128: Launching Your Creative Career (Interview with Chris Lyons)

My guest today is Chris Lyons of Creative Career Starter.

Chris has been an Agency Owner/Creative Director, and for the past 20 years, a Freelance Illustrator and Adjunct Professor of Design.

He helps design school grads with an effective process for finding their first creative job, which is something not a lot of design programs teach.

Applying for a creative job is different from filling out an application and uploading your GPA and resume.

Depending on the discipline you are interested in, you need to demonstrate - through your portfolio - your understanding of their business, your abilities to solve problems using your creativity, and to tell compelling stories about your work through the lens of the audience you've targeted with the work.

Many design schools produce graduates with portfolios demonstrating software competency and surface design talents, but creative firms are looking for creative problem-solvers. Not someone who can design "a poster" or a "logo."

Chris helps grads set up their portfolios with new, more focused, comprehensive work (either by expanding existing projects or creating new work) that speaks to the people they most want to connect with.

And then he helps find those people.

Chris’s classes are comprehensive, covering everything from defining your skills to identifying the right places and the right people, buffing and polishing your personal brand, editing and strengthening your online portfolio, writing compelling letters (and how to follow-up), how to kill it at the interview, and then how to negotiate an offer. The course also covers how to run a freelance business to sustain themselves during the process.

The added wrinkles of the pandemic and looming recession have meant new ways needed to think about this as well.

To access Chris’s FREE Jump Start Guide for creatives:


Are you in the wrong job that chips away at you every day? The CareerSpring Program will help you find a job that uses your zone of genius, recognizes your value, and pays you what you’re worth.

Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more: https://calendly.com/lesaedwards/zoom-meetings2

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