She’s a creative ninja– Meet Featured Member Julie Teninbaum!

We initially met Julie Teninbaum through our member welcome call and her bubbly personality and unabashed love of graphic design really stood out. Months later when we needed some work done we remembered her and have been working together on everything from decks to invitations since. It’s not just The Second Shift that Julie has made a lasting impression on – she routinely books jobs that turn into long-term client relationships. What’s the secret to her success? Read on! 

How did you get into graphic design?

I didn’t know what graphic design even “was” until the night before my last college exam. I was procrastinating at the university library where I found a copy of PRINT magazine, and a whole world opened up. After I graduated I took an adult ed class to learn the computer programs, and got a job in the marketing department of a publishing company where I bugged the designers to show me how to do what they were doing. Eventually I made a portfolio and got an entry-level design job. From there I worked my way up the old fashioned way!

It seems like a great career because it lends itself to remote and gig work. You have had a lot of success working with The Second Shift to get work– what’s the secret of your success?

I’m always excited to think about new projects, so I hope that my enthusiasm comes through. I try to respond to job posts in a conversational way, but want to be concise and thorough – addressing all of the points in the listing. I have a fairly large range of work in my portfolio – from infographics and logos to hand-drawn typography and illustration. So, if I feel that it would be helpful to direct a client to previous work I’ve done that might relate, I will put together a presentation PDF and link it to my website.

What is the best part of remote/ freelance work?

Making my own hours, for sure. We moved from the city a few years ago and now I work from my home office on a former apple orchard, which is a good fit for me and for our family. Now I can putter in the garden and go to the farmer’s market. I’m able to see my two young kids off to school, and be here when they come home. I can adjust my day if I need to be on a phone call or respond to a ‘design emergency’ (it happens!)

What is the hardest part?

Besides proximity to the refrigerator? The hardest part is learning to create free time for myself. Even when I’m not on deadline, there’s always something to do in my office.

Any advice for clients looking to get the most productivity out of working with a Second Shift expert on a project?

Be as clear as possible about your requirements and needs up front. Make sure you’re both on the same page about the scope of work, the timing and the steps along the way.

Let’s flip that– what advice do you have for other members looking to build successful freelance careers, like yours!

Keep working on your skills – and always have a personal project or two on the back burner (I’m working on some collages for a children’s book after hours.) Once you’ve gotten a job, never leave the client hanging – let them know what to expect and when you’ll get it to them. Never leave an email unanswered. Make yourself easy to work with – be nice, responsive, alert, and aware of their needs. Don’t burn bridges. It’s comforting to have a core of long-term clients, mixed with the new.