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  1. #1
    Preppie
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    Do you like your profession?

    Every morning I get up and think. Is it mine or not? So, what about you? Are you realy happy to do adv?

  2. #2
    Premium Subscriber Gino's Avatar
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    After 44 years of doing this professionally with about 6 more before that when I was dabbling in it..... I think I finally have it down as a 'Like'.

    How often can someone in most other businesses be driving down the street and say..... I did that or we made that or that's still there after 30 years ?? There is a certain amount of inner gratification from seeing one's work around town. It's also good to know ya made a lotta money while doing something you like.


    Everybody should believe in something.... I believe I'll have another drink


    Merchant Member to the Trade



  3. #3
    College Freshman mmblarg's Avatar
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    Probably depends on your position. For me, I'm the low man on the totem pole in a solid 5 person business with no possibility for advancement. The only paths I have are stay and slowly build pay raises, leave and start my own sign shop from what I've learned (terrifying) or build a new career - currently working on the later by getting a degree.

    The flip side though, I've never been happier in any entry-level position (I work graphic design, production, and sales at a local sign shop) so I'll be hanging onto this job right up until I finish my degree (and possibly after)

  4. #4
    College Junior ColoPrinthead's Avatar
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    I enjoy my work. I am lucky to have found several niches I can apply skills learned from a print background that tend to pay far better than a run of the mill FastSigns etc.

    At one point of time I was letting stress and bad coworkers get to me and hated seeing my work out and about (took a vacation to Tenn from TX to get away from it all only to see my stuff); Now that I am with a good team it doesn't bother me and helps me explain to people what I do by telling them what they have seen that I have made around town.

  5. #5
    College Junior Pete Moss's Avatar
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    I love what I do. I especially love the creative aspects and building brands. Most of my clients are truly a pleasure to work with. After 20+ years in graphic design I am finally in a management position and making a fairly decent living for this area. Of course it could always be better, more benefits, etc. I think in many ways I would be happier if I owned my own shop. At the same time I am aware that with that comes longer hours and more responsibility.

  6. #6
    PhD Bigdawg's Avatar
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    I love what I do. Period. Well... maybe except for the occasional jerk, but we are pretty much a B2B shop with very little walk-ins.

    I like helping people make their business look good. I like finding solutions for them that fit within their budgets. I like that we aren't the cheapest shop in town - and we tell people it is for a reason. We take the time they need without shortcuts. All in all I find my work very satisfying - especially when someone sees their new sign for the first time and I get to see their eyes light up. All in all, I find my job very satisfying.

  7. #7
    College Freshman
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    I grew up in the business, so it was all I knew growing up. I say I hate it, but there are definitely days that I absolutely love it. We do other forms of outdoor advertising and event decor so we get to go behind the scenes of a some pretty cool places. Make friends with a lot of businesses. It's always funny to see two business owner friends run into each other in my shop. What can really make it all worth it for me, is that sigh of relief that a customer gets when you say "yes of course we can do that."

    My true passion is law enforcement. That's what I did in the Army. Though I probably won't ever be able to do it again, I'll always dream of it. Until the day comes that I may do it again, the only other career I can imagine being in, is the print industry. Eventually I'd like to move away form walk-in business to servicing local government, schools, and other businesses trying to do in-house graphics. I can see myself doing that for another 40 years.

  8. #8
    College Sophomore
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    I love this industry and like Gino said, there's a great satisfaction to be driving down the road and seeing a project you worked on. And now that my son is old enough to know what I do, its neat to point those out to him when we are driving around. I brought him in on a weekend to do some work and had him pulling RTA letters off a reception counter so we could rebrand it for another client's tradeshow booth. When he realized he was pulling "stickers" off, he made the comment "Daddy, you get to play with stickers all day?!?!?!?! THAT'S NOT WORK- THAT'S PLAYING! I can't remember laughing so hard. He was really impressed when he saw me mount a digital print to a 4x8 panel.

    After working in sign shops for 20 years, I have finally found a great home in the exhibit industry and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I still work hard, but knowing my work is going to be seen by 1000's and 1000's of people at shows like SGIA, ISA, CES and other big shows is really cool.

  9. #9
    PhD Billct2's Avatar
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    Yes

  10. #10
    College Freshman Msrae's Avatar
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    I think most of the people on here like what they do and the sign/advertisement industry. I love working with the plotters, printers, sign blanks, banners, I enjoy the vehicle installs, I love it all. Hopefully someday I will be able to make a full time living at it instead of it being my secondary income.

