Knowing that you want to devote the rest of your life to design, the first step in that direction is important and it's important to get it right. If you are still studying or already looking for a job, take 5 minutes of your time to choose the type of employment that is best for you.
How do you unequivocally know what kind of atmosphere is best for you to work in? At different points in life, I would give different answers. Young, impulsive, and emotional designers always need a "supervisor with a stick" to guide their fervor, accustom them to working with a team and foster their professional growth.
The more experienced may notice that the less pressure and control they have, the more productive and high-quality their work becomes, and the more they want to control projects themselves.
Below are 5 questions that, when answered, you might take my advice and follow it as you become a freelancer, employee, part of a team, or part of something bigger!
1. I'm just starting out and don't know much.
If you're a beginner but have a creative background, your best bet is to work in a team. You can try to get a job at any studio that has vacancies, to "test" themselves and their skills: whether you can cope with the proposed work or not.
But do not forget that you are looking for a job to continue your studies, so the company must have opportunities and resources for your training because if no one will teach you - working with real projects can jeopardize your reputation and the reputation of the company.
Ask about it at the interview, you shouldn't hide anything from the hiring staff - your fellow designers will know what's what in a day.
The best choice: the design department of a large company.
2. It's hard for me to focus and move in one direction
Face it. It can be very difficult to focus on a task and need people to help you stay focused and stay on track. That's perfectly normal and there are plenty of people like that, believe me.
Knowing and understanding that there is a person or team somewhere nearby that will not let you start hovering in the clouds, but bring you back down to earth is a great way to be productive. Working in a large team, where everyone is on task and many depend on each other, motivates you to focus and do your part to the best of your ability.
Best choice: a large firm and a strong manager.
3. Never love deadlines
Some designers are intimidated by deadlines, while others, on the contrary, are fun. What type are you?
Very often, a mountain of urgent work gets dumped on a designer's shoulders because of a major new project. Luckily for you, rush work is an essential part of any design profession, so you shouldn't get frustrated, but you need to adapt. Templates like business card mockups will definitely help you. And you should get over it: figuring out how much time and how much work is left and calculating the maximum possible achievable result is mastery.
The best choice: startup, freelance, a large firm with a large staff of designers
4. Love being part of a team
If your best friends are your colleagues and you want them to be, then a startup is practically the only option. It's the only one that will allow you to spend long working hours together discussing your project.
Even larger firms often have their own "design hangout", whose members love to stay after work and talk about design topics and just chat.
The main thing to remember: you need to separate the working and personal relationships as much as possible.
Your best bet: a startup or a large firm.
5. I want to work when I really do want
Some people are absolutely not satisfied with working nine hours a day and five days a week. Unfortunately, not all jobs can meet these needs.
If you want to work the way you want or when you have a creative mindset, then a career as a freelancer is the surest way to go (another option is a remote work contract with an hourly wage for a company).
The best choice: freelancing.