Entering the industry

Hey guys. Rememer me? (-:

While my 'Warcraft server is down, i come to kirupa to seek advice.

For a long while now i’ve been trying to get my design gig off the road (been a couple years in the planning now from early ambitions to formulated decisions). With a whole bunch of procrastination thrown in between, I decided it was time to start things up.

Freelance work would cater for my inconsistant working schedule up until I finish my studies. I’ve considered approaching design agencies/firms in seeking work experience or something of the like; I do know they’d want some qualification in the form of certificate or something which I couldnt offer at this time. And so the problem goes back on itself. That and I live in sunny Gold Coast Australia- great place to live, abysmal opportunities for work in graphic/web design.

Where would one go in a situation like mine? Is there some council/government listing of start-up businesses I could approach for potential jobs? I know jobs exist online, and i’d probably look at this to be my main source of revenue. How does one start this up? Apart from having a strong portfolio and experience under your belt, is there a point where you are approached for work instead of seeking it out in one-off jobs?

This brings me to my next school of thought. What came first- the portfolio or the work? By this I mean, is a strong branding/identity formed before starting work? But then how can one exist and get the jobs without some works already being there?

Do I go official, registering ABN/DBA if im serious about this? And what happens if work is indeed inconsistant- dying off around exam period and kicking back up around holidays? Will this affect things in anyway? perhaps a DBA renewal? Dealing with Centrelink is like wrestling a gorilla, so how ‘official’ do I have to go about this?

Ah my confusion with this all, its enough to make me want to withdraw and not make any intiative at all- but where does that take things.

advice would be much appreciated