Unknown (Mongolian Throat Singing) – “Siberia”
Yesterday I got offered a $100 rent credit each month if Daniel and I would vacuum the hallways, keep an eye on the laundry room and empty the garbage if necessary, and keep the outside free of trash and cigarette butts and stuff. I think we’re going to do it, but I need to make sure they have a vacuum we can use, and I’m also going to ask for $125 so our rent would be an even $400. Does that sound reasonable, or am I just being greedy?
I’ve been talking with Keith today (through email) about Foundation Portfolio and jobs and such. In class, I was asked the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and I answered something to the effect of wanting to do freelance work for small businesses. She then asked me what sort of services I would provide, and then acted like I fucked up when I said both the design and the backend (because nobody can do both well, of course).
Basically, I don’t want to get hired solely as a design person, because I don’t think my designs are *that* strong. I’d much rather get hired as a backend person (PHP, HTML, CSS), but um, I don’t know if I know enough to be hired solely as that either. Freelance seems like a reasonable solution, since I’d be one person doing both, and with small businesses (or organizations, whatever) it’s not like doing a site for Intel or something. It just freaked me out that she made it sound like I was being an idiot for wanting to do both.
“What concerns me is you saying that you want to be a CSS or HTML person working somewhere. Truth be told, those jobs don’t really exist. And if there was a job like that, you and 4,000 other people would be applying for it because it is such a widely-known skill. Plus you could be easily and quickly replaced. You need to offer skills above and beyond that… skills that make employers want to hire you.
Here’s what I believe, and tell me if I’m wrong about this: you really DO want to work for a design firm or in-house for a company as their interactive designer. But, you’re not too confident with your skills, therefore you aren’t aiming to get those jobs. Instead, you want to settle by working on little freelance jobs where the client doesn’t know good/bad design from their anus.”
I suppose what it comes down to is that I really need to decide whether I want to bust my ass and learn to create some really awesome designs, or whether I want to bust my ass and really learn PHP. I’m just not very good at teaching myself anything – I learn really well, just not from myself.
This whole “growing up and getting a job” thing is so difficult. It doesn’t even account for the fact that in five years, I may want to start a family. At this point, who knows, but it could happen. What if I wanted to stay home? I could do freelance stuff on the side and make some extra money, and what would be wrong with that? Would it be “a waste of my education,” or an appropriate use of my education given my situation and intended goals?
Can anybody give me any tips on how to effectively teach yourself something? I’m sort of talking about PHP in particular, but I’ve tried to teach myself German and I just can’t do it either. I’m not about to, like, make lesson plans for myself or anything, I just need to get better at PHP and I don’t know how to do it on my own.