I have only recently started blogging again and updating my blog on some recent and current freelance projects, having had a lot on my plate recently.  There have been a few changes to what I am currently doing; for the past six months I had been working with a small local design agency. I took this on knowing to my knowledge it would be a great opportunity to use the time to work on my software skills and to gain some experience, or as others have said “something for my LinkedIn” even though it was not completely the experience I was seeking.
With it being at the very start of my career I knew this was never going to be a permanent decision on my behalf, and throughout the duration it really allowed me to think hard, and consider what I really want out of being a designer. Fortunately I used the time to my advantage and greatly used the agency to get exactly what I wanted for my personal development.

One key thing for me is to keep continuously developing and growing until I am in the perfect job… I definitely will not pin myself down or settle on something forever if I know it is not right. Which was why alongside working full time, I joined a couple of agencies as a freelance designer and kept in close connection as an outsource designer, I aim to take on as many opportunities as I can, and this was a fortunate decision allowing me to gain further experience outside the agency and to not limit my options.

Now, I am currently working freelance for a few agencies in the North West and North Wales and expanding future opportunities further. I have recently joined a digital marketing agency as a freelance designer, and I am continuing to collaborate and grow many more close connections as an outsource designer. I am still doing the odd freelance job which I have recently been receiving through recommendations; however the majority of freelance I now receive are projects through agencies. This is another reason why I have not been updating my blog, because of course I do not blog about agency work.

This works best for me at the moment, because I get to meet many great practitioners and work on a larger variety of different project briefs.After hearing some fantastic design advice from Craig Oldham just over a week ago, this spurred me on even more to pursuit and aim for what I really want out of my career as a designer. I am much more aware now and learnt a great deal in the past two weeks. As tough as it can be at times to start off, and how very easy it is to want to give up…I have learnt you have to keep going. Striving to continue progressing is all I am aiming for right now, and so far things have definitely worked out for the best.

This may sound completely contradictive; however I do not want to be freelance designing forever, this only suits the position as I stand currently. I am also really keen to get experience in the types of agencies I really would love to work for, and whose ethics and values I do believe in, and work I too would love to be producing. This may sound ridiculous to some; however I have decided alongside freelance designing I am going to seek an internship or placement within one of these types of agencies rather than apply for full time employment. I believe if I aim to land a job within one of these types of agencies immediately, I do not stand much chance.
After much consideration, this is definitely the way forward for me. I am not looking to just work anywhere; it really has to be somewhere I wish to work. I would urge others to do the same.  
My Masters degree is starting to become much more ‘real’ now. I have two submissions due in the first day back after the Christmas break, so I am going to need to have a very productive Christmas, lots of research and both assignments to start. You can follow my MA blog, to keep up to date with where my research process is taking me here. I do not expect to be blogging this end as much for a short while now.

Read more from Nichola Watkiss at http://nicholawatkiss.blogspot.co.uk/