Tenacity is Needed!
As a graphic designer it seems to not be my talent nearly as much as my work ethic and my willingness to seek out the creative leaders I would like to talk to in my industry. Keeping in contact through email, social media, or phone calls, I have landed more opportunity then putting new pieces in my portfolio. Not to say that my work is lacking, but I do see that most designers do not take these opportunities due to shyness or fear by not joining advertising organizations, sending out work to industry magazines or making contacts while they are either in school or before there book is completely ready.
In school I worked to start talking to professional organizations and the creative professional in the industry at industry events. The internet and social media has made it even easier to reach leaders in the industry and most of those people will respond due to the fact that they see someone who went through the same grind as them and love seeing what someone fresh to the industry will do or would like to find young talent that they can hire or recommend.
Young creatives in general tend to be scared to get turned down or rejected; however in the long run it is worth it as you will fail at the chances you do not take. I try to improve myself a small amount each day and would like to see more of the young creative community reaching out to each other and learning from each other. Talk to a few new people over the internet or send out emails asking about jobs in the creative industry or ask and opinion on what creative leaders think of your design. These are all ways I started meeting more of the industry leaders I wanted to know and it has helped me to further my career. It is one of the keys to succeeding in the market place of creatives today, if you want it you have to go out and get it.