July 27, 2008

It Never Hurts to Ask

Posted in On the Job tagged at 10:30 am by Katelyn

I have been interested in the graphic design profession for awhile now, but I have never had the opportunity to study it until recently and I have my mother to thank.  She always used phrases like, “it never hurts to ask” and “what’s the worst that could happen?”.  Because I have continued to think of those phrases, I am learning about the life of a graphic designer and my company is reimbursing me. Here’s how it happened:

First I found a community education class at a local art college that fit the description of what I wanted to learn.  Because I thought my supervisor would probably turn me down, I created a budget and was ready to pay for the course myself if that should be the case.

Next I sat down and came up with my support for why these skills and knowledge would benefit me as an employee.  We recently acquired a design studio and while there is no intention (in the short term) of turning project managers into graphic designers, it would be beneficial for me to understand a graphic designer’s work processes and be able to speak their lingo. So I typed these thoughts into a 1 page summary and included the course description, cost, and duration of the class.

I had low-expectations after turning it in, but within a week my supervisor gave me the green light and told me I would just have to present my learnings to the team at the end of the class. I am over halfway through my class and loving it!  I am so glad I wasn’t afraid to ask.

So if you’re considering continuing education courses, try to look at the class from a different angle.  How could the skills you learn benefit the company?  Would it help you work better with a colleague or customer?  If the course you want to take doesn’t have anything to do with work, I say bite the bullet and take it.  You’ll always wonder what it would have been like.  Then continue to look for other courses that you find interesting and that tie in with work.  Put together a proposal and present it with enthusiasm.

Remember: What’s the worst that could happen?