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  • Writer's pictureKim Leiper

My Career Journey

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

"I'm working remotely at the moment".

"I'm a freelance Graphic Designer for XXXX".

"I'm Self Employed".

"I have my own business".

These are just some of the common phrases I've used to explain "what I do" to people. I feel as though I've been very lucky in my career so far to be able to try my hand at so

Where it started!

I only started learning Graphic Design at University. I'd never learnt about it at my school or even seen the software before. I stumbled upon the course to be honest, having originally wanted to do Fine Art. During my degree I felt like I was always a step behind. Others had learnt the programming and the software at school already, or if they hadn't they probably put more time into it than I did.

The truth is I was far more focused on playing hockey. When approaching my final year of University I realised I had good marks for my design process, my ideas, my creativity, but I actually didn't feel like I could go out into the world as a Graphic Designer with no real confidence in my ability to use the software...... I decided to look at an Internship or a placement opportunity, where I can work in the industry for a year before coming back to University to complete my final year. Having stumbled upon this realisation far too late, all placement opportunities had been snatched up. In a panic I contacted my sponsor - Gryphon Hockey.

This was my email:

Their response was kind, they didn't have a design team in the UK. The design team was in Perth Australia.

Bugger. Never mind. I tried.

A week later I get another email.

"Actually... thinking about it, we'd love to create a role for you. You can work on our local design and communications, and collaborate with the design team out in Perth if you'd like?"


So - my journey started in the workforce. I moved down to Hertfordshire just outside of London and had my daily commute into the beautiful town of Hitchin. On my first week, I took part in a photo shoot and have a vivid memory of my boss asking me to "edit out the Adidas signs from the background of the photo". Yeah sure.... I know how to do that.... I said. *Quickly googled it thinking, this is exactly the sort of thing a Graphic Designer should know that I have NO experience in.*****

A day later - I'd learned how to do it. I removed all the Adidas signs. I didn't know it then... but I'd say this is what a lot of people experience in new roles. Even today I am learning as I go. My first six months in this job though, I learnt a lot, and FAST. I was there every day, learning the software, trying new things, working within an industry I loved. I ran the Social Media, maintained the website, created content, designed the look of our pop up events, product catalogues and even got to design some of the hockey sticks. My experience was a hybrid of design and communications / marketing, which I truly believe has set me up to be the hybrid design / marketer that I am today.

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