Advice for finding a Product Design job in NYC

I have been out of school for about a year and half and got my bachelors in product design from one of the most expensive private schools out there.
I am no CAD monkey. I know Solidworks well and I actually teach it at a school here in NYC but I’m not up to snuff with the other CAD heads in the area. They blow me away. I’m a great teacher but its an introductory course so I’m not really teaching the hard stuff. just the basics.

I have landed some freelance over the past year and also worked for on of my favorite conceptual designers. they ended up paying me shite and kind of taking advantage of my fabrication skills. Using my eagerness to work as an excuse to pay nothing to produce their limited edition products. live and learn.

at the time i thought they would help me by introducing me to people an opening doors to the industry. neither of those two things happened. and when i told them i needed more money for the things i was producing they pretty much forgot about me. I also tried to get them to refer me to some of their designer friends but i got nothing.

So I started my own company doing conceptual type design and got up enough money to have a show in Manhattan. it was awesome. but ultimately like with most start ups the money ran out and there is no way for us to fund marketing the products. it was no small feat building this company from the ground up. branding to advertising to concept development to product development. video editing. so much went into this company just for the money to run out. the experience was amazing

Know i find my self in this position of having this defunct (for now) company and being a teacher at a prestigious school but not being able to find a full time Product design gig in or around NYC. It seems when i go to interviews i get the “we want a CAD monkey” or “you have too much experience doing the wrong thing and not enough experience doing CAD stuff.” I am a little older then other people in this stage of their career also (28) i don’t know if that has anything to do with it.

I feel like and (and i could be very wrong) that some companies may just want a yes man that can do CAD and keep their mouth shut. A Young mind to mold instead of a designer that has a style and a point of view. I mean I’m not married to my point of views and I’m very open but it seems that if there is anything that is even remotely “styled” in your portfolio then you are useless to them. I’m not an engineer but maybe i need to put more of that kind of stuff in my portfolio?

I am a little hesitant to put up my work just in case any of my students are on here.

Anyway my questions are:

What firms or corporations in NYC would value a designer like myself?
ie. Lots of Different experience. Not a CAD monkey.

a list would be good. Im starting my serious hunt and instead of just emailing blindly (like i have done in the past) I would like to focus on a few places that I know I could be an asset to.

disclaimer: I do not think there is anything wrong with being a CAD monkey. If somebody would hire me to do it then I would take it and smile.

thank you in advance. love the forum. I have learned so much from trolling here.

I think it’s a tough enough to find a job right now, especially for PD in NYC. NYC as a whole is fairly weak on Product development when compared to the slew of other design jobs focusing around branding, packaging, web, etc.

I know Smart design has a bunch of openings listed on Coroflot, could be worth checking out. They may not have an exact position opened but multiple ads is at least a good sign that they’re looking to hire.