Cities of endless possibilities

I’m coming to that point in my life where school is almost out of the way, the family is in the works, and real life has begun. This time presents certain challenges and opportunities where it’s always best to get advice from your peers.

The particular challenge I am presented with now is where to call home.

I am (will be) an Industrial Design graduate from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Being a predominantly parliamentary town, leaving Ottawa is at the top of my list once I graduate. I’ve lived in Melbourne, Australia for 9 months and Amsterdam, Netherlands for 4 months, and I would be happy to call either of these places home, should I find work there.

Although I consider myself well traveled, I certainly have not been everywhere and there are a few cities that really interest me, namely San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. It seems like I have something pulling me west. I’ve visited Vancouver before, years ago, and I remember absolutely loving it, but that was a different time in my life. My considerations now are more realistic, like what the housing market is like, what kinds of jobs are available, and what the design ‘scene’ is like.

If there is anyone out there from these cities, or know of any cities that they are particularly fond of I would love to hear it. I have set a goal for myself to travel to all of these cities in order to make an educated decision on where to look for work and eventually call home. The only thing limiting me is the size of the globe.

I would almost look at it more like were you get a job and less like what city you like best and then look for a job. I went to school in San Francisco and it was great but getting a job there especial an entry level position is incredibly competitive. Not to mention the housing market is almost unaffordable if you are not making at least 100K a year. You can work outside of San Francisco and find more affordable housing but if you want to live in the city expect to pay $1000-$1500 for a studio apartment. With the economy the way it is I would strongly suggest applying to all job opens in the cities you have mentioned and taking you best offer.

X2. If you’re open to moving somewhere, then apply all over. Don’t move somewhere only to find you’re a little fish in a big sea of unemployed, talented, intelligent, creative people. San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver are filled with talented people. Some have less unemployment than others. True there is more opportunity in some locations than others, but all that matters is getting a good job. SO, find one, and go where it is. Once you’ve got more experience, pick the place you want to raise your kids.

Yah… it will be more where you can actually find a job… I had a job offer in winnipeg… pretty much the last place I would want to be… so I turned it down. If I can’t find anything soon I may end up going there. Vancouver hasn’t had much in terms of opportunities advertised… let alone for entry level positions.

the guys above are right, you should go for the best design experience wherever it is - even if you jump around to get it or live in un-ideal places.

Hold yourself to a high standard and try to be competitive with the designers who work in those cities. Research and contact the companies you want to work with and arrange informational interviews - when you get a couple years experience you’ll be very attractive as a jr designer and already know the people out there.

You never know though, you might like those cities. I resisted moving to Texas, but loved it and met my wife out there

You mentioned Melbourne. I am from Adelaide in Australia and have seen ID jobs from time to time in Melbourne, but Sydney is where most of the ID jobs in Australia are.

You’ll also be looking at about $35,000-$45,000 starting wage.

Check out for jobs in Melbourne and for rental prices