How did you find your direction?

Reading around here it sounds there are lots of experienced and successful people in their own right on this forum. Im guessing that there arent many who know what they are going to do from the absolute outset, yet im also guessing it isnt the type of fields that one can ‘fall into’. Hoping for some potential career guidance too, i know there is a careers section but this thread for me is more to hear of how others found their paths.

Quick bit about me.

34, nurse, discovered my addiction for trying to make money on line around 2 years ago. Quickly realised that there are a minefield of skills that i would need to learn to get good - html, css, web design etc and enrolled on a course that seemed to fit the bill. Now it is more graphics and flash. Course is mainly actionscript, flash, photoshop, illustrator and dreamweaver. Not my initial wish, as i wanted to learn websites and do them well - but cant argue with the tutors that all the skills will be useful in my area of employment in some way. But at the end, should i look for employment, or arm myself with php or something else? or take more time out for full time study? how did others go about it? I read in a thread here ‘novice to professional - what influenced you’ and someone posted that they simply learned php in their bedroom and their career worked out well? Anyone care to share their path? or words from wise about how i should progress? find an employer? freelance? (web design is my true desire, well that and making a living!)

Hope to hear from some of you soon!

I just found what makes me happy and then I followed my dreams. And now I’m working on my dreams, I’m just on the path to them using my inspiration, will and faith in myself.

Reading and replying to forum posts can help with improving your real world skills. Regarding finding your forums technically speaking I am assigned to the SPF ‘Community Center’ forums. Though it depends upon what specifically you enjoy about web design; do you like backend scripting or front end design?

There are a plethora of different options from generalist to specialist. Though to be employable usually the employer will want to see previous experience of websites you have created or a sample portfolio.

Paper qualifications can be good and I have several handfuls of those. However, within web design a lot of those certificates aren’t of much value at all in the real world. :slight_smile:

How did you do in those 2 years? Have you put what you’ve learned in practice?

  • Find what you love doing
  • Figure out how to do it to make a living
  • Do it

You’ve already found what you love doing, now to figure out how to do it. Different people will tell you different ways depending on their own experience. I would tell you to turn your passion into business, because that was what I did. However, there’s one condition, doing what you love is not enough if it doesn’t make you a living. A business is a delicate matter, you need a plan. Will you design websites for clients, how will you get those clients? Or will you create websites that produce income, how will you do that? If you go the business route there’s a whole lot to learn about business besides the web design skills. IMO, many freelancers and aspiring entrepreneurs make a mistake of thinking that technical skill is all they need to know. However, having skill and selling it are two different things.

Getting employed is not so much different - you have to sell yourself to potential employers. Though, in my personal opinion, if you can do that why not go all the way and do business? But again, it’s down to personal experience.

In any case, whatever path you go, the key thing in web design is practice and creating your portfolio.

For me I haven’t found my right direction so I used every available path. It takes time to walk to different roads, but am still on the right track to my goal.