Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Russell Hancock: Freelancing

Russell graduated from the same year as Craig Oldham and yesterday he dropped in to give us his words of wisdom about leaving uni.  It was a very interesting and informative talk, which covered very different things from Craig Oldham's.  He focused a lot on work you do when you leave which is more likely than not going to be for free.  It is great when we get the chance to hear from someone who is much closer to our own experiences and lives, just a few years ahead of us, rather than just intimidating big designers (Although these are great too!).  For me, it gives me a sense of comfort that it can be done and it will turn out alright in the end.  I felt that Russell was totally honest about his experiences, especially admitting that it has gone wrong, he has moved back home, he has felt like giving up.  I know that it is not going to be easy when we leave, we're not going to walk straight into our dream jobs, but I do believe that as long as i'm prepared for that and willing to keep going despite rejection that I will get there eventually!

I will actually take away from his talk quite a few pieces of great advice.
Firstly, the nitty-gritty of legal stuff and contracts.  Things like this had never really crossed my mind and for Russell to not only explain and go through this side, but to actually give us template documents was probably the most invaluable thing we've received all year!

Secondly, the chat that we had afterwards was really insightful.  Myself and a few others have seriously been considering the idea of setting up our own business when we leave and just diving straight into things.  My heart is totally for this idea, would relish the challenge and be willing to do everything it takes to succeed, but my head has been pulling me back saying that no one would take us seriously and we don't have enough experience.  Russell said that it depends on how you feel, it's different for everyone, but believed that if you feel you can do things better, you can deliver the goods and you put the work in, people will take you seriously and it can work.  This idea is starting to become a serious consideration for me...

Thirdly,  I thought his cinema project was great.  I loved the fact that he had actively taken a problem he identified and tried to fix it, set up his own pitch to the council and despite all the set backs ended up turning it into a great business prospect.  I really identify with the idea of fixing problems that you find around you, it's where I hope i'm headed in the future, but to see him put this into action for no other reason than passion and a slim opportunity was an absolute inspiration to me!

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