Dare I?

Hi all- I have been wrestling with a present situation and would like to appeal my case to the veteran designers here on the board.

Scenario: I have been approached by a company looking to hire an industrial designer. They have some graphic designers but no product designers. They are in the industry I desire to be a part of, and very close by which is also convenient. But there remains many barriers: 1) they do not have the resources for ID (model shop, 3d CAD, prototyping materials) and show no interest in investing in such resources 2) they claim to have been ‘burned’ by a free lance IDer in the past and are ‘wary’ of bringing me on board 3) they have been very unclear about their main goal or intent in hiring me, they seem to not understand the concept of ID 4) they have warned me not to suggest " an overly expensive hourly wage" and all conversations indicate they want a short term trial period with perhaps the position turning into a long term position.

What do I do? Do I take this job and strive to change their minds on ID and gain valuable in industry experience? Or do I continue my job hunt for a company/firm that understands ID and has an appreciation for it? I also worry if this experiment fails I may have a black mark on my name as I continue to seek employment in an industry that most appeals to me. My gut tells me this could be a wrong fit…but I really hate the thought of passing up an opportunity. Your advice on this matter is greatly appreciated, thank you for your time.

Honestly, it sounds like things are not set up for you to succeed in this situation, but if you have nothing else in the hopper, it can’t hurt. I took a contract job that I really disliked for a few months when I had nothing else going on, but I continued to build my portfolio and look for work, and 2 months later a great fit presented itself somewhere else. It is easier to find a job when you have a job…

Sounds like a challenge. If you are the type of person to take a challenge head on, it could be very beneficial. You could be the next VP of ID! I’ve worked at a place where I essentially started the design department and for me it was challenging but also very rewarding. If you can be a design evangelist and have the persuasion skill to do so, it can be rewarding. If you are just looking to do some design however, it won’t work.

I wouldn’t worry about the “black mark” thing. If you do good work and have it in your portfolio it’s your gain. If you don’t then you don’t lose much, and maybe gain a good learning experience and story. If they are in the industry you like and don’t have design, surely that is known by others.


How much experience do you have? and are you able to create change? Not everyone can, I for instance, am still working on my ability to effectively create change. Can you effectively create change in situations where there may already be negative feelings towards professionals like yourself?

I thank you all for your responses, they have helped me greatly. I have 5 years experience designing professionally now and after reading the general advice here, I agree that perhaps now is the time for me to rise to the occasion. I am confident in my skill set and ability to spearhead projects, I just haven’t done so in a more adverse environment. As the old saying goes “Nothing ventured nothing gained”. Thanks again for all the input, very much appreciated.