Getting Into The Web Design World (Fresh Out of School)
Starting "The Hunt"
Let's face it, graduating college with your degree is one of the most amazing and freeing feelings in the world. Not only do you not have 15+ hours of homework a week, but you don't have to get up early anymore to avoid that morning commute to school.
Oh wait, that's right, you do have to get up early still. Maybe not right away, but sooner or later you'll know what I'm talking about. If you aren't one of the select few that immediately get a job from your portfolio review, then chances are you will end up like me. Now what does that entail? Well, if you haven't been looking before graduating, then get ready to start shooting out resumés to every company you possibly can. The competition for web designers (or even graphic designers for that matter) is FIERCE.
Having graduated in December 2009, I had the worst time finding a job in design. This was mainly because of the economy crashing not too long before. The job boards for designers was very limited, maybe 1/4 of what it is today. But by mid-2010 I felt like I should have majored in writing cover letters, having written over 150 of the easily.
Giving Up Early
There might be a point where you are so sick and tired of putting resumés out that you start looking for a job that has nothing to do with what you went to school for. That's definitely nothing to be ashamed about. I did the same thing, and even moved 1000+ miles away from New Jersey to see if I could find my calling, and even after spending a year in Florida, I still didn't find anything except for a grocery clerk position.
Fortunately due to certain circumstances, I was able to go back home to Jersey where I started all over again. Within 2 months of being back I found a part time job as a graphic designer for a local television production company. Because I was more interested in the digital side of design, I quickly turned the position into a web design one. Due to a comment about a certain website looking like it was from 2001, I was able to easily convince my boss to let me redesign his website from the ground up. Soon after that I did 2 more websites for each of his television shows.
BUT I WANTED MORE
Part time wasn't enough for me. We all have bills to pay right? Even though I was still working there I found the time to get a second job where the work concentrated more on purely web design. Luckily it wasn't too long before I got a second job, designing and coding nothing but restaurant websites. It was more fulfilling then the other job, and even though I started out as part time, within a week I was given full time and gave my position to a friend of mine at the other job.
It was about 3 months before I noticed something, that lead me to believe my time was nearing an end. Due to financial issues with my current place of work. I was let go with nothing to fall back on. A lot of us have been there, and there's nothing more depressing then filling out your information for unemployment. Right back where I started.
Things Work Out in the Long Run
I took the liberty in sending my resume to a staffing agency, hoping that something would come out of it. I had dealt with them in the past but I never really had any luck. They has a job that they thought I would be a great fit for. I decided to go for it and had an interview with them that seemed to go rather well. I had told them I wouldn't be available until 2 weeks later, as I was going to Florida for a much needed vacation.
Upon my return I received an email from the staffing agency telling me I had gotten the job. I was to start the following Monday. As of now I am a web developer for a prestigious magazine in New Jersey and am happy to say that I have finally started my career.
New Jersey Monthly Magazine
I know it's hard to find a job as it is with the economy the way it is, and this government shutdown isn't helping any. But those who work hard to find work end up with the feeling of accomplishment in the end. Good luck to those of you who are in the same position I once was!