So you’ve graduated uni/college with a degree or qualification in design. You are one step closer to living your dream as a designer. But what do you do next? How do you get from a to b? And is it that simple to transition from a design graduate to a working paid designer?

HowDesign interviews successful designers and how they approached their design careers and how they started out working in the field that they wanted: http://www.howdesign.com/how-magazine/how-november-2012/how-real-world-designers-plan-to-grow-their-design-careers/

Brad Tucker: Director/Creative Director, Los Angeles

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“I’m a senior-level talent who makes a lot of money in a faltering economy. I think the biggest thing going for me is that I know my industry well. I’ve seen lots of changes, and I’m not oblivious to what’s going on. I’ve also seen the way many people get treated, and I know what I won’t tolerate.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“I recently got laid off. I’m now looking for a studio that has all the qualities I couldn’t find at my previous place of employment, while also exploring other avenues of employment within the industry. My options are go freelance/consult, become a live action director, or look for another creative direction position, perhaps in network television. And I’m sure there are even more options out there. I need to have an open mind and explore all options.”

Amelia Stier: Designer, Sid Lee, Montréal

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“Definitely more hours behind the computer and in the conference room. Of course, absorbing as much as possible from those with more experience than me will also help immensely at my young and impressionable stage.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“Time. Lots and lots of time. In my particular situation, working at a predominantly French-speaking firm in Montréal, learning the language is a major hurdle between me and the next level of office responsibility. I am lucky to work somewhere that people are able to move up the ladder very quickly. So beyond that silly language barrier, it’s mostly about drive, initiative and gaining experience.”

Satsuki Shibuya-ThoengDesigner/Creator/Curious Explorer, Los Angeles

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“Being exposed and connected to amazing, inspiring individuals doing things that I would love to explore.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“More experience and more learning.”