Ask DN: How did you get your job?

over 7 years ago from Jeff Everest, Freelance Mobile Designer

  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    My history:

    1. First job, Content Developer Straight out of school, thought I knew everything about design. Applied to about 15 positions around the US, basically a shotgun scattershot. Interviewed at a couple. Took a job as a Content Developer at a design agency. They didn't think my design skills were good enough for the design team yet.

    2. Second job, Designer Applied to about 35 positions, mostly scattershot again, but in select cities. Interviewed at three places, and a Nashville company offered me a job based on the potential they thought I had. At this point, I only had 1 real project in my portfolio and a bunch of student work.

    3. Third job, UI Designer Applied to 5 select jobs. At this point I was very picky in where I wanted to work, and had the skills, talent, and experience to be picky. Picked a great place. Made great work. Eventually promoted to Creative Director.

    4. Fourth job, Senior Designer Had about a dozen people try to hire me in the past year, but wasn't interested. But, when I was ready to find another job I touched base with a guy I had connected with in the past and was offered a job. (all about networking and who you know!)

    Things I learned: 1. The scattershot approach does work... eventually. And you probably won't get exactly what you are looking for.

    1. You do need a portfolio, and keep it up to date.

    2. Who you know matters, and networking is important.

    3. No job is perfect!

    4. Recruiters (in my opinion) offer little to no value.

    5. When someone reaches out to offer you a job, at least talk with them even if you are not interested in changing jobs or never want to work there. It's part of the whole networking thing and can help down the line.

    6. Connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn is a waste of time. I could say a lot about recruiters...

    7. Being a smart designer is better than being a flashy designer.

    8. When you are good at what you do and work hard people will notice.

    Probably could say more, or less, but there ya go.

    14 points
    • Vincent MillikenVincent Milliken, over 7 years ago

      What was your time periods within each job, if you dont mind me asking?

      Do you think it mattered when switching how long you where in your previous position?

      0 points
      • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 7 years ago

        Sure, I don't mind sharing. I do think tenure matters some, but there are other factors as well. But, my short(er) stays never were an issue when securing a position (I know a lot of people worry about this).

        1. Content Developer. Only here for 10 months. Wasn't a design job, but was planning on switching teams with the help of my boss. But, we lost a multi-million dollar client and my whole team (~30 people) were laid off. Like I said, this wasn't design, but it was the last time I felt like I was really really good at my day-to-day job.

        2. Nashville Designer. Stayed for 1.5 years. Felt like a lot longer. This is were I got the basics of design down.

        3. UI Designer/Creative Director. 1 year 10 months total. Learned most of what I know here. CD for about 3 months or so.

        4. Senior Designer. 3 months and counting, and I really want it to be loooong term. So that's the plan.

        0 points