This year has probably been the best year of my life. I know that’s a little dramatic – but it has truly been amazing.

Hello! My name is Emily Schilling, I am a graphic designer on the Push10 team, and I love my job. Like REALLY love my job (not everyone can say that)!

After 17 years of schooling, I was definitely ready to put the long hours of homework to bed. I’m not saying the real world is easier (it definitely is not). However, after a year in the workforce, the constant stress of thinking I should be working 24/7 has finally released (sort of) and Push10 is responsible for this relief.

Emily Schilling, Graphic Designer, Push10, philadelphia branding agency, branding and web design firm, working at push10

When I applied to Push10, I was a passionate college graduate eager (but a little nervous) to join the workforce. Now, after just a year here, I emerge a confident designer, constantly seeking ways to improve in my industry. In just a little over a year working at Push10, to say I’ve learned a lot would be a gross understatement. Here’s some sage advice bestowed upon me:

1. Don’t Take Things Personally.

As a designer, it’s important to be able to handle criticism. Getting poor feedback on a design does not warrant a call to mom or dad to cry. Furthermore, your parents’ inspirational pep talk about that time you broke your favorite crayon at age 6, will not advance your career. Instead, my Push10 team has shown me the value in receiving constructive criticism and it’s ability to challenge you to keep improving. More often than not, negative feedback forces you to re-think your solution and create a final design that is ten times more awesome than the original.

2. Share Your Resources.

Collaboration is key. If you find an awesome article, blog, tool or piece of advice, blast it on out to your team! While the Push10 group is small, we are a team – we all share in our struggles and celebrate our successes. Unlike school, you are no longer working on projects intended for one person – they require all types of skills and talent! By sharing, teaching, and learning from your fellow designers, you not only build a stronger, more efficient team but build a stronger you in the process. The fast-paced design industry is always changing, so it is important that everyone on your team stays up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions.

Your employers do not expect you to know everything. I repeat- You are not expected to know everything. Remember, every person at one point was a bit clueless. Whether you are an entry-level hire fresh out of school or a CEO who has 45 years of industry experience, you will never know everything about your industry. While working at Push10, I soon realized that the more questions I asked, the more efficient my workflow was. By asking questions first, and along the way, I saved myself from spending time correcting errors and mistakes. The more you seek to learn about your industry, your company, and your skill, the faster you will advance in your own personal career path.

4. Love What You Do.

This industry isn’t easy. In fact, most industries are not easy. The branding agency life is a stressful one – filled with impromptu deadlines, temperamental technology and lots of creative brain power. No matter what challenges the Push10 team faces, they keep going because this is what they love. At the end of the day, if you are not passionate about your career, you will likely burn out quickly. An optimistic attitude and a true love for creation are key.

One more piece of advice for those who are currently wrapping up their college career — start looking forward to work! Just try not to spend all of your first few paychecks at the bar…