Went looking for design employment advice...


Variant, I’m sorry you’ve reached a barrier. Welcome to your first design problem. We’ve all been there.

Lesson 1. Ask the right question for YOUR answer. “getting a job in design”. There are several ambiguities to that question to begin with. What is design to YOU? I’m not going to answer that for you. “getting” do you mean, internship, entry level, fellowship, etc. “job” what is your level of compensation; experience, salary, hourly, barter, etc. Spend a few moments and craft several questions that will provide more insights into what you’re seeking. Trust me, once you get that “design job” you’ll have to deal with clients asking weird and ambiguous questions, constantly. It’s up to you to sort, filter, restate and direct the response. God speed to a more beautiful question.

You try a search for “self-fulling prophecy”. Enjoy getting a clue.

I thought based on the last thread you were getting out of it completely?

UI/UX work is far more available because 1: Virtually every company has some type of digital presence. 2: We’re surrounded by a lot of screens.

Doesn’t mean ID work is gone. All of my ID friends are still gainfully employed, Coroflot has ~100 jobs listed (I remember trying to get hired during the 2007 recession when there were maybe 15 job postings nationwide).

The recipe hasn’t changed. Have a good portfolio, be willing to move, and network as much as possible. The IDSA national conference was just last month.

I started my own ID consulting studio this year. After fretting about it for years and making a business plan, I took the leap in April. I’ve already got two contractors working for me regularly and a back log of projects into the new year in branding, design strategy, design language systems and traditional ID.

I’m saying this as a point of reference. Physical design is not dead. I feel for you, and it sucks that you are in your current situation. Assessing the field incorrectly isn’t going to help. There is work out there. I know it is hard to make an honest assessment of why you aren’t getting work. If there is someone you trust who can give it to you straight (and if you have the ability to hear that), I think that would be helpful.

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If you would like, i would be happy to set up a phone conversation with you and discuss this situation to perhaps help provide guidance,direction, different POV.

Let me know


You’ve posted a bunch of threads on here over the past couple of months/years about:

  1. No full-time jobs replying to you
  2. No freelance jobs replying to you
  3. Your location not being good for NPD
  4. Your 15-20 years of experience not being enough to get a job
  5. Happy clients not being enough to get a job

You’ve been given lots of advice, most of which you still haven’t done (i.e. post a portfolio for review). It’s a competitive industry, and I understand completely the frustration of being rejected from application after application, but why the hell would I hire you when you post comments like below (taken from the 10 yr folio thread). If you hate the basics how can I trust you to handle the ‘holistic’ part of the role.

As said above, the get hired recipe hasn’t really changed, and the parts of your post above that I’ve made bold are perhaps hurting your chances.

From my 2 second google, and I don’t live in the USA so my search might come up differently to yours, I have a list of design places you could at least call to network with in Arizona:

Sorry, that ship has obviously sailed.

Do you want to pile on some more?

I didn’t recall OP’s previous comments. in all honesty its great that he accepts who he is and will not conform, but then accept that that limits your options and move on.

You will always get negative feedback, sometimes a lot, sometimes a bit less. So continue on your way and make sure to have something that impresses people and provides value.

Designer who doesn’t like designing in design-less area complains about lack of design jobs that he doesn’t actually want.

Not sure if we’re the ones with confused expectations or what. If you don’t want to do design the other areas of product development either lead you into program management, product management, or engineering. Being a “Guy who can help make things” consultant is only so valuable because big engineering consultancies want people with broad engineering or manufacturing specialties, not design backgrounds.

Unless you actually know what job title you want to make you happy, finding that job will continue to be impossible. I would say to pursue a management track but unless you have the design vision and interpersonal skills to lead a design team, (which coming into a new position would require a great portfolio to show how your design successes in the past) that will not be an easy job to get.

For Variant, I did some research over the summer to find some cool international design schools just in case I decide to get a masters. I found this school in the Netherlands, english speaking, cheaper than UMEA Institute of Design, and has connections with design firms.

They have 3 Industrial Design masters degrees and one of them may interest you. It is their Strategic Product Design Masters, focusing on business strategy and basically deciding the direction the business should go. I wasn’t interested because there wasn’t any sketching, but from what you describe, you may really like this - and if you are looking for employment advice, there will be professors and actual companies interacting with you at this school to give you just that. Concerning funding, I’ve done some research on scholarships, and found a huge truckload of scholarships exist, you just have to take the time to apply. I know of a few students who went to all sorts of sites online and made over a $100K in scholarship money. Here are a couple that were suggested to me-

http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/scams#dont-pay-for-help - just some advice for avoiding scams

The only reason I was looking at a Master’s degree was because I was interested in working internationally - and the best way to do that is to have a visa, and meet people in person - in addition, I heard designers with master’s degrees are more valued in Europe -

I also looked up some of the grads from that school to see what they were up to. Some of them have some fairly prestigious positions, and big ideas that they share as guest speakers and such.

Kinda way out of the box, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

For general advice, I found this youtube video, but you probably already saw this:

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Unfortunately, I’m 40 and way past the “starting over” thing. If I can’t leverage my experience at this point to make more than minimum wage (which I can’t) something’s fucky as they say. > :open_mouth: > I’m trash, the system’s broken, America’s on the slide. Whatever the problem is. I’ll take measurements in an R&D lab for $40k/yr. but I get shot down for that shit. CAD drafter position for $35k/ yr.? Shot down. > :frowning: >

Too old. To ugly. Shit experience. I’m waaaaaaaaaaay past the point of giving a fuck at this point. The more I’ve done, the less employable I’ve become. Fact. That’s all I know.

Maybe your whiney, ‘I’ve given up’ self-pitying attitude shows when you present yourself. Who would want to work with you? (it’s hard enough to read your posts) It may subtly, or worse, show in cover letters, resume, portfolio, interviews. Get some unbiased evaluation and move forward with a more positive sense of purpose. Hiring someone that is such a downer is an office killer - it infects everyone.

I don’t understand your response, when did I say there was something wrong with that? (Particularly coming from me who no longer does ID and who’s title is Director of Product).

My point is you commented on looking for “design job advice”. Product management is not a design job. Neither are operations jobs, PM roles, etc. If you decide you want a job in program management, then people can give you tactical advice, other than you complaining you can’t find advice from snarky people on a board full of people giving you advice. :neutral_face: