Exploring career options in graphic design

Shannel Wheeler
5 min readOct 18, 2022
An graphic showing various design industries and ways to work as a graphic designer.

“Seeing is believing.” Do you believe that statement? Many times, we get stuck in our creative careers because we don’t know what else is possible or aren’t sure how to achieve that next step. It could be a lack of intentionality and direction. Sometimes, it’s just because we don’t know what’s possible.

Graphic design is all around us! If you don’t believe that, then take a harder look. Here are just some of the possibilities you can consider for your design journey:

🏢 Corporate design

Established companies in various industries are great to gain experience, work in a team/dept structure and learn the ins and outs of businesses. These companies have been around for a long time. Many times, corporate jobs are B2B (business to business) and require a certain level of professionalism and refinement in their designs. Some corporate design could be B2C (business to consumer), like designing collateral for a large retail brand or food service chain.

Opportunities: Work for an established business, learn to work with teams, gain steady work and benefits, learn business practices and standards

Possible Challenges: There may be bureaucracy, the possibility of stagnation in design style or design projects, impact and visibility may vary, there may be more competition for a promotion, and design may or may not be prioritized (depending on the type of organization it is).

💻 Start-Up

A start-up is usually a newer business that takes on investors and is all about speed and growth. If you want to immerse yourself in a challenging, fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment where your design work will have ultimate visibility and impact, then this could be the setting for you.

Opportunities: Make a large impact, have lots of responsibility, versatile workload, create work that’s visible, autonomy and flexibility, 10X growth in a short period of time

Possible Challenges: Possible lack of processes/structure in new startups, a lot of the burden falls on your shoulders, possible lack of priority to build a design team, the possibility of burnout/hustle culture

🏛 Government

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Shannel Wheeler

Left-brain creative | Brand/Design Implementation | Design Instruction and Inspiration | Creating with Purpose: https://shannelwheeler.com