Last week I didn’t publish a new post because I took holidays, but now, a new year has begun and I will continue with my weekly posts.
With this post, I want to share with you my annual review about what went well during this year and what didn’t in order to close the year. I think it’s a good exercise that all of us should make at the end of each year, no matter if you have a business or not because you can review your year anyway if you have goals. I always made an annual review, even when I was studying.
In this case, I will review my year as a business and a little bit about personal goals.
I started 2016 being unemployed. I was unemployed since July 2015 when I finished my degree in Graphic Design due to the bad situation in Spain. However, I took advantage of these tough months and I used them to my advantage.
I studied English, I got the Advanced Certificate in English (Cambridge, C1) in December of 2015. It was one of my big goals for 2015. Even I took the exam in December 2015 I count this goal as part of 2016 because I received the marks on February.
February – Website Launch
On February I launched my first professional website. At the beginning, it was just a portfolio where I showed my projects, contact information and a summary about myself. Very simple and concise. It was my first professional project and I learnt a lot about it, not only about web development but also about organising a project, timings and so on.
I developed it with Bootstrap and it took me two months the whole project since the first wireframes until the website was launched.
I was and I’m very happy with the result. It transmits what I want to and it has my style.
However, one of my goals for 2017 is to redesign it because this year a lot of things change in my life, especially professionally, so I want to transmit something different. Besides, during this year I learnt a lot about web development and I consider I can develop a better website than this one.
April – Becoming a Freelancer
On April I become a full-time freelancer. I didn’t want to continue being unemployed, I consider that I have value to offer and I can help companies to improve their corporate image with my graphic design skills so I decided to take control of my life and I become a freelancer.
At the beginning, I wasn’t focused on a specific niche so I did a lot of different projects. I designed packagings, brands, websites, posters, corporate documents, icons… Normally, this is not advisable but I didn’t regret it, at least not totally, because I learnt a lot about freelancing, also I learnt new graphic design skills and it helped me to realise what I want to do, which field I like the most.
October – Focus and Blog Launch
On October, I decided to focus on three fields, Branding, Web Development and Infographics. I took into consideration every kind of project that I made till the date and then I made the decision.
On October I also launched my first blog. I wanted to promote my services and my projects, and I like to write. So I decided to launch a blog and here I am. From the very beginning, I decided to focus my posts on my main services, Branding, Web Development and Infographics. And my goal with this blog – besides gaining visibility – is to help business owners to improve their corporate image with useful posts and tips.
These are courses that I took while I was working as a freelancer. As I told before, I did other courses while I was unemployed but I like to separate them because there are different stages of my life.
– Introduction to UX/UI: This was a small course about UX/UI. I took it because as a Web Designer I want to learn more about this field to improve my skills and my projects.
– Imperio Freelance: This is a course launched by Laura López where she teaches how to start as a freelancer. It’s a very small course, just only a few days but I learnt a lot about the basics of becoming a freelance graphic designer.
I love reading. I always have a book by hand and I read almost everywhere. Most of the time I read fiction books, especially crime fiction because it’s my favourite genre. But sometimes, I read some books that are related to my profession.
These are the books that I read this 2016:
– Freelance Design in Practice by Cathy Fishel: A must if you want to become a freelancer graphic designer. I learnt a lot with this book about freelancing and how to organise the projects and manage clients.
– Rework by Jason Fried: This book is about running a business in general but it helped me a lot with my own business. It gave me another point of view and made me reflect on some aspects.
These are a few goals for this new year, I will do me best to meet each one of them!
– Website Redesign: As I told before I want to redesign my website because I consider I can do it better now.
– Improve my graphic design and web development skills: I love studying. I always loved it. So I’m always looking for new courses and new skills to learn. In a near future, I want to have the Google Adwords Certification, I’m very interested in this field. And also, I want to make this course in UX/UI.
– Read at least 6 books that are related to my profession: I always have this goal because at the end I read only for fun. But I want to change this, I want to read also useful books. It can be books about graphic design, about productivity, about web design/development. The only rule is to read something useful, some book which I can learn something new and that will help me to be a better professional.
What are your goals for 2017? Did you make your own 2016 review? Let me know in the comments!