After writing, “Do I absolutely need a graphic design degree to be successful as a graphic designer?” we were struck by a slightly different scenario: If you’re considering dropping your day job to become a graphic designer. It’s an exciting process, to be sure, but if your head isn’t on straight, you may quickly find it well under water.

  1. Do You Have the Work? If you haven’t ever worked within the graphic design industry before, then you’re going to have a very tough time becoming a graphic designer. It’s just simple math. For instance, if you have no experience working with Adobe products, you’re going to need to get up to speed quick. Learning these and other industry standards is just one of the struggles you’ll face. Aside from that, you’ll also need to be comfortable producing a wide range of materials for a bunch of different purposes. Obviously, this takes time to master and learn, but you still need to have at least the basics before committing your career to this decision.
  2. Do You Have the Work Ethic? Another point worth mentioning is the work ethic that you’ll need to put into this project. If you’re going to quit a steady paying job to be a graphic design professional, you’re really going to have to work to get up off the ground This means networking, conversing, and generally improving constantly. This is a strenuous process, and only those that don’t mind a little elbow grease do well with it.
  3. Will it Make You Happy? And lastly, will being a graphic designer make you happier? If so, then by all means! Give it everything you’ve got until the task is done. Otherwise, ask yourself: “Do I really want to do this day in and day out, every time I wake up?” Depending on how you answer that question, you may need to rethink your goals.