After graduating, too exhausted to find work, I took three weeks off to sleep and travel!
It was the early 80’s, and many of my friends moved to other cities for work. Houston’s labor market was over-saturated at the time and offered few Graphic Design opportunities. Stubbornly I decided to stay put and make it work.
I returned to my college career center and noticed a “Graphic Designer” job posting. Ripping it off the board, I immediately notified the counselor who gave me the contact information (And I swear I heard angels singing. This was meant to be!).
The employer agreed to meet the next day, and I was more than ready – portfolio in hand, professional attire and modest heels.
As the interview progressed, two things became clear:
1. The employer was well-intentioned, and;
2. The job order had been misleading. It should have read, “Draftsman” (known today as CAD).
I wasn’t sure if my body language or attitude could mask my disappointment. I continued on with the interview but decided that I’d politely turn down the position when offered. (Notice I said when, not if. I was young.) Two hours later the offer came.
I made one of the smartest moves of my career and asked the employer for a few days to think it over. That night, after discussing my options with family and friends, I was torn. I had taken one drafting course as an elective in college and even though I wasn’t too impressed, my grades were stellar. Ultimately, after being advised to take the job, I decided to say yes to the employment opportunity.
The company specialized in electronic signage designs (primarily scoreboards), serving cities throughout the United States. You’ve seen them in large sports arenas providing colorful animations.
Turned out there was more opportunity at this place than I had previously thought. I worked hard and after just one year had quite an impressive portfolio/design library under my belt.
As my job description grew to include a healthy dose of both graphic design and public relations, I realized I couldn’t have found a better “fit” for myself. New projects rolled in and I soon fell in love with a job that never would have been my first choice.
Three amazing years later, when my dream employer extended me an offer, I left the company that stole my heart in order to advance my career! We’ve all got to start somewhere, and even though my first job wasn’t my “dream job,” it helped me grow. For that I am grateful.
If you have career-related questions or want to find labor market information to help answer those questions, please visit Workforce Solutions.
Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Facilitator team specializing in training, assisting students, job seekers, employers and career center staff throughout the Gulf Coast region. As Facilitator, she is comfortable with individual coaching, as well as large group presentations. Frieda has proven experience in training jobseekers within various age groups, ethnicity, and cultures regardless of ability or social-economic status. As of October 2019, she has been given the honor of serving as the Regional Team Mentoring Coach to further assist in the career development and growth of newly hired Training Facilitators. She obtained her BFA in Graphic Communications and minored in Psychology from The University of Houston Central Campus. Frieda is a native Houstonian with a passion for workforce development and has been employed by Workforce Solutions for over 20 years.