Thank you for checking out my post. While there is no doubt that it's great to be employed, unfortunately I do not get to design anything at my current job, which is what I want to do. This is one of my biggest obstacles when I go to interviews. They want me to have professional experience designing and I don't have that. All of my work is from my student years, so they see it a bit amateurishly I think. Also, there is not much I can learn anymore after being at my company for 6 years.ralphzoontjens wrote:Hi Santiago,
You are doing very thankful work at your current company, is there a specific reason you want to switch jobs? It is already a good thing that you are employed, you can also look at expanding your abilities or the company's focus while you are there to make it more satisfactory for yourself.
I'll look into it. Thanks for the advice. I was also thinking on expanding the Escher table line.ralphzoontjens wrote:What companies especially want to see is original ideas - you can work on that. Design competitions for example are a great way of expanding your conceptual thinking. Of all your furniture I like the Escher table the best, it relates to modernism, is original and timeless.
Hi smyoung! While in college I took a lot of different classes precisely to try to determine which direction to go in. I liked some more than others , but I enjoyed designing different stuff every time. This is why I focused mostly on agencies and furniture studios, but no luck. I feel like once they see that I've been out of school for 6 years, they rather hire a fresh out of college person. At this point I don't care. I just want to get my foot on the door.smyoung wrote: Have you considered taking night/summer classes with a strong focus in direction within design? I only mention this because while your portfolio is pretty solid, it spreads over wide range of categories from furniture to electronics. What companies are you specifically targeting, what's your interest in design if you were to make the next move?
Maybe you can look at the fact that you have been out of school for a while in a different way.Santiago_Florez wrote:Hi smyoung! While in college I took a lot of different classes precisely to try to determine which direction to go in. I liked some more than others , but I enjoyed designing different stuff every time. This is why I focused mostly on agencies and furniture studios, but no luck. I feel like once they see that I've been out of school for 6 years, they rather hire a fresh out of college person. At this point I don't care. I just want to get my foot on the door.smyoung wrote: Have you considered taking night/summer classes with a strong focus in direction within design? I only mention this because while your portfolio is pretty solid, it spreads over wide range of categories from furniture to electronics. What companies are you specifically targeting, what's your interest in design if you were to make the next move?
Thanks for the advice. It's great to hear that you were once on the same boat (kind of). I'm fully aware of the fact that even though I don't have "design experience" I have gained other useful skills that are very important for the job, however, employers always try to dismiss this claiming they need someone who can hit the ground running and be productive from day 1. I think this is where I'm struggling the most. How did you manage it? Also, what do you mean by structure for my portfolio? Any examples? Thanks in advance.bepster wrote:
Maybe you can look at the fact that you have been out of school for a while in a different way.
You weren't hibernating during those years but instead gathering valuable experience. Maybe not designing but in many other ways, I am sure.
Organisation, problem solving, manufacturing and general maturity in the "real world".
Try to leverage these.
I got a start into the design world really late, didn't really start designing until I was past 30.
So I know what it is like to not be the cookie-cutter young junior designer, when that is your competition.
You portfolio isn't bad at all and with a bit of structure, editing and re-work plus a couple new, contemporary projects, it can definitely get you where you want to go. Then the fact that you are a bit older, will only help your chances.
Nice to see I'm not alone. I see you are having the exact same problem that I am having. What other kind of feedback have you gotten from your interviews?frdiby wrote:Hi Santiago!
I just had a couple interviews, and lost. Both times they repeated to me that I have talent and enthusiasm, but not quite enough experience in either user research or working with engineering teams. I find the interviewers like to ask questions about my day job products and often dismiss my personal concept projects. The problem with that is, I have a hard time communicating the depth and value of my day job products. I design dozens of packaging products a week, we have over 4,000 SKUs that go to market each year, and there are only 2 designers here. Maybe I should have said that
Hi Greenman,Greenman wrote:Hi Santiago, does the company that you work for employ any designers? Having been there for some time have you identified any areas where design would benefit the company? Do you have new product ideas that your company could produce? Do you see new market opportunities that you could combine design with your company's capabilities to open up new offerings?
I don't know what your company's capabilities are as far as manufacturing, engineering, etc., but maybe start by creating an inventory list of all of your company's capabilities and resources, and then imagine, if it were up to you, what could you design to leverage this in new ways? Then design some things with this in mind and propose it to your leadership. If they don't bite, well then you have fresh, new, applicable design work for your portfolio.
They will hire the person that they see as the best fit for working within their existing team, assuming that the person also has the skillset required for the role. This goes both ways of course, and you can absolutely decline an offer because the cultural fit isn't right, even if your skills are suitable. Being happy in your workplace is important.frdiby wrote: The questions I get asked are often quite deep especially questions related to "culture fit" profiling. Sometimes I feel like the companies would rather just clone their own staff than try hiring someone new.
As they say, it's about who you know and not what you know. I'd say the two are equally important, and that this is very good advice.frdiby wrote:Also, I've talked with a couple design directors at design firms that I really admire, and they told me to approach my workplaces of choice and develop a relationship with the designers there through introducing myself and seeking advice.
Awesome, congratulations! Inspires to never give up if you really want it...frdiby wrote:I told you I would follow up on this thread, and so here I am, after a year's worth of applying to jobs, having all expenses paid flights out to a number of design studios around the country for interviews, having almost all but given up on my job search, I just submitted my signed offer to my new employer and my resignation letter to my current employer today!
I learned a lot over the past year, but I think one of the most important things I needed to learn was to believe in myself. I had put a lot of thought into my portfolio and resume, and made a few updates through the year. In order to land the job, I also had to put that much thought and care into the interview, and believe that what I was showing was actually who I am. Confidence in my experience and my abilities took the year for me to develop.
So, after designing "gift card holders" for 7 years straight, I will now be designing bbq grills, related accessories, and additional outdoor bbq experience related products that will be sold in Walmart and other major retailers. Gift card holders resided in the POP, gift, and craft related markets. I jumped a pretty huge gap there, and I'm super excited.
One more thing, I did not land this job by applying to a job board post. I prepared for it by applying to job boards. This job came through my network that I was acquiring along the road. Cool huh!
Good luck to you and everyone else out there looking for an ID Job!