I have just finished reading this great book on graphic design by Adrian Shaughnessy. The book is primarily aimed at young recent graduates or students. Having felt the burden of real world design scenarios - not having enough work, not feeling very confident, finding it difficult to make contact with design studios etc. the book really cut the crap and said it how it is.
I guess when graduates get out of uni they expect to make a seamless transition into a working environment, doe eyed and thinking there is enough jobs for everyone. Shaughnessy’s book however really clarifies the whole junior designer in an agency scenario - I never realised that it takes between 6 - 18 months for the individual to become a valuable contribution to the company, and that it is really a risk for the company to hire anyone. Seeing the situation from the agency’s point of view is really interesting, and makes me feel a bit better for not getting as much correspondence with them as I would like.
A really great insight that I got from Shaughnessy was that he only hired people that he felt was better than him (or at least had the potential to be better than him). Sounds pretty sensible to me if I was starting up my own company…
Overall the book gives a really great analysis of practicing graphic design today. It puts things into perspective, which is fantastic for young naive graduates, but leaves you loving the profession even more.