Paid UX Design Entry Level Job?

Hi there, I'm almost finished with a Coursera program for UX designers. Can any of you give me advice on where to look for my first job? Do you think I will need to take an unpaid position before finding a paid postion in this field? I was previously a copywriter. Thank you!

rachelkspurrier's profile thumbnail
Hi Rachel! Fellow Rachel here. :) First and foremost, do not take an unpaid position. Your time is not free, and the value of your work is not free! Although gaining experience can be valuable in and of itself, unpaid work is unfair at best and exploitative at worst. In terms of where to look for your first role, I'd definitely think about your experience before taking the Coursera program. I know several designers who pivoted into design but stayed in their industry. For example, one person worked in real estate before becoming a designer, so he looked for roles at property tech companies. Another had a strong background in academic research, so he focused on UX research at first. Additionally, I'd consider trying to find design community or fellow designers wherever you can. There are a lot of tech communities based on identity, as well (e.g., Out in Tech, API who Design, etc.) These are great places to meet fellow designers and even hiring managers. Last but not certainly not least, entering the UX design job market is a great time to find a mentor. Mentors can help answer your questions about where to look for jobs, how to get unstuck in your search, how to level up your portfolio, practicing for interviews, etc. Merit ( is free and has a lot of design mentors available. Incidentally, Merit published a two-part blog series on finding your first design gig after bootcamp. Part I is here:
Nyaima's profile thumbnail
This is awesome advice Rachel!
rachelsuwak's profile thumbnail
Hi fellow Rachel! Thank you for affirming my work's value. I think imposter syndrome plays a big part of me expecting to do my work for free. I have a strong copywriting background, so it's possible I could do ux writing and use that as an in. I will be looking for communities to join, thank you so much for that advice. Thank you so much for recommending Merit to me! I appreciate your time and effort responding to my post.
annamiller's profile thumbnail
Hey Rachel, There are great internships and entry level jobs out there, takes some time to discover them but they are there! There is a list that all about entry level UX roles:'s most important is that you have a portfolio and can speak confidently about your projects. Hope this helps!
rachelsuwak's profile thumbnail
Thank you @annamiller !