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SWOT Analysis & Skills Audit

These exercises are part of the tool kit for stock checking, assessing and improving skills required to get and keep the work we want coming in.

SWOT Analysis - Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

Not an exhaustive list but a start to thinking about what will help and hinder my career as a Graphic Designer.


Skills Audit 1

A chance to take stock of what I can do at the start of my course.

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End of year Reflection of Progress

What did I have when I started?

Professional skills I came to the course with include:

So when I joined the course, I had already done an Interdisciplinary Textile Design degree and had 10 years of experience as a freelance graphic designer and another 15 years or general work experience in a wide variety of roles but as a basic audit of what I had; Moderate skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and a little more advanced (but by no means advanced) in InDesign. I was (and still am) pretty fluent but definitely not advanced, with Microsoft software (Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Teams/Outlook). I had experience of working with printers, I had a vast amount of experience in admin roles, fundraising, basic finances and working with an accountant, I have done business skills courses and supervisory management courses, I have managed events and arts spaces. I have good work ethics and plenty of soft skills, I have worked alone, in small teams and larger teams.

I have done laser cutting, screen printing, enamelling, silversmithing and a host of other bits and pieces.

What have I gained?

Professional skills I gained and improved on the course, include:

Over this past year I have gained lots of new skill and added the following software to my list; Keynote, XD, Figma, Animate and Processing, while massively improving my knowledge of InDesign and Illustrator. I have also done Letterpress for the first time which I thoroughly enjoyed and plan to return to do. I spent a great deal of time improving my screen printing skills, and some time on my drawing techniques. Researching is a big area I have improves and got a lot out of, this may need work on managing as I was prone to overloading a project with too much info and It did slow me up and make it difficult to forge a clear path. I have also massively improved my essay/report writing skills, to the point that I actively enjoy writing now, something I never expected.

What do I need to work on?

Professional skills I have yet to develop or improve, include:

I very much need to spend time improving on my drawing skills offscreen (on screen too but one will follow the other), I lack confidence in that area, mainly because I do not do it enough and I'm not very good at it, It requires regular practice. 

I also may need to spend more time on my digital skills, working on Websites, Apps, Animation and other interactive formats, depending on what route I take, but it does appear to be expected more and more. User flow and audience research is something I lacked when doing our digital design module, so i need to be aware of this if i do get a role that includes interactive elements. 

Confidence also needs more work (sometimes ;-))

Moving forward, I feel much better equipped to apply for roles in industry than prior to undertaking this year, but really do feel that the second year (HND) would be on enormous benefit to me as we spend time working with more external partners and I think this would help to build my confidence and expand my skills exponentially as working slightly different ways to accommodate different clients/employers really pushes you out of a comfort zone both for knowledge gain and effort input.

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