Design researcher and visual designer Paulo Dziobczenski has some ideas.
In his doctoral thesis being finalized at Aalto University, he has specialized in the role of designers in companies, how companies adopt design and the recruitment of design professionals. Paulo recently set up a job board where he collects job opportunities for designers in Helsinki. At the moment UX and service designers are most in demand, according to the list. Here are five tips from Paulo!
Keep an eye on what’s happening in the design world
“Design is constantly transforming itself. Nowadays UX design is trendy, while service design was trendy in the past. What will be the next thing in design? Now there is plenty of talk of artificial intelligence and data and how it will shape design. And of voice. Think of Alexa and Siri, and interacting only with voice – there is a lot of work for designers. These are just some educated guesses.”
Be part of the design community
“Join design events. I am a little biased, since I am part of the UX Hel community and we organise roundtables and other events to discuss design and UX design. It is not just for shaking hands and networking, but for inspiration and learning. I think it is a benefit that Helsinki is so small and everyone knows each other. People are usually friendly, so if you send them a message and ask for advice you can get connected to the right person.”
Monitor the job market
“Even if you are already working, it’s always good to see what’s happening in the market. Who is hiring? It’s good to know what skills companies need at the moment. I am learning a lot about the market by updating the job board. I have been doing this since February. At the moment it is built on Trello and done by hand. I add four to six positions per week and now have started getting emails from companies. Let’s see where this will go.”
Get the right job
“When you start looking for companies, properly research the work they do. For instance, how many people are there on the design team? For example, Nokia in the past, their department of design was huge and, I believe, constantly hiring new people. Then you can see if there is space for growing and learning. If you are the first designer in a company, there will be a lot of ‘selling’ in the sense that people might not know what designers do. Then it is harder to grow as a professional so it’s a position for someone with a good track record. If you are a junior you might not have the skills to sell the importance of design and the idea that designers can do so much more than cool newsletters and posters. If you are only starting your career, it is a good idea to work alongside colleagues to learn from them.”
Do good work
“This is a bit obvious but very important. It’s nice to know all the skills and have good connections, but companies will ask you to prove it. A portfolio of previous paid or voluntary work can help show your skills. If you need great cases, you can go to a hackathon or start up weekend.”
Design jobs in Helsinki.
First image from Robin Falck’s studio, taken by Veera Konsti.