What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?
Graphic Designer in Raleigh:
"Graphic Design Advice."
Intern, volunteer, freelance. Learn as much as possible. Attend graphic design events.
Graphic Designer in Dallas:
"You Really, Really, Really Have To Love What You Do."
If you like it, don't be a graphic designer.
If you madly be in love with it, be a graphic designer.
Graphic Designer in Baltimore:
"Never Take It Personally But ALWAYS Accept Criticism!"
Do not become attached to the things you design for anyone other than yourself. Your responsibility is to problem solve, make messaging clear and easy to read. If your design does those things and your client wants to muddy it up, explain why you made your design decisions, and explain why their changes may not work. If they still want the changes after that, make the changes they want, but find the time to make an alternate version of their change request that does the job more successfully.
Generally, if you are thoughtfully designing, they will eventually see your point.
Also, if they still just want it their way: do an informal poll of other folks to determine which communicates the message most coherently.