Feeling of Out in the Water

So I have graduated this year and its been about 9 months into my job search. Seems I have a lot of factors going against me or something; sending out resumes and portfolios whenever I see a job listed I think I may have a chance or interest in. Majority of my class had some pretty good talent, but I have heard that even those students are running into the same hurdles as I am. The one hurdle I can think of his the job experience one. A second hurdle I can think of is really knowing no one within the design industry. Finally, I am currently not involved in any form of design community that I can be apart of.

I am starting to miss college and interacting with other design minded individuals. I am really starting to get down on the finding a job in which I will be able to do that I enjoy.

Sorry to hear about your difficulties. It is a depressing reality that this is just not that easy of a profession in which to find work. A lot of this comes from an excess supply of designers. (The last opening we listed generated over 200 applicants and almost all were qualified to do the job.) I am not sure if you are looking for suggestions or just comment but below are a few ideas that might help.

  • Try to find some small freelance projects so that you can gain some professional post-school experiences.

  • Develop your concept sketching and rendering skills. Focus specifically on the products made by the places you are applying to. If you are looking at consultancies focus on the clients shown on theit website

  • Expand your search to include a larger geographic area. You may have to bite the bullet for a couple years but it is generally easier to find a job once you have had a job.

  • Even if people are not hiring ask if you can come in and see them. Once you are there if it is going well, mention that you are in the area and looking for freelance work. I know several designers that have migrated from in-house freelance to full-time.

that is definitely good advice form aaron, especially these 2:

i would also add that this (this forum, the interweb in general) is a great place to interact w/like-minded indiviuals! so posting work you are using to develop your skills online for feedback might give you some xtra motivation & some helpful critiques…

also do not be hesitant to reach out to your professors & classmates for job hunting help,critiques of your work to date, & general advice…just do not get discouraged, there is a design job out there for you; you just have not found it yet!

Enter some design competitions and don’t forget the 1HourDesign forum here - you’d be surprised who are watching these threads.

How about designing some stuff for a local “design” retail store and sell them on consignment? I’ve always thought of doing that where I’m at because people are generally interested in work done by locals here.

Try to start up a “design discussion group” on your local Craigslist; it’s worth a shot.

Good luck man and keep your head up.

Ah, thanks for the input so far. Hopefully after this coming Monday I’ll actually have something design related to be involved in.


I am in the same boat as you and know EXACTLY how you feel. Get some good design books, join the IDSA and network, and sketch, sketch, sketch. I have met more design people this way than I thought possible. Still no job yet for me, but I refuse to give up.

Design or Death!


As Red Green always says, “Keep your stick on the ice, we’re all in this together!”

Good attitude. Getting the first job can be difficult but you have to persist.

You should definitely post up your work, or create a Coroflot portfolio and give us the link.

As for the advice, it’s all good, but the one thing you need to do if you want to get into the industry is do as Aaron recommended; Expand your search area. I moved to a completely new city without knowing anyone for my first job, and my job hunt only lasted 4 weeks! It’s the experience you now need, get it and then you can choose where you want to be a few years down the line.

What kind of design work do you want to do? CE? Footwear? Furniture?

I just want to get into the design industry. It does not matter where or which line of design work I would be in for my first job. Although, I tend to enjoy working with my hands versus 3D computer modeling work.

Earlier in the week one of my classmates contacted me, who does some really nice quality work, and even they have no job still. I was a bit surprised about that fact.

I do have a coroflot profile, as well as other images that are not on there; or rather in a nicer presentation layout.


Don’t worry your not alone, just got to keep plugging away and wait for that bit of luck.