How many Designers/recent grads are there not designing?

I’m just curious if anyone else is in my shoes not being able to do something creative for work. A lot of people I went to school with are not in the design industry either.

but now i am seriously job-hunting. it’s hard, blah blah, but i guess i could have tried harder when i graduated in may. my first interview, the week of graduation, went really badly, and i suddenly realized that the hour long talk that a teacher gave one day about how to interview really didn’t prepare me at all. i have read quite a few books on interviewing, writing cover letters, etc now, and while i feel more prepared, there’s the whole problem of getting an interview now.

the worst part is feeling time slipping away, and the last “real” project i did seems so long ago. i guess maybe i need to start giving meself real assignments other than just redesigning my identity system.

Hey- I didn’t get my first id job until three years after I graduated. You just have to perservere. Read What Color is your Parachute. Helps you motivate. You have to go after people to get interviews.

Lise, so far we have a lot in common and you’re my hero. Did you do freelance work in between?

From what I’ve seen out of my graduating class at the university
only 3 have been able to find viable work in the field localy.

the bar is far higher then what it used to be
most have to move to another city to find work
but even then landing a job is very rough.

I see former art directors sitting in a backroom doing cmyk prepress nowdays.

I feel like I would have an ID job if I moved, but I want to stay here in Montréal. Out of my class, I don’t know where everyone is, but I do know that at least 5 of 18 are in ID, I think another is pursuing graphic design (they were more inspired by GD). I’m only sure of one person abandoning ID. So…that is a good ratio I think.

For all of us who are still searching…why aren’t you designing? I haven’t gone more than a month without working on ID projects. I entered a Core contest, and have done two other projects just for myself. Admitedly, it’s hard to work like I did at my job, but it is keeping the creative juices flowing.

I got caught up working F/T at an irrelevant job that I was totally overqualified for but it paid the bills. I still continued to browse at the market but nothings changed. I guess I have this expectation that someones going to look for you instead of vice versa. Is that right to think that way?

Karim Rashid probably has people come to him, but the rest of us have to sell sell sell. And so did he mind you. From what I’ve heard he had an incredible portfolio and would really work the furniture shows to sell his work.

I haven’t worked much, but of the interviews and people who promised to call me when they needed an extra designer, half were places that weren’t advertising, or contacted me. They were places who I cold-called, or sent a resume to their director/president. Moreover, from designers I’ve talked to, in todays economy you really need to move to get even an entry level job.

This thread confirms the sad state of affairs in design employment currently - infrequent and poorly-paid entry level positions asking the moon in exchange for peanuts.

I feel sorry to see so much youthful ambition quashed and good minds in their prime wasted, in many cases for good.

ID programs should teach more design project management, business skills and the value of entrepreneurship, encouraging designers to band together and start their own consulting/manufacturing shops instead of begging for jobs that, more and more, never materialize.

Schools have failed miserably to connect the increasing need for intelligent and responsible design with current business practice and so graduate “craftsmen” designers of sorts, skilled in the craft of design practice itself, but totally ignorant to the WHYs, HOWs and WHENs of its application in the business world. Designers graduate somehow like artists parachuted into industry without the slightest hint of the importance of the design SALE, the transaction their services represent.

Graduating engineers face similar issues but they have a major advantage in that they don’t have to explain what they do to anybody.

My advice to designers still in school is get an early start on selling your skills and direct tangible results of your ideas - PRODUCTS. Lots of unskilled people dream up sometimes brilliant ideas (on an abstract, self-gratifying level), but what makes and idea worthwhile is only the execution, and that’s where very few people ever show up on stage. Why? Because it’s the hard and risky part.

Life - as design - is not a spectator sport. If you want to make a difference, and a living while at it, you’ve got to get involved way above the level school has taught you.

Sad fact is nobody out there is actively waiting for any of you. But you can create a need for yourself by looking at the overall picture from different angles. What many of you will realize is that there’s nothing wrong with what you have for sale but the way most ago about selling it.

There’s much more to needing a designer in any company than portfolio flash and it has to do with process much more than product. That’s what the schools forgot about.

well, when I graduated (less than ten years ago) there were only 32 accredited US schools…about four years ago there were some 120 schools giving ID degrees. Some even had graduating classes over 80 students.

Too many design students, not everyone can be a product designer. I think at this point the only way to control the situation is to organize a professional licensing exam. Works for engineers and architects.

For those having troubles finding a job, enter into as many competitions as you can and be very disciplined in process and documentation. The book “what color is your parachute” is an excellent book to read about interviewing if your a jr. designer. I still reference it as a reminder.