Groups need to change their view of graduates

The design industry claims to be cutting edge, yet at the same time it’s behind the times. When I first sought work, I was met with the expectation that I should be prepared to work for next to nothing.

The design industry claims to be cutting edge, yet at the same time it’s behind the times. When I first sought work, I was met with the expectation that I should be prepared to work for next to nothing.

Design is a highly competitive field, and while I appreciate that there are people queuing round the block for jobs, consultancies need to start realising that a junior’s wage in the current climate is often unacceptable. Graduates are now faced with huge student loans that must be paid back at a rate of around 9 per cent from the moment they begin earning.

Coupled with the often unpredictable long-hours, the almost inevitable need to move to London plus attempting to gel into a team and find a new social circle, it is a huge leap from college, and one that needs to be acknowledged.

Perhaps if the industry as a whole drove up the value of design then more decent wages could be paid. I constantly cringe when I hear about other groups free-pitching. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that by doing this the finances of design are driven down in an attempt to win the business rather than solve the problem.

I thankfully have employers that have been very understanding in this field. Pearlfisher has taken such things into consideration and I feel that the studio and creative output as a whole benefits because we are always rewarded for hard work and treated as equals no matter what our experience.

I see many of my friends still struggling to survive on a wage similar to the one I earnt as a student barman and never being given the recognition they deserve.

Design is a challenging and often exhausting job and while we’re obviously in it for love, a little encouragement and reward goes a long way to making the first few years of employment that much easier.

Sean Thomas

Designer

Pearlfisher

London W11 4QR

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