No matter how much you love the work you’re doing, the end all of having a job is the pay. If you’re doing a job that’s paying less than you’re worth, no one is going to be happy. In a lot of situations like these, people have 3 options:
- Ask for a pay raise at your current job
- Look for another job
- Start freelancing
People say that the future of designers is freelancing, so it’s definitely something you should look into if you have enough experience and connections. It’s a hard step forward but it’s likely to end up with more freedom in terms of pay and creativity for you.
You gotta understand the job market.
Since the late 2000′s, the economy has been steadily increasing with more and more job openings appearing and less and less hiring times. It’s important to realize that designers are neccessary in any industry, and you gotta find the average pay you’re expecting in your country. For example, the average wage in New York for a graphic designer is around $65,000, but the average in a small town like Minnesota is $40,000. The average is still a lot higher than 3-5 years ago, where you can usually find a job for $30,000.
Be aware that it’s not just years of experience that makes or breaks your value — it’s also your skillset and your ability to understand and get with the trends. Learning new skills like animation and 3D, specialized areas, will add a great increase to your paycheque. Of course, it’s not always possible to expand your skillset, but rather you should focus on things you’re great at and learn things related: eg) a ui designer should learn coding.
It’s very possible to leverage yourself when you can show off what you can do to a future employer or even to your current employer. If you’re not able to get the wage you want, it’s best to look for a new job, as intimidating as it is, because it will give you a lot more possibilities than you could’ve ever imagined.