Coralie Bickford-Smith
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I had a lot of ambition but not much confidence and found it frustrating to watch my peers make opportunities for themselves by having seemingly natural confidence. I have not become super confident but I do feel that I have found my niche and am better at putting myself forward. It took time but eventually I realised its just as important to build good relationships with clients, not just having passion and talent.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Talk about your work without passion and don’t bother listening to others ideas.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I wish I had known how important a bit of self promotion is. I made the mistake of thinking my work would just get noticed. But in reality there are so many designers with amazing work that for most people getting your work seen won’t happen overnight. The art of self promotion was not something that I was taught at university. I thought it involved a big ego but its more about being true to yourself and finding a way to do it that feels right for you.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Spending five minutes in the morning planning what I intend to get done each day and allocating a certain amount of time to each task. It keeps the day moving instead of getting stuck on one issue. I have learnt to leave a problem and come back to it later with a fresh mind, which means I can be more productive.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
Jonathan Livingston Seagull  by Richard Bach
The Art of Looking Sideways  by Alan Fletcher
Coralie answered the questions on July 3, 2014.
The answers were published on July 6, 2014.