Confidential projects in a portfolio?


I graduated 3 years ago and have been working designing consumer products. I have been working on one particular project for the last 2 1/2 years of that time.

My problem is I am looking for a new job and due to the fact that the product is not yet on the market (and won’t be for another year), I am unable to use any of the work in my portfolio. The product is a first for the company and I know that it can prove that I am a more than capable designer but I am unable to prove any of it. I have a University/Internship portfolio but it does not show the same level of experience/responsibility

As I am not sure what other people have experienced of this, my questions are:

Is there a way of proving experience in a different way?
Surely this is not unusual but do employers take this into consideration?
Has anyone been in this situation who has some advice?

Thanks and any advice would be great!

I recommend doing a few side projects (1 per weekend or so) that demonstrate your current abilities. Make them in a variety of contexts, sizes, product categories, and aesthetic languages than each other and than your current NDA project. Then maybe have a page with the company logo and a brief ‘Confidential Project’ Title/SubTitle.

I was in a similar position a few years ago, so I designed a baby toy and a pencil sharpener to complement my best school work and the 1-2 internship projects that I could show and it helped me get my foot in the door at a place that later hired me full time.

Unfortunately your only real options are wait until it launches or don’t show it. Employers will take into account there is work you can’t show, but if you’ve been at a job for several years and have nothing to show, your best bet is to wait until that project launches or do something on the side that demonstrates what you’re good at.

You can always talk to what you’re doing currently, but as they say “talk is cheap”.

Avoid ever trying to “Sneak a peek” since the design community is extremely small. You’ll never know who you’re presenting to at Company Y might have been college roommates with your boss at Company X and gives them a phone call after seeing your secret project.