Being a designer at companies large and small can be super fulfilling. Since graduating, I've learned 4 key things about being a designer for others instead of just for yourself ::
1. Know when to turn off the computer or when to work the night away.
There are some nights that creativity strikes at the most inconvenient of times. Like, 3am. If it's a do or die situation - grab that laptop, a midnight snack and get to designing in your jammies. But if you have... say... a team meeting at the office at 9am, maybe just write down your idea and come back to it.
2. If you can avoid it, try not to do anything for free.
There will always be exceptions to this rule, OBVIOUSLY. For example, I have designed and implemented design work for my family for free. Logos, websites, anything they need to be set up for success. When it comes to friends though, I run a different philosophy. Read more about that here.
3. Don't let perfection get in the way of good enough.
Sounds pessimistic, but seriously, NOTHING you ever design either professionally or personally will ever be truly complete. There will always be room for improvement and you'll learn through experience that a project can be iterated on over and over and over and over and over. And by your 15th version of an instagram post you are just... so done looking at it.
4. You will burn out. Not "if" but "when."
Keep your creativity hydrated. It's inevitable that your creative cup will sometimes run on E. Keep refilling it with things that inspire you. I have my go-to websites for creative inspiration bookmarked for that very moment. Here are just a few of mine: designspiration, pinterest (in moderation), ffffound, thisiscolossal.
Everyone experiences things differently. I would love to hear some of the things you have learned since being out in the design or art world. Leave a comment or message!