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I am looking for a job as a graphic designer but haven't had any jobs yet, so when applying in the graphic design sector it's mostly expected to show some of your work. Also one's not supposed to talk about personal political beliefs, especially when they differ from the popular opinion.

All the work I've done in the past year was for a political organization, I am part of. So of course every single design piece has political propaganda on it, and as I wasn't employed by the organization and did it in my free time it's hard to find an argument against the obvious fact that I am a member of that organization. Which, when known, will reduce my chances of getting a job.

So how should I present all my graphic design work?

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  • @JoeStrazzere I have never had a job other than a 1 month internship – Féileacán Feb 7 at 0:58
  • @Féileacán Joe said fictional clients - they are ones that don’t exist and so you create work just for the purpose of showing how good you are. – Solar Mike Feb 7 at 5:17
  • The essential purpose of political propaganda design work is to induce people who previously did not share your political views to change their minds. If you expect potential employers still not to share your political views after they've seen the work, then maybe you should reassess whether it's really your best work for including in your portfolio. – Daniel Hatton Feb 7 at 12:57
  • However, it's worth remembering that, in countries that have systems of local government, the vast majority of elected politicians are unpaid part-timers who have day jobs doing something unrelated. If being publicly known to have strong political views excluded people from the workplace, democracy would grind to a halt. – Daniel Hatton Feb 7 at 13:00
  • @DanielHatton Designs should fit your target group, most employers in fact don't fit the target group of the designs I have made. Also, not each and every thing I designed has the aim to change someone's mind in such a short time such as an interview. There are also invitations to events etc. – Féileacán Feb 8 at 14:12
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One strategy is to target potential employers that have a chance to share your political inclinations.

Another strategy could be to be selective about the materials you share or to tone down/replace some of the language used in some of those materials.

If neither of those things are possible, or if your political inclinations are so extreme, that absolutely no one with actual money will hire you, then that means you need to restart your portfolio from scratch, create concept materials for businesses of your choosing, and potentially share those portfolio concepts on dribble.com or elsewhere (whether those businesses are your local dry cleaner, your local chamber of commerce, some big company like Apple, or some fictional business that you saw a glimpse of in a movie/TV show). In other words, it's ok if your portfolio is just a concept portfolio.

Furthermore, if you actually went to school to become a graphic designer, consider using some of those previous projects and expanding on them (all the while stating clearly which parts you did vs. the parts that were provided to you by your instructor or done by other students).

With that said, note that even professional adults and older professionals may have been once hippies or troublemakers in their youth, so it's really difficult to predict how they will react - to something you haven't really given us the details of. And in my mind at least, it's not absolutely clear that they will reject you because of your previous affiliation.

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Graphic artists get recruited by all kinds of businesses and organisations. That you worked for Vegan World doesn't mean you're vegan, that you worked for James Cybersecuriry doesn't mean you know about tech.

Its irrelevant to the next job, what motivated you to join your past one.,within pretty wide limits. "I worked for the KKK" might not go down well, but the fact you got employed by some political body -

"They were an employer, and my personal politics don't enter into the workplace. They could as easily been Republican as Democrat (US version), Labour or Conservative (UK version), Indie or Green. I was employed to do their graphic design and did it well. I would bring the same professionalism and care and skill, to my next employer, whoever they may be."

If they probe, hold tight on it being irrelevant and a policy of yours, as a graphic professional, never to bring or express your personal views at the workplace. Some will shake heads but quite possibly a lot will nod and appreciate.

If they found out you are supportive of that party, somehow, then at a pinch, you can still be dismissive. "I support them. But that's personal, not workplace, I don't bring my personal views into the workplace and I won't be doing so here." But try to avoid it, and move the conversation on instead, before they ask that.

If needed, and comfortable, also say that in your free text in your resume/CV if you do e-applications in some abbreviated form, so it doesn't look like making a point.

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This is a good question. As a computer programmer it is fairly unusual to have politically inspired work. However, where this would be a problem would be as a trade unionist in the Thatcher years in the UK. We were "the enemy within" and yes, there was a list of people you might not wish to employ. I don't know how that would transfer to Ireland though.

  1. If you can show that your designs helped win a mainstream election then that would be a plus for you, no question.

  2. Always be aware that you social media activity is part of your CV whether you like it or not even if you switch your Facebook profile to private from this day forward. This is part of your portfolio so work on it.

  3. Agreed, a ficticious portfolio would be useful but it does need to be mixed with reality. You could try working for a charity unrelated to your political activities.

  4. Understand the employment law as it relates to politics - in the UK you are not allowed by law to work in certain areas in local government if you are a member of a political party.

  5. You could write a tourists guide to Hobiton, where you live. That would go down well.

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