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No Idling : George Graves

GEORGE GRAVES

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Lessons Learned

Since graduating college, my focus has been entirely on fnding a full-time design job. I had other goals, but a full-time job came frst. Literally. For the better part of a year, I put life on hold while I looked for work.

I wanted to become involved with AIGA Maine, to continue my education, and to meet letterpress printers. In the pursuit of society’s norm, I tossed these goals in a bin labeled “life” and hid them under my bed.

As Creatives, our daily lives in and out of work are not easily separable. By trying to separate them, I trapped myself in a place of permanent transition without the tools to move forward. I told myself there would be time to pursue those things later, when all my ducks were sitting neatly in a row.

I let my fear of failure, my desire for stability, and my rational mind prevent any progress. Instead of fnding a balance, I put myself in a perpetual state of instability and waiting.

Then something clicked. Instead of scouring the job-postings and ap- plying to companies who had never heard of me, I introduced myself to letterpress printers, to the AIGA Maine board members, and to others I admired. Rather than attempting to connect with companies, I began connecting with people. Real, live, human beings with hearts, souls, and connections of their own. We found common ground and we found ways to help each other. The connections I made in life started presenting me with opportunities for work.

I stopped making excuses. I put aside my fears and rational theories, and I made that initial effort. I took one step in the direction I wanted to go and each further step has been easier. Because I took the tools avail- able to me and tackled the work, I received an offer for a job pursuing the work that I love the most. A job that my excuses had me believing I’d never have.

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