ASK DN: Lets talk about money!?

over 7 years ago from , UX Designer and Director at Provius

Hello Designer News,

I am asking for your help. I’ve been running a lecture series with a class of final year illustration students recently. It's my final presentation next week, on the subject “money”. I’d like to get as many peoples opinions as possible to make this lecture as in depth as it possibly can be.

Imagine your back at university, or starting out your career. What advice would you give you your younger self regarding money?

Seen as money is a bit of a unspoken subject. I’ve set up an anonymous survey and would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes filling it out

You can also comment, tweet, email me with anything else you’d like to add.

Check out the previous lectures on my blog, plus check back there next week for the results :)


  • Asis PatelAsis Patel, over 7 years ago

    A great topic and glad to see you helping out the younger design community. I will be glad to help out!

    3 points
  • James Taylor, over 7 years ago

    Done, will be interesting to see the results! (I guess I'm not too far out of uni, so it's interesting to see how recent grads are handling this)

    1 point
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, over 7 years ago

    Always negotiate a higher salary. When you stop learning, look for a more challenging role.

    1 point
  • Account deleted over 7 years ago

    Done... It's long-winded as all get-go, but hope it helps.

    1 point
    • Rob Gill, over 7 years ago

      Thanks for your time Ben! I'll be reading through all the replies to the survey over the next few days :)

      1 point
  • Ashley KolodziejAshley Kolodziej, over 7 years ago

    Related to design and especially freelancing - it's really easy to undervalue yourself when looking for a job. Taking the emotion and doubt out of figuring out what you should look for in a salary is huge. For looking for a full-time job, I would have loved to see resources that told me what the average salary for people with entry-level experience doing design work was in my area. AIGA's salary survey is probably a good place to start.

    This cost of living calculator is also an amazing resource I wish I knew about, so that I was more prepared for the difference in prices where I am now vs. where I came from. $40k sounded like an INSANE amount of money when I graduated, and I felt so lucky to even be getting that. If I had known what the COL was, I would have known what I needed to make to survive on my own.

    Finally, I think a discussion of what benefits a full time job may include vs. what benefits you have to provide for yourself as a freelancer - and some general rules of thumb on freelance taxes - would be HUGE, so you don't get out of school and suddenly be surprised that you pay both employer and employee tax. A general formula for figuring out salary for a freelancer would be nice too - something that takes the emotion out of the decision, like (base salary + vacation hours - health insurance - taxes)/hours >= COL in your area. When you're just out of school, it seems insane to charge even $30/hour for your work, but the reality is that you need to charge at least a living wage that will support you. That's the most valuable advice someone could have given me when I went into the design world, but I had to find out on my own.

    1 point
    • Rob Gill, over 7 years ago

      Some great advice and some great resources, thanks for your time! Bonsai's Explore Freelance Rates is a great tool tool, but even more effective when you know your COL.

      I never thought of mentioning COL, so thanks very much for that!

      0 points
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, over 7 years ago

    1) Saving shouldn't be as daunting as it sounds, back then I associated everything I earned with 'I need this to live' - save something, even if it's as little as £25 a month, if you get a raise, increase your savings.

    2) Entry salaries are rough to deal with, but the speed you can improve your earnings is phenomenal if you're doing a good job.

    3) Come to terms with the balance of job satisfaction and salary, you might be working at an agency where someone younger than you is earning far more for what seems like less responsibility, but you chose this line of work because you love doing it. You get to open Photoshop/Illustrator/Sketch every day, they open Excel and reply to emails.

    1 point
  • Rob Gill, over 7 years ago

    @everyone. I have typed up this entire project as a Medium article, which you can find here: https://medium.com/@rob_gill_/teaching-students-about-the-real-world-be343c8be5a2#.hwd8l5g6q

    I thank you again for all your help!!!

    0 points
  • Rob Gill, over 7 years ago

    Thank you all for all your help last week, I've curated all your advice, check it out on my blog http://bit.ly/1PN8hmU

    It's the final presentation in this series. Glad to go out with a bang! TY!

    0 points