Just had to voice my ever growing anxiety about the job market. I am graduating this semester (yay!), but the reality has been setting in, or rather its always been there but now its in my face. Tons and tons of loans I (arguably stupidly) took on and now its time to grind.

I am anxious and frustrated because I feel like my training which is exclusively furniture related only gets me so far. I know how to build and design but I am starting to run into a few walls. For example, some places only want Rino or Autocad users, some places only want graphite users, I was trained to use Solidworks. Using the adobe creative suite which is pretty much industry standard was not taught, I had to teach myself the basics while the ID kids are complete whiz’s at it. I am very knowledgeable and my internship/in school experience list contains a lot of commendable things, BUT I still dont feel like I’m really up to par.

Whats tough is this nagging feeling that I might have to go work in a production shop building other peoples stuff for low pay and very labor intense work. NO THANKS

I just wanted to rant. I wanted to rant after reading and seeing the ol’ catch 22 for the millionth time…'____ years experience needed" yet no entry/junior level jobs out there. UGH. VOMIT.

You gotta start somewhere, and this is relevent experience. I had to do something similar after graduation even though I was an ID grad, it was a painful, but very useful experience. I am now light years ahead of that job, but I wouldn’t be if not for it. When you graduate you are above nothing and deserve nothing except your degree, and that doesn’t gaurantee experience, you have to go get it.

there are no free handouts in any profession and always will be hurdles to overcome (software knowledge, experience, etc doesnt really get much easier with more time in the job). make of it what you will, stop ranting, get to work on learning new apps, get some experience under your belt and go for where you want to be. you can never just sit back and wait for the jobs to knock on your door (or email inbox).


The reality is you will always be “building other peoples stuff”.
As designers we are obligated to ask the right questions, then find the right answers.
The rest of the world is just waiting to participate in this dialogue. Whether you are building stuff for someone else or creating your own design you are ultimately designing for someone else.
If you adopt this mentality and stay passionate about design you’ll find great reward, no matter who or where you’re working.

Go work at an engineering firm for six or eight months, and then come back to tell me how you’d rather not work in a production office…

also you may want to read some of the posts in “position put on hold” they offer a bit of insight into the current economic conditions.

you better bust out of your comfort zone or go back to school until the economy comes back. if you can’t roll with the punches, ESPECIALLY IN FURNITURE, you’re going to have a bitter and short career.

trust me, i feel your pain. im going through it right now. unemployed for 4 mo so far and the bad economy is not helping either…good luck :cry:

I might have to go work in a production shop building other peoples stuff for low pay and very labor intense work. NO THANKS

I graduated in 1973, no jobs, gas lines, and no Internet to make it all easier to job hunt.

I found a job working nights on the pouring floor and shotblast room in a gray iron foundry, and volunteered (for extra pay of course) to come in on Saturday and Sunday mornings to help on a maintenance crew.

The rest of the time I spent sketching, portfolio work, and letter writing (with a typewriter) to companies via the US Mail. I finally found a freelance job in a corporate model shop “building other people’s stuff”. But it eventually opened the door to a real industrial design job.

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do … ya just gotta do it.

Another success story: I graduated right after the dot-bomb and accompanying period of slow hiring in ID. It wasn’t easy, but I worked freelance where I could until the market recovered and I landed a full time gig. Looking at where many of my classmates ended up, I think that endurance is the most critical part of the entry level IDers personality. If you keep improving, jobs will come!

i always thought constantly working on what you can do, improving sketching skills, software skills etc… is possibly the best approach. i have just learned a habit of becoming proactive, im going to graduate next year, i have my final year project and shows to really show what i can do so hopefully i can land a junior position somewhere.

just keep at it, remain focused and proactive.


I agree that you have to keep working at it. I graduated in 2002 and the market sucked back then too. I worked my ass of trying to find a full time gig, but I also took a lot of freelance jobs. Some of these I was not proud of and some really sucked but it paid the bills. They were everything from CAD drawings to just doing PS renderings.

