I am in need of some advice and direction. I will be so grateful to any shared personal experiences related to this matter (and I apologize in advance for its lengthiness):
I’ve been almost 3 years post-grad and interestingly still trying to find my way; so to speak. I’ve done a few contract positions in Housewares/Kitchenware, which were perfect fits since I love home decor, housewares and kitchenware but am now trying to figure out not necessarily what type of design I am passionate about (as it is obvious to me I love home decor and housewares; even some consumer electronics for the home), but how to get to where I need to be.
I first started out (like I guess most ID students/recent grads) thinking I NEEDED to be at Ideo, frog or Smart Design (though I love the work they do) or else why bother being an industrial designer… to now realizing that I may not be a good fit for those types of firms. It slowly but finally hit me that those types of firms seem to seek out really “innovative” projects in junior portfolios; hence why I hardly gain any traction when applying to those firms. Though some of my initial student portfolio projects had a techy innovative approach (and I’ve gotten compliments on them when interviewing), I am now veering in the direction of self-directed projects that still address problem identification-solving but more in the area of low-tech products for the home with an heirloom appeal or that are disruptive (design for the aging; for ex.). Examples of companies I am admiring right out are Sabi, Belle-V and Poppin. http://sabi.com/about-sabi/ http://www.poppin.com http://www.belle-v.com
I also seem to be gaining some traction with corporate or small companies because of my design aesthetic and work experience thus far. I’ve been now reaching out to the Targets, Sonomas, Crate&Barrels, etc, but to my disappointment, it seems those companies hardly ever advertise for junior or associate positions. I see more openings for consultancies than I do in my newly preferred area of housewares/home decor. I sometimes feel I am possibly in the wrong country even, as I see more housewares/home decor coming out of Europe.
Any suggestions for getting my foot in the door at the kind of places I aspire to working at? I’ve been reaching out directly to the design directors at these places by writing polite, well-written introduction emails but getting little replies.
PS: If any design professionals care to view my online portfolio, I am willing to share if you private message me. For now, I prefer a bit of discretion on the forum.