“Had a job doing production management & technical sales for a laser machining shop for a year that wouldn’t pay me more than $26k … so I quit.”
"have been looking for work for three years and three months now. "
“I managed to fall into some graphic design work somehow (I have no graphic design skills…)”
"I’ve been occasionally freelancing "
“I came out to PDX for the creative/artist vibe and the music scene (I’m an active musician as well),”
"but appropriate job openings, or just job openings at all, are sparse as hell… and getting a ping-back on an application is impossible. "
3+ years out of any field is not good. I’d say the first thing you need to do, is identify what it is that you do. Industrial designer? Machinist? Manufacturing manager? … . ?
No graphic design skills … do you have a degree in Industrial Design? A portfolio? Have you previously worked for a consultancy, or corporate “design” group. Occasional freelance work; what’s occasional, monthly, yearly, bi-yearly… ?
You located to Portland “for the creative/artist vibe and the music scene” what role did industrial design play in making your decision to move to Portland?
Well, that’s more like it. To be honest, your post came off as somewhat of a wannabe rocker, whining about not having any skills … you’re obviously far from that category.
Me, rock, out from under, since the implosion? Same one I’ve been under since I hung my shingle as an industrial designer in 1989 … and when that doesn’t pay for the beans and jeans I operate heavy equipment , and there hasn’t been a whole helluva lot of that kind of activity goin’ on lately either.
Coroflot lists ten openings in “Colorado”, but with strengths in mechanical design, machining, and management, there are probably bunch of spots open in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Ft. Collins. Trouble, is, and I’m sure you’re more than aware of it, you usually have to have feet on the ground to hear of them and be able to respond quickly. And, I’m sorry to say, having been unemployed in the field for over three years is the kiss of death … the whole we-don’t-want-this-guy-because-he’s-been-out-of-work-for-over-a-year-so-there-must-be-something-wrong-with-him mentality is short sighted and incredibly discriminatory… if you were asking me. But it seems to be the game now.
Careerbuilder is currently listing quite a few industrial design and “mechanical design” positions (mechanical designer, engineering tech, senior project engineer, etc.) within a forty mile radius of Denver. And there was a job fair listed for Jan.12.
For creatives, Boulder may suit your style than Denver.
Denver is the new Portland! I wouldn’t say there are a ton of product design “jobs” out here, or in Boulder, but there is a pretty thriving creative community. It has developed remarkably even in just the last 3 years or so. Good place to start a design business. Graphic design community seems pretty strong (from the outside anyway), and there are a decent amount of high tech manufacturing shops, especially up north toward Ft. Collins and Boulder, and south towards Colorado Springs. And there seem to be a lot of internet companies, relatively speaking.
I <3 Denver, and want to move there badly… but it seems like most of the ID firms do nothing but soft goods. Anybody there know which firms focus on either consumer products or medical products? Something with plastics? Thanks!