Help me find a job in NY!!!!
November 20, 2008 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Just moved to new york and I need help finding a job in the Graphic Design world. Help me get my foot into the door.

So I moved to New York to live in a city where I’m surrounded by my passions. It’s been 4 weeks, I still don’t have a job, a permanent place to live and I haven’t enjoyed any of the things I love so much about this city.

I know the market is bad, but help me find a job. Where do I look?!? I am a graphic designer, I need an entry-level position so I can get my feet wet. I’ve been so desperate that I have been looking at Administrative positions just to get by. I haven’t found any of those either.

What resources can I use to help me find a job in the city. I have used and abused craigslist, monster and creative circle but I haven’t really gotten a bite. I have tried temp agencies, maybe you can suggest the right one? What can I do about getting a job in my field? Is their any job fairs in the city I can attend? What are some good design firms I can send my resume to? Even if they are not hiring, I can just put my name out there maybe?

I’d appreciate all sorts of advice. From helping me find graphic design work to even helping me find something more administrative. I want to start enjoying the city I love so much, but without a job it’s hard to concentrate on anything else.

Thanks in advance
posted by ss448 to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I feel for you. I was an art director in New York in 2000-2001. I had a job when I moved there, and my agency closed August 15, 2001. I was like, sweet, I'll take my severance, use the time to enjoy the art scene, take my time finding a new job etc...needless to say after September 11, the job market was...well, even worse then it had been on September 10.

My advice is to take any decent freelance job that you can find at the moment hoping that it can land you another freelance job, and another etc and work on your book. Try to go to as many "networking" type of things that you can - lectures and the like and meet people. The old saying it's not what you know but who you know is really true.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2008

Go to the events put on by these organizations. You will learn a ton and you may meet people that end up helping you...
posted by lovejones at 11:39 AM on November 20, 2008 [3 favorites]

If you have a degree in design, put your alumni contacts to good use: call up your professors and ask them for leads. Even if your school wasn't in NY, they might know of other former students who landed there.
posted by jamaro at 11:40 AM on November 20, 2008

If you have the free time, do some pro-bono work for non-for-profit organizations. It is a good way to make connections and build a portfolio.
posted by abirae at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2008

uh, didn't you already post this question just last month?

you haven't told us if you have any sort of portfolio for your work, whether offline or on. if you only have an offline portfolio, build yourself a website. no one is going to bother to email or call you back if they can't have a quick look at your stuff or send it around the office for others to look at.

nyc is full of graphic designers, employed or otherwise, and our schools churn even more of them out every single year. everyone here already has a major leg up on you in that they already have networks of people—and the best jobs, even entry-level ones, are best found and obtained through networks. you have a degree in design, so do what jamaro says and ask fellow alums and professors for leads. do what abirae says and pick up pro-bono work for non-profits (but only non-profits! don't work for free for anyone else, or do cheap or spec work for people too miserly to deserve your time.) to build your network up. finding a job in new york, any job, is the same as everywhere else only ten times more competitive, so you have to do what you can to stand out.
posted by lia at 2:44 PM on November 20, 2008

Find a temp agency or recruiter to farm you out to different firms for freelance. That's what I did when I got out of school in New York. Met a lot of different people, got used to in different environments, quick way to get going. I mean, it's a start. I eventually found a job on my own, but I enjoyed that to start with.
posted by Sreiny at 8:42 PM on November 20, 2008

I am a graphic designer living in New York who found work four days after moving here, and I have some tips for you.

1) Don't count on having a design job. If you are restricting yourself to only doing design work or answering the phones at a design firm, you may as well just move back to where you came from or find a nice shopping cart to live in. I am sorry if that sounds mean, but it's true.

You don't need a design job. You need a job. Having a job will make you feel better, pay for food and shelter and things you need to live, and give you the foundation on which to eventually get the dream position you always wanted.

2) Your writing is non-standard and you need to make sure that any email you send is perfect. If I got a cover letter like yours I would ignore the resume. This sounds picky but it's true - this very thread might have gotten you work if it had been brilliantly written, and your tone and style were instead an immediate turn-off. These things matter.

3) Good salespeople are always in high demand. It doesn't matter if it's pens or cars or clothes or services, there are always sales positions. Take anything you can get. It will, again, give you confidence, poise, and teach you the most important lesson, how to sell yourself.

4) Back to design stuff - if your portfolio is not stunning, no one cares and no one will call you - there are a million Pratt / SVA / whatever kids here who are like, painfully talented and against whom we're competing. Make sure that shit is razor-sharp. Good luck.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:07 AM on November 21, 2008

When the going gets tough, the tough get scrappy.

For temping: Not all temp agencies are actively hiring at any given moment. The NYT classifieds are filled with ads from Temp agencies who are currently hiring. Send your resume out to at least a dozen agencies and call to follow up with them. I've had good luck with Tiger Temps and Margaret Luca, but each agency has different hiring patterns so I would suggest canvassing many agencies.

Craigslist: There is a lot of freelance work available in NYC if you are not limited to design work. Are you good with kids? Can you tutor or teach? Can you offer computer help? Do you have restaurant experience? If you respond to enough ads you will be able to pick up some work.

Schools: You mentioned starting a masters program. You could head over to the career office of your future school and ask for help there.
posted by abirae at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2008

I would also recommend TalentZoo and Creative Hotlist.

However, neither of those are going to help you without
1) A killer portfolio
2) A professional demeanor

You think it doesn't matter, but, oh, it does.

There are 1,000,000 graphic designers in this city. Go get A job, now, before they're all gone. Wait, serve coffee, do something.
posted by micawber at 6:09 PM on November 22, 2008

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