than happy to give you a hand.
What this means is that your mentor will introduce you or recommend your skills to potential clients. Moreover, they can introduce you to known names in your industry and even ask you to collaborate with them on their next designing project.
Another way mentors can act as your career guide is by helping you deal with stubborn clients. Their advice can help you negotiate or even set your own terms when drafting contracts. They may even keep you away from clients with a bad reputation.
Mentors are invested in your success. They will be here during the struggles of your career. They will cheer on your achievements and provide advice when necessary. Since they are already established in your field, they will not feel jealous or compete with you for work.
Furthermore, when you come up with a new idea, they can be your first audience. All in all, they are there to support your goal and at the same time give valid input. A very good mentor can assume a family member’s role. This is because they will provide you with the same kind of support that you can get from a close family member.
How to Find a Reputable Mentor?
Now, the question is how can you find a mentor that fulfills all your requirements? To answer this question, we have mentioned a few resources which you can explore to connect with an experienced design mentor.
- Reach out to your design association. Ask them to introduce you to known mentors.
- Occasionally frequent designing events as they are the best place to meet with potential mentors.
- Contact your college design professors and ask if they can help you connect with mentors from their previous student’s batches.
- Use a social network to reach out to design professionals with a portfolio of your work. Use online PNG to PDF converter for creating a professional-looking portfolio.
- Or you can visit Design Council and they will connect you with a designing mentor at a price.
The relationship of a mentor and a mentee is based on the give or take principle. The mentor gives advice and the mentee takes it. In reality, the relationship is more nuanced and fluid. Although mentees should take career path advice from their mentors, they should also contribute towards the discussions by coming prepared to the meetings.
Overall, if you are a novice in graphic or web designing, you need to connect with a mentor. With a mentor, there can be so much to learn which you cannot learn on your own. A mentorship is not the only path to success as you also need to have great designing skills to dispense. But do not fret if you lack the required skills as we deliver web developing services. So, reach out to someone who is experienced in this field through the ways mentioned above.