After a while I landed a full time freelance job with a cosmetic company which lasted 8 months and then another with a consulting firm. Then after doing this for a while I landed my first full time stable job. The road was rough and bumpy but I learned a lot along the way.

This is not to say that you will go through that much but my point is don’t give up, keep up, keep up you skills and you will find something. Just don’t be too proud to take what you can at first and then build up to that perfect job.

the main thing is, no one is going to come up to you and give you the dream job, you gotta be proactive and pay your dues. part of life. i used to put together metal pieces for lighting and did a million illustrator dummy proof assembly sheets before I was allowed to even attack a design…

hey thanks a lot for the replies. When I wrote that I was under extreme stress and pressure, I had two art shows to finish up work for and I was in the process of breaking off a long term relationship(TMI!). Now that I am done I can think about things a lot more clearly.

I went home for a week to think about things. In my jobless time I am scary broke but I am really ok with things. As long as I can eat I am fine with it.

So I am working out a plan and it works something like this:

#1 I have no ties to anything. which makes me think that maybe san francisco isnt the only city in the game, there is los angeles, the east coast, canada and the rest of the world. As soon as any sort of money comes into my hands I am applying for a passport

#2 I have no credit history outside of student loans. So at the very least I dont have to worry about paying off any credit cards.

I already know solidworks and I am currently learning autocad to boost my potential wealth as an employee. after that I will *try to attack alias.

I already have my website up but I will try to slim it down to near perfection.

Business cards will be printed.

Outside of CL, coroflot and monster I am out of the loop for places to look which brings me to the idea of cold calling and persistent inquiries into a companies hiring methods, job openings and practices.

In the short term I am looking working as a bartender or barista. I have lots and lots of retail experience but I hate goons and the retail world is full of them.

The other option which is a completely random ass thing is the budding modeling career thats happening for me. No lie, I did one job and another thing and the next thing I know I’m on the cover of a weekly fashion industry newspaper. Headshots and contact names/numbers in hand I will try this on as I continue to look for real work.

Well, glad to hear you are done with acting all depressio’s. I imagine a lot of people have to go through it. Your plan is cool and all, but if you want to be making furniture, youd better start making it. from the looks of it you don’t have any kids, any real bills, or any responsibilities. you should have some crappy job by now and be staying up all night long drawing and designing furniture. Whether or not you agree with IDSA you had better go to a few meetings and hear every single professional there tell you about how they graduated, worked a crap job and stayed up all night practicing all night every night for the first six months.

the thing is that when i was in school the IDSA was a thing that had nothing to with us at all, but now I am seeing that its a group i should know very well.

i agree with your post. and that is why i am learning autocad(again). just picked up a vemco v track drafting machine for free and I am really thinking about taking a class at city college to *re learn drawing. I stopped drawing when i came to school, funny I know but true.


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I landed 2 part time jobs out of college that were not ID - one was exhibit design and the other was architectural plaster. However, I was able think creatively and even learn new skills for my resume… that later helped me land a “real job” several months later.

I used to work in the modelling industry. Am I right in thinking Milan is big place for furniture design? Milan is the place where new models go to build their portfolio. If I were you,I’d be trying to combine the two.

hey this thread.

I am still on the hunt but I landed an uber cool job in an industry that I didn’t know about until I started working within it.

So what do I work in and what do I do?

I work for a Blu-Ray authoring (start up) company as a digital asset manager/office manager/QC tester

I also work as intern for a fairly well known design boutique. (think gold plated cokespoons, mr wong, and laser etched vibrators…got it? got it.)

With the Blu Ray company i get to work closely with engineers and designers. This is a budding industry and it could very well be something I could go into by way of sucking up as much as possible on the job. I still have sleepless nights wondering about the future but I offset that by working on my modeling skills, graphic design skills and having a few cold ones at night. As it seems I am not in a bad position and it could be worse, at the end of the day I am happy to be employed, making way more than minimum wage and being able to learn on the job.

I can only hope that I can somehow tie it all together on my resume.

That sounds awesome!. what studio is it? Tobias Wong?