Ask Anna: Will my epilepsy affect my chances to be a graphic designer?

In this month’s column, our agony aunt Anna Higgs suggests how a reader’s physical condition may present opportunities to an employer, rather than a challenge

Dear Anna,

As a newly graduated graphic designer with epilepsy I am concerned my condition gets in the way of getting a role within industry. Should I try freelancing or continue with the job search?

Lucy-Jane

Dear Lucy-Jane,

First of all, congratulations on graduating. It’s not an easy thing to pursue doing what you love, particularly when that role doesn’t have clear paths or set trajectories to follow. In terms of the type of work you look for, before we tackle any questions around your condition, you have the upside of building a career in a space where freelance is really common and fairly straightforward to access. So, one level of answer to this question is simply that you can freelance while you look for a permanent job – it’s not a zero-sum game.

Digging into the detail though, the way your question is phrased suggests to me that you would prefer to have a full-time job, rather than be a freelancer. If that assumption is right, then I would encourage you to continue with the job search. I say that fully aware that I don’t have a condition like epilepsy that I have to take into account when planning my career. I do know, however, that there isn’t a straightforward answer here. Otherwise this month’s column would be rather short.

But that lack of straightforward answer isn’t because of your condition, it’s because of the state of play in the industry, and my experience of the industry makes me want to flip the perspective a bit here.

WRITER

Worthing

CREATIVE DESIGNER – BRAND

Maidenhead, Berkshire