This unemployment is driving me mad... I just don't get it.

I know you are frustrated and that you are approaching (past?) your breaking point, but what you wrote here is rather offensive to everybody who has a job and it does not really help anyone, especially not you.

The “borderline mentally retarded” people that are employed are ether very lucky or doing something very right. Chances are, it is a little bit of both. They have something you don’t. May it be a connection that got them a job, a striking personality or a great skill set. Maybe they just were at the right time in the right place.

Your post come off as very self centered, aggressive and desperate and I can only imagine how this carries through to the way you present yourself, digitally or in person.

In my experience, what has always landed me a job, was that somebody I knew had connections and was happy with my work, recommended me further. Does this mean I had to do unpaid internships and do a lot of work for free in teh beginning? Absolutly!
Win-win, since if I do a good job at the new place it will reflect well on the person who referred me. If you can make some connections through internships or workshops, go for it. Also a half-time shop tech or teaching position might be a good way of getting back into the game.

Just please don’t give up and think how everybody is just treating you wrongly and that everybody else is at fault, it will get you nowhere.

hey Bepster, good reply to another self centered whining thread, that drew my attention
to your portfolio, which I like! Went anything of those projects into production yet?

I’ll give you the same advice I give to everyone who posts something like this. Get a job, ANY job. Work at Home Depot, or a bike shop, or a coffee shop or bartend or something. Work on your design work on your own, and make that your “full time job” while you’re looking for full time employment. In this economy, no one is going to look at you differently if you’ve got a gap in employment on your resume.

Companies aren’t hiring, they’re firing. Those of us left in the wake have to do twice the work with zero increase in pay. Once the company can again become profitable, they might re-hire some of those they let go. Or, they’ll hire new entry level people. It’s just how things are going to be for a while. I know it sucks, it effects all of us more than you think.

This saved my ass back in 2002.

Some are lucky if it’s only a zero increase in pay and not a cut.

Turn your frustration inward, try to be more introspective and be honest with yourself. Feel free to post your portfolio here as well for some critique, if you don’t have one online well then that’s part of the problem!

Being able to think of using hall sensors doesn’t necessarily make you a good or employable designer.

If you haven’t been employed, have you spent the past year updating and working indepentantly on developing your portfolio?

The reason people get callbacks for jobs is because of the quality and presentation of their work, not because of their intellect or degree. If you haven’t gotten any callbacks, chances are your portfolio isn’t as good as you think, and if you’ve been letting it sit stagnant for the past year thats just 1 year that it’s now out of date.

So rather then being frustrated about it, I would suggest you take the above advice and get a job anywhere just so you can be able to pay the bills, and spend your extra time updating your portfolio, doing self guided projects, and improving your skillsets. Make sure you go to any IDSA conferences or other design events where people are looking for hires and look to expand your contacts, and don’t have such a chip on your shoulder. There are a LOT of unemployed designers out there with very strong portfolios. If your work isn’t above the quality of theirs, they are going to get the first jobs, not you.

Based on your post, I would venture to guess that attitude is the reason you’re still unemployed. Technical ability and tangible deliverables are only about half of what will land you the job, the rest is your personality. Although the employer may not come out and ask you, that behavior will surface no matter how coy you think you are.

Jobs are out there, keep your head up. I’m currently employed and have a couple opportunities on the horizon. But then I again, I must be one of those people you mention. :laughing:

I am often the person who reads or hears someone that others may feel has an attitude or is arrogant and am not put off by it in the least, yet reading your post was rather put off. I would venture to say if I feel that way, many others are having a very negative reaction. So I’m going to go with what Boosted said and say that it may be your attitude. I would consider contacting former co-workers and friends and asking them to give you some honest feedback on your strengths and weaknesses which may get at this issue and help you improve other areas and get a better understanding on the areas others feel you are strong. Keep working on your portfolio as others have said, best of luck.

Is the picasaweb-folio or your coroflot the material you apply for employment opportunities with?
The attitude things comes to mind here too, but I guess/hope that this thread was some kind of frustration ventilation for you.

Not one sketch in your portfolio.

This was you one year ago: Getting started, NOT fresh out of college. Plenty of good advice was given.

As others have mentioned, in this new thread you come across as an intellectual snob, which may be the frustration talking. That’s not doing you any favors. Put your money where your mouth is. Being superior and elitist works only as long as your work is superior and elite. I look at your portfolio and it is exactly the same as when I looked at it back then. If you have been out of work for the last year and haven’t done any freelancing, what have you done? If you have updated your portfolio, and your online images are just out of date, update those images!

54% of Households Have Someone Who's Been Without Work This Year - The Atlantic read and get going

I actually see something of a younger me in some of your frustration. I remember comparing myself to other students not seeing why they should be more successful than me. Thinking: “I’m just as creative. Equally talented, at least as smart etc.” What I realised is that doing the research and getting the idea is just step on, you also have to deliver. IMO what really separate the great from the rest is often the ability to follow your project through. Pure work ethics.

Blaming your surroundings will never improve the situation. Look at your self and see what you can improve. And stay involved (show initiative) in something, whatever it is.