  11. #11
    Premium Subscriber Behrmon's Avatar
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    I'm not exactly sure what I do? :)

  12. #12
    PhD visual800's Avatar
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    I love designing, fabricating and installing. I do not like customers that do not heed advice, do their own logos and go for cheaper products.

    Its become more of a battle in past couple years. Signs are an after thought sometimes. People will spend 1.5 Mill on a building and then "rush" to get crappy signs because they are now broke and in a hurry to open

  13. #13
    PhD rjssigns's Avatar
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    It's been good so far. Best part is being able to "fire" yourself in the middle of a day because the dog wanted to go to the beach, or your motorcycle needed riding.

  14. #14
    Premium Subscriber Gino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjssigns View Post
    It's been good so far. Best part is being able to "fire" yourself in the middle of a day because the dog wanted to go to the beach, or your motorcycle needed riding.

    or someone calling out...... LAST CALL










    Everybody should believe in something.... I believe I'll have another drink


    Merchant Member to the Trade



  15. #15
    Master of Arts eahicks's Avatar
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    I started at my first sign shop 25 years ago, with a baby on the way, needing a new job that paid better. I started there with the mindset of "this will do for now". 25 years later, after 5 or 6 different companies, I guess I haven't really sought out what I would do after the "temporary" line of work...LOL...so here I am. Of course, I've learned a ton, created a LOT of things throughout the DFW area, and advanced as a designer and fabricator. Do I always like it? No. The people aspect can wear you down. But I guess if you get up every day and not dread going to work, you've found your niche.

  16. #16
    Preppie
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    I never thought I'd get into the printing industry, my dad has owned a print shop for 20+ years, and added a large format department probably 8 years ago. I majored in marketing, and have always been intrigued with the branding/consumer behavior aspect. So, a year into the job I do feel like I enjoy it. I've been able to motivate and push the higher ups involved in the large format department to expand beyond just providing for customers who call in asking if we do signage like this, and I think we've been relatively successful. It's stressful since I was the initial visionary to do so (and the least experienced in the industry, yet the most qualified in terms of understanding the potential) , but I'd love to make this my career in the long term if I can help grow the department into my own company once pops is retired.

  17. #17
    College Sophomore myront's Avatar
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    Yes, given my age and position in life I am happy to be in an art field. I wanted to be a freelance artist in my youth but couldn't afford "Art School" and well...hated school. joined the military, got married, had kids, yada yada yada. Now I have my pension + this and a good team here and a damn good boss/owner. Can't complain.

  18. #18
    Preppie
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    20, 30, 40 years... Holy shirt! I thought, our agency was old (7 years).

  19. #19
    Preppie
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    I am a one-man shop and my favorite part are installs... second to getting paid.

  20. #20
    PhD Gene@mpls's Avatar
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    We started 20+ years ago with computer knowledge but never having been in a sign shop. Talked to Sign-a-rama, they showed me 8-10 shops and let me talk to the managers... and I thought, I can do this... so we [my daughter and I] did. My first task, after learning Flexi, was teaching her to double-click a mouse. I am now semi-retired and she is a good designer. It has been a good ride and I intend to do this as long as I have breath, and they keep having Happy Hours. Gene

  21. #21
    Preppie
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    Get up and look forward to going into work everyday. It's just dealing with the idiots that I dread. Most customers are pretty good, but some are real idiots.

  22. #22
    College Freshman
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    I do :) been 17 years in the business, started my own shop 15 years ago. Since 2009 i havent been able to install because of unexplained nervepain in my right hand (been in surgery 3 times, first rib removed, scalenus muscle cut, more space made for nerve in shoulder) but.. with medicine 70% of my days are allmost painless and i'm more than happy. Without medicine, 100% constant pain so.. And my pills aren't drugs, pain signal is just weaker and more bearable.
    Now i have 2 installers and i'll do the rest. My hand tolerates using mouse, and pouring milk to coffee. Can't carry shopping bag from the cashier to car but it's ok.(.. well i can but it causes 2-3 weeks constant pain) As long as constant nervous pain keeps away, i don't mind. First 2 years was horrific because doctors told the there was nothing wrong with me because they were ******* morons. After 2 years i found right doctor from our capital city and everything started to go forward.

  23. #23
    College Freshman AnthonyRalano's Avatar
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    100% love signs. Amazing. So many aspects of it. Nothing like handing someone a sign or after installation to see them pleased with it. If I die making a sign I will be happy as long as its not in Arial.

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