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How It Started: Turning Down My First Design Job Offer

I turned down my very first professional full-time Graphic Design job offer almost 20 years ago, and I still remember the feeling.

Because it SUCKED.

Sure, the people were nice and the pay sounded ok. But I had that feeling (you know the one) in the pit of my stomach. And I tried like hell to ignore it.

This was also a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., when creative jobs were scarce. My friends, family, classmates––even my professors––all told me I was crazy to turn it down. I felt as if the whole world was pressuring me to just take whatever I could get.

But, after 3 rounds of interviews, I gracefully turned down the offer.

Then I spent the next two weeks crying, and wondering whether I’d ever work as a professional Graphic Designer. I had no other irons in the fire. I had rent to pay and student loan debt on the horizon. What the hell was I doing?

But deep down, I knew what I was doing: I was being honest. I was being authentic. I was listening to myself. And all of it was freaking terrifying.

Fast forward 6 weeks, and I'm excitedly posing for a pic on the morning of my very first day of work as a professional Graphic Designer. I stayed in this job for almost 4 years, developed a solid portfolio, won my first design award, and felt continually challenged, inspired, and valued. It was hands down one of the most important experiences of my entire creative career. Because it set the tone for the rest of my career decisions over the next 20 years.

As creatives, it’s easy to let our brains take us into a space of scarcity, fear, and panic when it comes to career decisions. We overwork our brains by continually convincing ourselves things are “just fine” and we don’t have any fuel left in the tank for the actual creativity. We become exhausted, apathetic, and uninspired. And that is NOT ok.

If these feelings sound all too familiar, I want to help you remove the fear, and unearth that voice inside you that knows exactly where you should be, and what you should be creating. So you can actually get there.

Set up a free 20 min intro call with me and see where it takes you.

Because I promise it’ll be somewhere good. 😉

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