Skills Creatives Probably Won’t Learn in School

One of the reasons why we go to college is to prepare ourselves for life. We take courses relevant to our passion or the career path we want to take, to learn more about it and acquire the skills needed.


But what if we told you that college isn’t giving you everything you need to know what is like to be in the real world? Yes, some things just can’t be taught within the classrooms of the universities. Good thing for all the graduating class out there, we share the things that you need to learn before you set your wings and take off to your path to the creative jungle.


Email Analysis

Communications change as time passes by – from simple phone calls, emails, and text messages to what we have now: things like emojis and emoticons, which are the things that help us improve the way we communicate in terms of conveying emotions. And emails aren’t a stranger to this one.


Working as a creative professional will require you to write emails to your clients. And interestingly enough, the hardest part here is reading emails they sent to you. Emails can easily be misunderstood. Your head may conceptualize on the things written in the email, but if you haven’t had a good grasp of what your client is trying to convey could cost mistake that may demand more time and effort to work on.


Handling Clients

Since we mentioned about communicating with clients, one of the things that you should learn is how to handle them. After you graduate, you may be employed at a design agency, where an assignment is handed to you, or work as a freelance designer, that involves direct communications with your clients.


Regardless of where you’ll fall into, there will be sometime in your career where you need to interact with your client far beyond from your usual conversation through emails. And having a good relationship with them is an integral part of your success.


What we are pointing out here is that they will provide you living, and speaking to them as a common friend may not be a good practice for your career. Don’t worry, figuring this one comes with experience, and eventually, you’ll discover your way in dealing with them. What you need to do now is be prepared.


Work Presentation

Selling a creative concept to your client is one of the skills you need to hone. Sure, you finish college, had the diploma to prove your years of studying. Sadly, there is no subject that could enrich your ability to make your client buy your concept, as clients are people and people are diverse.


Yes, there is still a glimmer hope that you’ll get them by applying the marketing and selling strategies you learned from college. But by the end of the day, all they wanted to do is to like your concept. And for some reason that they don’t, there are no fancy scholastic words can make them like it.


Reality of the Real World

Being in college gives you the sense of maturity and freedom, almost like in the real world. But being there is like living inside a bubble; you are on your own, yet all the bad factors are restraint outside of it.


Right now, you’re probably thinking that after college you’ll have all your options, whether in picking your job or where you want to live and how your life is going to be. It’s all mapped up; the world is your oyster.


Well, it’s not that easy.


Paying rent, acing a job or dealing with unruly people can’t be found in any design textbooks. Things like these you will learn from the day you start working.


Getting Inspired

Freedom in the real world is decreasing as your responsibilities increase. The worst case is that you don’t have the luxury of you waiting for inspiration to come.


Unlike when you were in college, you have a planned out schedule for classes and activities, no other responsibilities or things to prioritize. You have many hours to sit and conceptualize on a design.


In the real world, it is always about results. Whether you are inspired or not, you need to put out a quality design. Because it depends on your result what you’ll be receiving by the end of the month and that’s how business works.


Technological Advancement

This topic has been more relevant in our time. Books are the essential tools teachers use in teaching. Unfortunately for tech books, they are almost outdated before they even reach our desks due to the rapid improvement of technology.


Unfortunate as it is, our resources are scarce and we should develop our own way of coping with technology. We have to learn it to ourselves or we will be left behind.


Managing Criticism

We may have a few instances about this with our peers and professors in college. But receiving one as a student is different from getting criticized in a professional platform.


Things could get really harsh if the feedback process isn’t handled well. It takes a broad mind and understanding before a person can become a pro in handling judgment.


Software Skills

In college, you are introduced to what software is. Basic things about the software are the only things that have been given to you. You may click things for a while in your class, but that doesn’t help you much. The hours you invest in learning and memorizing all those shortcuts and software on your own shows the things that classes can’t teach – commitment and passion.


If you’re an aspiring designer, you probably know how to use editing tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch. You know your keyboard shortcuts at the back of your head. Practicing them outside of school and mastering the use of various software give you a head start when applying for that creative job you’ve been eyeing.


Making Connections

Fun and energetic atmosphere of college help to make friends with others easier. Not until it was put in a professional setup, especially when you are a newbie.


Having a web of networks could take you many places. It could open doors of opportunity which could help you in your career. Unfortunately, there is no subject in class that could enhance our congenial qualities.


Finance and Legalities

Every creative dealing with any work or task has to have a form of contract or agreement with their client. Now it becomes a regular basis for every project. Another is the monetary factor, the things you spent and the things you should receive.


Having knowledge on the legalities of business will help creatives have an upper hand on how the industry works and how they could align their lifestyle to what the industry can give them.



There are a lot of things that can be learned outside the four corners of a classroom, lessons that will be taught by a new teacher – experience.


What matters is the process. From what you have learned, how you acquire it, and the end result is up to you. Your degree is a golden ticket you use to the many gates life can offer. The rest from that point relies upon you.


Still not ready? Feeling unprepared? The MicroCreatives blog has plenty of helpful information, news, and know-how for every creative out there, whether you aim to be a designer, writer, web developer, or animator. We are also open to those who may want to complete their internship requirements with us; we are definitely looking forward to imparting our creative wisdom to young creatives and prepare them for what they may face after leaving school.

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