Nigeria's digital landscape is growing, but it's not without its challenges. Limited access to resources, education, and global markets are real hurdles. But where there's a challenge, there's also opportunity.
November 30, 2023
5 min read
This year has been a landmark for me on LinkedIn.
Surpassing 5,000 followers in my first active year was something I never imagined.
It's not just about the numbers; it's about the amazing people I've connected with – seasoned experts and enthusiastic young professionals alike.
These interactions have enriched my experience, sometimes even making me feel a bit old!
A Conversation that Sparked Reflection
This week, I had a memorable conversation with a young woman from Nigeria.
It led me to a curious and profound question:
What if I had started my Digital Design Career in Nigeria? How different would my journey have been? — Philip Wallage
I spent an entire evening pondering this question.
This newsletter is my attempt to unravel these thoughts and share with you a perspective that's both challenging and enlightening.
Let's dive into this fascinating 'what if' scenario together!
The Challenge: Starting a Digital Design Career in Nigeria
Nigeria's digital landscape is growing, but it's not without its challenges.
Limited access to resources, education, and global markets are real hurdles.
But where there's a challenge, there's also opportunity.
Embracing the Local Market: Your First Step
Understanding the local needs is key.
Many Nigerian businesses are just starting to go digital.
They need people like you to show them the power of good design.
So, how do you start?
Learn with Free Resources: Use platforms like Coursera, edX, and YouTube for free design courses. Explore open-source tools like GIMP and Blender.
Build a Strong Online Presence: Create an engaging online portfolio. Share your designs on social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and design communities like Dribbble and Behance.
Specialize in High-Demand Areas: Focus on skills like UX/UI design, mobile app design, or niche areas like motion graphics, which are in high demand but have less competition.
Network, Network, Network: Join local tech and design communities. Networking can lead to mentorship, collaborations, and exposure to global design trends.
Going Beyond Borders: Expanding Your Reach
Staying local has its perks, but the global market is vast and full of opportunities.
Freelance Platforms: Start with Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. They offer a gateway to international clients, even if they're competitive and offer lower rates initially.
Remote Work Opportunities: Look for remote work options that allow you to collaborate with international teams.
Building a Community: The Power of Giving Back
As you grow, help build a supportive design community in Nigeria.
Mentor and Support: Share your knowledge with others who are just starting out. This strengthens the local industry and opens new doors for collaboration.
Seek Internships and Apprenticeships: Gain real-world experience through local internships. Practical experience is invaluable.
Educational Scholarships and Grants: Keep an eye out for scholarships that can help you advance your skills further.
Your Career Path is yours to Shape
Starting a career in digital design in Nigeria might seem daunting, but with the right approach, it's absolutely achievable.
Embrace local opportunities, expand your horizons, and remember to give back to the community that supports you.
What's Your Experience?
I'd love to hear about your career journey, especially if you're in the design field in Nigeria or a similar environment.
Share your stories and let's learn from each other!