Finding your first job

Matt Lambert
5 min readAug 23, 2023

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

In the early days of your career, it can be tough to find your first job. Don’t be afraid to try an adjacent role to design. I started by testing video games at Electronic Arts for two years. While I was there I was able to volunteer for some internal design projects. I also was able to design some snowboard graphics for the game SSX! The point is, I may not have been working as a designer full-time but I was in the industry and learning how it worked. Working in quality assurance for two years gave me a ton of empathy for working with QA people on my team today. It also made me a much better designer. With a wider experience, I take more into account when making decisions. In the end, this leads to better products.

The problem for new grads

One of the problems I see today are boot camps. They promise people that if they kill themselves for 4–6 months they’ll come out the other end ready to be hired. This is not true. In a few months you can get a good intro to design but you are not ready to work in most cases. You might get lucky and pick up an internship or an entry-level job where you can learn from a mentor. This will not happen for everyone though. What you need to do is consider adjacent roles to design in…