“Why Fresh Graduates Don't Fit in Our Studio”

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We are not a millennial leap ahead in our industry to make such a bold statement that assumes we are too good for the market. However, industry partners, designers and competitors even summed up this observation on that the graduates lack a major key—adaptation.


So why are fresh graduates not a good fit for us? I see few reasons:



1. The lack of understanding of the nature of #designerlife (Yes, we use the hashtag.)



Being a designer is a lifelong commitment, and the day to day routine is far from the glamorous life often seen in media. Guys, life is real, and it is not as pretty as our social media feed.  It is NOT sexy.



2. Skill gap



Knowledge acquired from university (especially in Indonesia) is adequate only to prepare students with basic understandings. A real project demands a grounded-well-rounded approach of design and an adequate technical understanding.


Skill gaps set distances that slow down communication processes. Simple things that can be easily communicated between two experienced designers can be a long and tedious process when the inexperienced person(s) are included in the circle—especially, when communicating concept and ideas can be abstract among experienced designers.


To bridge this gap, we highly suggest newbies to read books and magazines (not just the internet), be mindful of good design and question its attraction as opposed to just complimenting it.



3. Different expectations



Most graduates are shocked with the requirements from our company as they learn that there is a lot of hard work and they are not sure even what to expect. Our company holds a line of protocols and processes that most graduates and free-wheeling designers find hard to adapt to.



4. Attitude is everything



The age-old phrase about attitude is everything is absolutely correct. There is no shortcut to success and designers need to be patient, humble, listen, learn, listen, don’t assume, listen (Yes, I’ve said it twice), don’t take short cuts and listen (third time’s a charm).



5. A lack of resilience and discipline



Resilience and discipline are the basic traits of successful people, everywhere, no matter what their businesses are.


According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.


Self-discipline means self-control, the ability to avoid unhealthy excess of anything that could lead to negative consequences. One of the main characteristics of self-discipline is the ability to forgo instant and immediate gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or more satisfying results, even if this requires effort and time.


"More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.” -- Dean Becker



6. Taste gap

6 - taste gap 2


This one is the most difficult thing to resolve. I believe taste can be improved, but the individual needs to have good seeds sown.


Taste is the understanding mostly about proportion, composition and details about anything related to design. After 12 years of experience, I can safely say that if you get it (taste), then you get it. If you don't and it's not improving after years of practice, then maybe it's just not for you.


What we suggest:

- Travel as much as you can to new places. Observe the new environment, don’t just be a common tourist or worst, just shopping. 

- Read more books and magazines. Once again, READ not just flipping through the pages. And if you really want to be good, read BOOKS, not just online contents.



7. Inability to accept the truth 



Sugar-coating information to just make someone feel better is one of the worst ways to communicate. Softened words in many cases are just not as effective as talking blunt facts.  When you know the facts, you can (hopefully) make the right decision. And it won't necessarily make you happy. 




Some articles for further reading include:


How People Learn To Become Resilient


How Resilience Works 



What Resilience Means, and Why It Matters



Why Discipline Is Essential to Your Character



6 Ways of Developing the Self-Discipline Necessary to Reach Your Goals



Significance of a Positive Attitude in the Workplace



The Importance of Attitude for Business Success



Why Architecture Is a Career for 'the Young and Childless' 



10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day



6 Top Tips to Improve Your Life Despite of Adversity



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