Here are my thoughts on the questions you posted:
First of all, list your goals for learning or studying graphic design Is it to make a career change late in life? To make more money or to have a side income? To have a job you enjoy doing? Share in as much detail as you would like.
My goals in learning graphic design are:
- To have a job that I enjoy doing and allows me to be creative
- To help businesses reach more (potential) clients
- To help businesses communicate their brand message by using great design
- To help businesses create a strong brand identity and online presence
Research the software you need to have. Take a look at the downloadable resource where I list several design software options. Take a look at which set of design tools fit your budget and your learning goals and list which ones you need to study in more detail.
I already have Adobe Suite programs
Research equipment and list what you need to purchase Research and find out what type of laptop or desktop you will need if you do not already have one. You can look up your chosen design software and look at the software requirements to make sure your new or old computer can run the software.
At the moment I'm using a MacBook Air 13 inch and a Wacom Intuos Photos Tablet
Choose your desired work option. Take a look at the page with the various working options. Do you want to work part-time or full-time? Do you want to pursue an agency or in-house salaried job? Do you want to be open to all options and see what comes your way? Do you want to do this just for fun? Some work options require more portfolio preparation like in-house or agency jobs, while freelancing options need more time spent on personal branding and marketing tasks.
I definitely would like to work as a freelancer (project-based) and focus more on personal branding and marketing tasks. In the future, I would love to work full-time at an agency or in-house salaried job.
Where will I get my work and studying done? Write down space(s) where you would like to learn and practice your design work. A coffee house part of the day? A certain room that may turn into a home office? What do you need to do to make this space ready for use?
At the moment I work at my desk. However, I need a better desk for my workspace ready for use!
Finding places of community and inspiration I have a helpful page in this pdf resource that lists many places to find design challenges and inspiration. I want you to pick at least 3 places or people for you to check out in the next month as you start your learning journey.
@kalypsodesign - Great design and typography tips
@worldbranddesign - Amazing for branding inspiration
@thefuturishere - Great tips for designers in general