Sannika, a freelance web designer, tells us exactly what kind of person would love her job and what kind of person would hate it big time.

What are your favourite and your least parts of your day-to-day job?

Favourite: Every day is different and you get to be very creative. Least: You have to work long hours on the computer and you get difficult clients as well.

How is the pay in your job/industry? 

0 – 2 Years experience: R8 000 to R10 000

2 – 5 Years experience: R12 000 – R18 000

More than 5 years: R20 000+

How are the hours in your job/industry? 

All the clients want their website immediately, so you get some days with very long hours and then some days that are more chill.

What type of personality would love doing your job? And what type of person would hate doing what you do?

People that would love it: tech-loving people, introverts who don’t mind working with people too and creative people that like to solve techy problems.

People that would hate it: people who prefer being around other people 24/7. If you don’t like sitting behind a computer, you won’t like it.

My advice: If you really love being creative all the time, look into Graphic Design with User Experience Design incorporated, because Web Design has a really techy side to it, which you’ll probably hate if your focus is creativity. Also, Graphic Design with UX design is a higher paying job.

If you really love IT & coding and you have a creative side as well, look into User Interface Design or App Development with Web Design, which is a really nice paying career going forward and that will not change anytime soon.

How is your day-to-day work different to what you expected?

It’s a bit less creative than I thought it would be, because most of the time clients wants it done their way. They pay your salary so you don’t have a choice than to opt for a less creative design, if that’s what the client wants.

What a) skills b) qualifications c) experience do you need to become a Freelance Web Designer? 

I see a lot of people struggling, who simply study web design. You need to be a pro in Graphic Design, Web Design, Marketing and Business to be able to be a successful Freelance Web Designer.

You’re helping to build a business though your websites, so you need to keep in mind what the client’s target audience would want. I watch a lot of YouTube videos to keep up-to-date with new developments in web design and to learn new web design skills. Remember, you need to have a great portfolio and really good people skills to get somewhere.

I Studied BA Communication studies (with a focus on Marketing & Media), I did a short 6 month course in Graphic Design and a 6 Month Course in Design Software. Then I did Web Design part-time, when I started working in Marketing. Eventually I moved on to creating my own Web Design company.

Are there any changes you foresee in your industry that might influence the way teens should approach a career in your field?

Technology is changing very rapidly and who knows on what platforms we will be building websites in 5 years.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you were a teen, career-wise?

I really love my job. I did my homework really well and saw various people to help me pick a career. I spoke to juniors and seniors in all the industries I was thinking about and I shadowed them to see how their actual day looks like and I asked them about their salaries etc. . I think I would’ve sticked to IT class in school though. : )

Last words, also for all my fellow-geeks, work on your people skills, because that’s a much bigger factor in the workplace than all of us think.