One of the more common questions that I get over at CCD is, “I love your guys’ work! How can I get a job with you!” This is awesome, flattering, and full of missing pieces.
It’s great that people want to work with us. It really really is, but there are a few things that always seem to fall through the cracks with what new hires bring to the conversation. I’d like to show and share with you a few tips that can help you land that ID job your looking for. Thankfully, it’s not that complex. It’s just not always that easy.
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The first thing you should learn is the “why” behind ID. Read up on theory books by Norman, Papanek, and Petroski. These types of books will help you go a long way in understanding that this isn’t just about drawing cool swoopy lines in space with no rhyme or reason behind them. These are some of the books that we find super useful and insightful (Read Glimmer two or three times!):
- The Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman
- Small Things Considered – Henry Petroski
- Design for the Real World – Victor Papanek
- Glimmer – Warren Berger
- Universal Principles of Design – William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler
Secondly, learn the “how”. Application is just as important as theory, but in order to know which tools to pick up, you need to know why you need those tools in the first place. I recommend reading up on marker rendering books, reference material that shows the best way to make a prototype, and books that feature the newest technologies to make the model making process that much more easy and precise. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Creative Marker Techniques
- Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design
- Models and Prototypes
- Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists
Also, there is Output that we sell for free on the store page that features how to get your 3D model ready for laser cutting and 3D printing. You should give it a download here.
The why and the how are the two pillars that support the other three dynamics that you as a designer need to have. This includes an ability to critically think, an ability to communicate, and experience. First focus on your ability to critically think about problems and distill them down to their basic hurdles. Once you’ve done that, you can communicate the solution either through visual means or through action. Experience will grow over time, so don’t stress out about this.
I know, I know, networking sounds like something that people do that some introverts are not so keen on. But to quote @aminamoreau, “I’ve cold called and I’ve gone to networking events and the difference is night and day.” The face to face interaction that happens at networking events are exceptionally important and longer lasting than those that are made through Linkedin or random email connects. The next time you’re in Portland, ask me out to coffee (Pilot@polyplane.com) and we can chat more on this.
A great place to start experimenting with networking is through Meetup.com. I’ve made a handful of connections there. Another kind of off the map technique is to find places that are hiring and look up to see if anyone from the company is either having an open house, or if the owners are participating in community events such as art shows or charity events. Sign up for these events and then go and mingle!
By the way, are you on Twitter or Facebook? Yeah? Us too! Follow us for regular content on design theory, ProTalks, and technical videos that will give you even more ways to #beabetterdesigner. Stay tuned!