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It is so easy to be swayed by others people’s opinions. Especially when we are looking for reassurance ourselves in certain situations. Our fear and doubts lead us to seek out advice this is natural human nature. I used to have to justify everything, over thinking and looking to others to make my decisions for me instead of following my heart & gut instincts. This pattern of behavior is hard to break. Slowly, slowly I am getting there.

I’d like to share a real life example with you readers as that is what being authentic is all about. How can I possible write a post on a subject that I haven’t lived myself?

A group of final year university design students contacted my design job work to get a project printed for an assessment. It’s not usually my role to deal with clients directly on a customer service level. My colleague who does was off sick and the job hadn’t been printed as promised. The rest of my colleagues were quite happy to blow them off and said ‘it’s always best not to get involved with those sorts of people.’ I knew what they meant. We get a lot of walk in’s with small one off jobs that end up being more hassle than they are worth. However I took it upon myself to help out the student’s, as I know how hard it is when you’re stressed & getting your final year work together.

I went about the usual pre-press checks taking my time to actually look at the projects the students had created. I was so impressed. The typography books were well thought out & executed. Their use of grids and colour were really effective. Talent ahoy!

Whilst reviewing the files my teacher hat fell into place. There were a couple of pre-press details that had not been addressed. Usually when this happens with supplied artwork I send it back to the customer for them to fix. However the deadline was super tight and by the time I’d sent this back and explained what needed doing I felt they would miss their time slot. It was quicker to fix it up myself.

When the students came in to collect their finished books they were so excited. I remember that exhilaration seeing your designs printed and ‘real.’ With my teacher and mentor hat firmly on my head I decided to explain the pre-press problems that occurred. I totally got that they were still learning and if their course was anything like mine (which was awesome btw) things like pre-press techniques might not be covered. It’s something I found you learn on the job that can lead, as I discovered as a junior designer myself, to all sorts of challenges. Giving these students some free guidance I felt would give them a bit of a head start.

My advice was well received and I got such a buzz out of sharing my design knowledge with them. I enquired about when their degree show was and gave them my business card. My mind was buzzing with ideas. Maybe in the future I could look into donating a few hours of my time to guest lecturing or helping out as a TAFE technician?

I was so happy I wasn’t swayed by what my colleagues had said. For them it was the right decision not to get involved I appreciate that. Deep down I truly wanted to give the students a hand because I had something to offer them. I knew it was the right thing for ‘me’ to do. It felt good to help the students out and they really appreciated it. It’s so hard being at uni, having tight budgets and deadlines and no one wants to give you a break.

A few weeks past then I got an email from one of the students enquiring about a business card printing quote. What she was asking for was super flash and would look awesome but at the cost of a few hundred dollars. Instead of passing it onto the correct channels, I don’t process quotes, I decided to explain the my concern over cost. Of course I go totally carried away and probably wrote in much more detail than necessary.

Again the advice was well received. I mentioned it to my colleagues as I wanted to check up on the actual costs to see if there was anything we could do. I was met with the same reaction “don’t get involved.” My gut was telling me no to this, I didn’t feel obliged to help I ‘wanted’ to help so I did. My Soul was pushing me so strongly to do this it’s part of who I am. I am a teacher, I have many varied skills and I should use my teaching capabilities to pass this knowledge onto those who are asking for help & willing to receive.

I signed off my email by saying if any of them needed some industry advice I am happy to help to the best of my knowledge. I wasn’t giving away free printing or devaluing our service, it is my time to give no one else’s. If something makes me fee warm & fuzzy instead why shouldn’t I follow it through? What else are lunch breaks for hey!

Have you ever been so excited about something but then swayed by other people’s opinions? Please share in the comments below.

Love Seren xx

Seren Swayed

p.s. This is my 100th post!! *ekkk!*

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