I think your feelings are valid, it’s a tough time right now, I had a job, did everything right, and the architects on our projects kept getting fired, that has nothing to do with me or my attitude or by portfolio. I had three positions end up not being filled because things turned south on me. Shit happens.

It probably has nothing to do with your attitude, I imagine you don’t email employers and contacts the sort of stuff you posted up here, this is anonymous and you won’t get a job through these forums, why not vent a bit. We all talk about everything else why not being pissed that it’s hard to find a job.

A design job isn’t some prize handed down from the gods because you do good design deeds and stumble upon the correct configuration in your resume and portfolio, it’s a job. The manager needs a specific skill set to accomplish a job and he or she knows right now he’s going to get 10 times as many apps as normal so they can be choosy and pay next to nothing. They know that when things turn around they’ll have to pay out the nose for experienced people that are still practicing in the field having not drifted off into another career path.

I could go on, but I have an inside line on a position that I may or may not be the best person for, but I’m still trying anyway.

Sometimes when I feel like giving up, or even after I have given up, I wonder, “ok, so now what do I do?” I don’t really know how to be anything besides a designer, it’s all I F-ing talk about to the point that it makes friends and family irritated, so I just go back and keep looking for that perfect portfolio configuration…

If you’re really brilliant, start your own firm or make and sell your own ideas. This way you won’t be begging or hoping for a job and inventing your own.

Lol, How about this one? If you’re so sick of the economy why don’t you just start your own international economic climate in which everyone has a job or else quit whining, punk!

To be blunt… There is nothing in your portfolio that a sophomore could not do. If you really want to be a designer, than work like one. We put in 10 or more hours a day into designing everyday things. You should use that time to invest in your portfolio by doing some original ideas and lots of sketches. All I see is modified existing items.

Are using this Picasa album ( as your portfolio? If you’ve been ‘down and out for 18+ months’ what do you have to show for it? Lets see what you’ve been working on in that time and what projects and development to your portfolio you have to show.


I can understand your frustration and the need to vent. On April 28th I will officially have been out of work for a year. I’ve been lucky enough to have some freelance work and have landed multiple interviews. But times are tough. I’ve been told twice now that a company would like to hire me but can’t until they land some more work. So I’m in this weird limbo stage while waiting for either one of these companies to get some more work.

You made a comment that while totally rude and insensitive, I can relate to. By no means am I going to say I am smarter or better than some of the people that I graduated with. I graduated in May of 2008 and out of my class of 32 people only 10-12 still have jobs . The ones that still are employed are the ones who had little drive to work for good design firms. They settled by taking jobs with local mediocre firms doing par to sub-par design work. They definitely took the easy route and it has paid off for them to this day. My classmates who were at the top end design-wise took jobs with good to great design firms doing exceptional work and they have almost all lost their jobs. The firms that were doing this great work required higher budgets and really pushed better design. Unfortunately a lot of the buildings they were designing lost their financing which resulted in people losing their jobs. The local mediocre firms are still going along nicely designing basic buildings that are giving the people what they need and not trying to sell them on something better. For me this type of work is very depressing since it totally strips the creativity out of design. But some of my classmates are more than happy to spend their career doing bland-design and just being a cad jockey.

I had an interview where the company was worried about me since I am very design oriented. I think they wanted someone who would be happy doing cad work day in day out. You have no clue how frustrating it is to be told that your portfolio is too design heavy.

In the time since I’ve been laid off I’ve been keeping busy polishing my skills and my portfolio. I’ve built some furniture, placed in some design competitions, read a lot of design books, started studying for my GMATs to get an MBA. I’ve done some freelance work and helped finish out a few houses. I’m just trying to stay busy with anything I can think of that will help my career.

I still have times where I get really down and depressed over this crappy economy and I definitely bitch to some of my friends and family every now and then. I really hope I can find a job soon but I will not sacrifice who I am just to get a job. In the long run I would be miserable taking a job that I could not be myself at.

Go ahead and vent, it feels good. Where else can you do that, besides the internet? The flaming is almost worth it.

I had a sales buddy say to me the other week, “work on your negotiations with the new client - everything in life is sales”.

Being in sales, of course he would say that, right? A designer might say everything in life is design, a surgeon, a janitor, etc.

The point is: just because most of us are designers doesn’t make design any more important to the world. Just because you got a four year degree doesn’t entitle you to eventually come to the front of the line for Your Design Job. You can drink your own Kool-Aid as much as you want, but what we’re doing doesn’t make the world go around. It taps into the capitalist accumulation drive to die with as many toys as possible. Right now people aren’t buying toys.

Turn on the news tonight, any channel you want. The economy is in the shitter worldwide! Countries in the EU are failing! You think they want a new $500 chair?

What’s making news? Terrorism. Health-care and financial reform. Global-freaking-warming. Earthquakes. Greece. Portugal. Goldman Sachs. Commodities and China. Airplanes diverted from their destinations. Oh yeah - some dipshit lost his new iPhone. Whoo-hoo, designers get 90 seconds of airtime on the nightly news.

This is a job, like any other job. Heck, it doesn’t even pay very well, compared to other jobs that hire even stupider people to do a rather routine job. The world owes you nothing. Nothing.

Wait… WHAT? Are you looking for a job or not?