Looking for advice as an entry level UX Designer-with a lack of entry level positions, what path should I take?

ara206's profile thumbnail
Maybe check out the job posting in this recent post: https://elpha.com/posts/nyx85vqw/mirza-is-hiring-ux-ui-and-full-stackBased on the salary it looks entry level to me, but I'm not totally sure
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
Thanks so much for sharing that with me Sandra! That company looks right up my alley!
teresaman's profile thumbnail
Congratulations on graduating from an intensive program! The job market is definitely tough right now, but it's great to hear that you're not letting that deter you from your dreams! I am currently in product design and some adjacent roles I know people have taken are: UX research and product marketing. I myself was a graphic designer (for print) prior to going into UI/UX.Hope this helps! I'd also encourage you checking out our Job Board https://elpha.com/c/job-board and official partner postings here https://elpha.com/positions!
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
Thanks so much for the insight Teresa! I was curious about product marketing, as my background is actually in communications & social media marketing. Those both seem like great options to look into for my career path. I'll definitely be checking out elpha's job resources!
DianePrince's profile thumbnail
I have a client looking for a UX designer. It may be contractor/part-time for now but if he thinks you're a fit it could give you some experience. If you send me your resume with your portfolio I'd be happy to pass it along.
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
I truly appreciate the offer, Diane! I'll send my info your way.
JessicaDevine's profile thumbnail
I'm wondering if building general experience (and adding to your portfolio) would help make you more competitive in the long-run. You might check out FLIK and see about doing a few apprenticeships where you offer UX work. You don't get paid, but it builds your network, experience, and portfolio all at the same time. I've had some great apprentices through FLIK and would have loved to have someone like you as part of my apprentice cohort.
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
Thanks so much for the kind words, Jessica. I've just discovered FLIK, so I'm encouraged to look into knowing that you had such a great experience!
emilypatterson's profile thumbnail
Hi! I think 2 pieces of advice, as someone who has hired UX Designers -1. More roles generally open at the start of the year in January when new budgets kick in, so look again in the new year and you might have more luck 2. In the meantime, try to build out your portfolio - come up with any idea and throw something together on Webflow maybe? These can be as silly as you want, the idea is to show some initiative and creativity and thoughtfulness. 3. Another idea is contract/freelance work - maybe someone you connect with here or on Twitter or something.4. Try to do some mock interviews if you can! That way when you find a great role, you'll be ready!
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
This is great insight, thanks so much for sharing Emily! It's encouraging to know that the job market may be looking better in a few months. I definitely think building a skillet and practicing interviews will be so helpful when those roles start opening up!
ebonyjohnson's profile thumbnail
I’m in a similar position. I appreciate seeing all the resources shared.
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
I'm so glad we can have this platform to encourage and support each other!
KellieCarlson's profile thumbnail
Hi Sam! I found myself in the same boat this past year after graduating my UX Intensive in May. I think all the people above shared some really amazing resources and suggestions and I don't think there's just one way to go about it but I thought I'd share my experience. It took me about 5 emotionally draining months before I landed a UX Research internship. Your drive and determination will pay off so don't lose steam! I had many moments where I questioned if I had done the right thing but I'm glad I didn't give into that voice. Some of my favorite resources (aside from Elpha) are:-Meetaway = a speed networking platform, they have monthly meetings of UX Designers helping UX Designers-Lunchclub = weekly lunch meetings with people who match your interests-UX Rescue = a slack channel/website that hosts volunteer projects for UX designers to work on, it's a great opportunity to get real life experience while also meeting more people -ADP list = free UX Mentorship -Powertofly = a womens focused job board with coaching and recorded informational webinars-Creative Huddle Slack = slack channel with people from all sorts of creative fields, they have job listings, offer feedback, connections, webinars-Project 1000 hires = a quick 5-7 minute interview that highlights your experience and is shared widely on LinkedIn with the intention of widening your visibility and getting you hired.I started out post program attending conferences/webinars that were in line with my interests and posted in local Facebook job groups. Both of those avenues brought me to about 4-5 freelance opportunities which helped me make more connections and helped refine my portfolio. I will say that post program was very focused on a UX Design position and probably applied to many roles prior to having my portfolio polished (which probably did me a huge disservice but I was just so ready to get out there and put my skills to work). I ended up getting to a place where financially I couldn't keep full time job searching so I went back to my mental health role and tried job hunting on the side. Many of the reviews I got on my portfolio were about improving my UI (which still needs to happen) and them saying "If we were looking for a researcher you'd definitely be hired." While it wasn't the news I had hoped for I ended up shifting my scope to UX Research and widening it to intern roles because I now had my mental health role as income and it seemed to be a better foot in the door for me at this time. I could not be happier at my internship and while it's no guarantee of it turning into a position at this company, I feel so much more confident speaking to my UX research skills now that I have more formal experience. One thing I love most about this field is how supportive and encouraging everyone has been. I hope that any of this information was helpful or encouraging and if you ever want to chat further I'm always happy to talk :) Best of luck!!
SamTammaro's profile thumbnail
Kellie, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to share your story and all of those resources with me! It's nice to hear from someone else who is also just starting out in this field and the steps you've been taking to get where you are now. This was super helpful for me as I move forward and consider all of my options and ways to break into this career path. I'm learning that this field is super supportive and it's really encouraging to connect with others and get this insight. Best of luck to you as well! :)