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Safe Networking

As a graphic design student it can be really hard to gain legitimate experience. A lot of the side work that I get asked to do is from networking. Normally when I do little side jobs it is for friends, family, or co-workers. Lately however, I have been meeting people that I do not really know who are asking me to meet with them about projects.

Just the other day this old man approached me at my job at Shaws Jewlers. At first he was just talking about absolutely nothing and then he asked me about school. After I told him that I am a graphic design student he told me that he is a scientist and he started talking about this book he is writing and how he needs a designer for the illustrations. He gave me his phone number and told me to call him and we can meet up and discuss the book.

For some reason I get a weird vibe from this man. I need work to put in my resume, but how do I know if he is serious and legitimate? I definitely do not want to meet with this guy alone, but I also do not want to miss out on what could be a really good opportunity.

Maybe I will just wait for the next one.


  1. Matt Tirre wrote:

    Yeah don’t meet this guy alone. Call him and get his email if you are interested in doing the project.

    If this guy is a well respected scientist, then chances are he has some sort of publishing arrangement (or at least has had papers published in scientific magazines, so you can talk to him about that. If he has pretty much no credentials, then his book is going nowhere, and any work you were to do would be solely for a resume.

    So on the off chance this guy isn’t full of crap, another thing you need to keep in mind is that he needs illustrations for a science book.

    I don’t know what your background is, but if you are not comfortable as an illustrator then this job is not for you. Scientific illustrations need to be very accurate and understandable. Beauty and good design are much less important overall.

    So yeah, its really not worth it.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink
  2. angechilada wrote:

    I feel that as long as you meet the person in a public area (i.e. a coffee shop), it’s pretty safe. That being said, I know that I’ve gotten the vibe that when I tell a guy that I’m a graphic designer when making small talk, I have been approached by guys to design work. Most times they either never call me about it, or they used it as a way to talk to me about it. So yeah, he may not be serious about getting design work done, but it’s a good idea to never burn bridges.

    If you feel that you’re up to the job, you could mock up a contract and bring that with you, if you do meet, so that he knows you’re serious, and not just trying to meet over coffee casually or something.

    Friday, September 24, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink