Most graphic designers get their first "big break" by doing work for a close friend or family member. This is a great start to build your portfolio and build your name as a designer. Learning the software (Adobe Creative Suite), earning a degree, having an online portfolio, and keeping up with trends is necessary for the field. I have also found that being a good writer, being social-media savvy, and having other skills in email design, coding, photography, and web design have helped elevate me above other designers. I have been designing for 6 years. My work can be viewed at lorievelyn.com.