how long is too long for a recent grad?

qoute taken from this post: What else can I do?

I think one of the problems with recent grads now is that they try to hold out for the perfect job or the “cool” job. If someone offers you a freelance job even if it crappy take it and keep looking. This way you are developing experance and you are still actively looking.

so should a designer looking to get in at the entry level, just take any ol’ gig or job that they may not suited for in lieu of something they would perhaps be better positioned to do well in, for experience’s sake?

i have been given both the “apply to everything and take whatever is available” and the “don’t underrate yourself” schools of advice, oft times by the same people…so how long before being without a fulltime is becomes a major detriment to snagging one?

Sometimes what you get will surprise you, that’s why in the beginning, just to get some experience, you can get away with taking whatever (just don’t stay too long if you find it’s absolutely not right for you. You can always learn something from anyplace in the beginning, even if it’s what type of place you don’t want to work for. Think of it like getting stuck with your 3rd pick studio class. Your first 2 picks were full so this is what you have for the semester. Make yourself get something out of it, learn whatever lessons there are to be learned from the experience, then move on.
Sometimes if you wait too long for the “perfect” job, you’ll get stale, get frustrated, etc…

ditto to what Skinny said. I (sporadically) freelanced for a few less than ideal places before landing my first full time gig. That Job was at a then small design firm in the middle of Connecticut, not what I was looking for, but it ended up being the best career move for me. I learned a ton and stayed 4.5 years before going to Nike.

Hang in there dude. Keep building that folio, knocking on doors, and take some freelance if you can to prevent holes on thee resume. There is a lot of design in Chicago.

save from saying too much, i cannot begin to say how that defines my approach to work in general. i like to think of myself as a cynical optimist, so i do not really think one should be waiting for the perfect job or the cool job, but i’d like to think that finding the right is not wishful thinking…

unless its impossible, and you can usually figure that out in the first year or so, by which time you have experience, any job can be made into whatever you want it to be to support your own career and progress.

It’s a real tough decission. I spent 6 months looking after I graduated, and then I finally found a fulltime job. It “looked” great on paper, but now I’ve been there 2 years and it’s time to move on.

The question you have to ask yourself is, would you rather be gaining experience in a less desireable job instead of selling PS2 games at Best Buy? I think if it’s a choice between a job you’re not excited about or not being employeed in the industry, you should take what you can.

I just got an offer for a new job, but I have to decide if I’m willing to take less pay then I wanted. It would basically move me up only a few $K above what I’m making now and keep me at an Entry Level scale, when I think that wage still isn’t within the range I SHOULD be making. The reality is I don’t think it’s likely that I will make as much with my current company any time soon.

I’ve been thinking that maybe I should hold out longer and find a different position with greater pay, but I’m afraid to pass this up and find myself “stuck” here and looking for another 6 months or more.

i guess they could but for me:

perfect=the job i thought would have before design school
cool=lesser version of the perfect job
right=a job that would be an be a step towards the other 2
deez= some as yet, unattained combination of the other 3

sooner or later, i figure, if i want to be working, i will have to make concessions those definitions but i reserve the right to be naive enough to believe them…

if i got a sizable discount on the ps3, best buy would not be such a bad gig…

Get to it indeed, there’s freelance work here, I’ve had to turn down some because there’s only one of me to go around. Welcome aboard.

Almost no job is 100% perfect, ideal.

Every job, however should be looked at as an opportunity to grow, learn and get something out of as a means to an end (in addition to a paycheque).

In almost every job there is something good or a way to grow your skills. In a small consultancy with not many “exciting” projects, you still may be able to have a lot of freedom and do side projects, modelling, learn CAD, etc. In a corporate gig with not much freedom you may be able to learn something from marketing, business departments and work with some interesting clients and manufacturing suppliers.

…in the end, its all what you want to get out of it and what you want to put in.

hope this helps, and best of luck.


Finding a good job is a lot like finding a good women, if your always looking for Miss Right and overlook Miss “Right Now” you could be alone and unemployed for a very long time.

Sometimes Miss Right Now leads you down the road to that exceptional job and so on, you just never know. So, if I’ve learned anything this far its that there’s nothing wrong with Miss Right Now, and theirs nothing wrong with taking a less than ideal job as long as you stick to your goals. After all a man’s gotta eat and and satisfy his needs. :slight_smile:

junglebrodda, just stay positive!

honestly, i am just a big kid…i have never had a real “job” before, everything else i did before never was really work to me and when it started to feel like work i could easily leave…i know now it will not be so easy to make such decisions, so i want to be sure that i make the right choice…some of places i have interviewed it has been like i had to sell them on me (and i am not a good salesman ha! but i try…)and they were not really try to sell me on them…

anyway they say patience is a virtue, so i just have to keep at it; but for some reason those student loans folks are too interested hahaha!

There is nothing to regret except missed opportunities, don’t let opportunities get by you, take what you can get and use it as a stepping stone. There are no right choices theres just a right direction, very few choices are life changing nothings written in stone, you know what i mean.

keep the spirits up. you never know when something will come up unexpectedly.

after school i had my heart set on a consumer product design conultancy or corporate. i applier to the usual frog, IDEO, Nokia, Philips, etc. While I was waiting to hear back I heard from a fellow grad (+1yr) that something was open for a footwear designer…I had never considered shoe design, but always liked shoes…

I gave it a go (sketching shoes for three nights before the intervierw for the 'folio and got the job…

now, i would never even consider going back to standard ID consumer product stuff.

you never know where an opportunity will take you.