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Believe in yourself, your abilities, and your skills

A Conversation with Graphic Designer Slađana Noković

“Creative, empathetic, and self-critical, that’s me,” that is how Slađana Noković describes herself at the beginning of our conversation.

Slađana Noković learned the basics of graphic design through online courses and now she works as a graphic designer at COINIS.

“Creativity is my driving force. Empathy is what helps me put myself in someone else’s shoes and imagine what it’s like to be in their situation, while self-criticism is the factor that drives me to always improve and work on myself and my work,” explains Slađana.

Slađana had previously worked in tourism.

“While I was growing up, I realised that there is something good in everything I do, and that I can learn from every experience. That’s what still drives me to believe in myself, my abilities, and my skills, because every lesson is important and useful,” she said.

This is what prompted her to master the skills of graphic design and shape her future.

“I told myself: Now you will use the knowledge and skills you have gained here. You haven’t wasted time because you have learned a lot,” Slađana recalls.

She joined the student organisation AIESEC as a graphic designer and later became team leader of the marketing team.

“That was the beginning of the development of my creative skills, and later, precisely because of that experience, I was lucky to get a job as a graphic designer at COINIS, where I have been working for the past three years,” adds Slađana.

She particularly enjoys the dynamic nature of her current job.

“Every aspect of work, as a graphic designer, require me to put myself in the shoes of the person who will view the material I create, whether it’s a flyer, social media post, billboard, website, or any other material,” she explains.

Courage and skill were needed for her to transform her career.

“During my teenage years, I never considered pursuing a career in graphic design. It wasn’t until I started studying that my passion for it began to awaken. Once I realised this, I put all my efforts and focus into developing my skills in this area,” adds Slađana.

Her greatest support comes from her family. “These are people who have always believed in me and always recognised the potential I have,” she said.

Sometimes, our greatest stumbling block can also be an opportunity.

“Although the lack of work experience was an obstacle for me, I found myself in a situation where this volunteer experience provided me with a place on the graphic design business scene,” she further explained.

Slađana is most proud of her character development.

“From a withdrawn, anxious, and shy girl, and an adolescent who didn’t believe in herself, through self-improvement, work, socialising, ups and downs, education, and training, I have grown into a girl full of stories, lessons, good and bad experiences, who confidently steps into new life adventures,” emphasises Slađana. To women and girls considering changing their profession, she would say that one of the worst things they can tell themselves is “I can’t do it—no one has shown me” or “I can’t do it—I’ve never done it before.”

“Maybe your talent is exactly the thing you gave up on. Don’t give up on your talents. Perseverance pays off. Change is not easy, but it is possible and beneficial,” Sladjana concludes.