Category Archives: Job Search

Designers: Get Noticed & Get A Dream Job

Designers: Get Noticed & Get A Dream Job

There’s no way around it: the job hunt can be tough. You might get lucky and find the right fit early in your search, but for the majority of job seekers this is a long and strenuous process of applications and interviews.

Do Your Research

Before sending your application for a new and exciting role, make sure to do your research on the company. Delve into their website, taking time to learn about each of their products, their current clients, and their team.

If the company already has a graphic designer or a full design team, take stock of their specific role(s) and specialities. Note how you could fit into their team and complement their current capacity in this department. For example, if their graphic designer specializes in web design and UX, perhaps you can highlight your strong skill set in print or illustration.

If the company has a blog or a news section, be sure to spend some time there as well. If you see any blog topics that pique your interest or perhaps the company has made headlines with a big announcement recently, these are great anecdotes to include in your cover letter. Highlighting details like this shows an employer that you care about working for them specifically, not just any company.

Customize Your Outreach

One of the biggest blunders you can commit on your job hunt is to send out impersonal, boilerplate cover letters and resumes en masse. While you may think sending out more applications will mean you get more responses, this could actually have the opposite effect.

With high competition for designer roles, it’s essential that your outreach be personalized and show a true understanding of what the company is looking for and how you can deliver on each element of the job description.

In each cover letter and resume, try to find a hook that shows why you have a genuine interest in this position specifically. For example, if the position is with a tech startup that provides software for the trades industry, draw a personal connection with your cover letter. Perhaps you have a close friend or family member that works in the trades and struggles with the issues this software helps solve—include this as an opening anecdote.

If you can’t find a connection that’s quite this direct, find another way to personally relate to the subject matter and include this in your cover letter. Showing a genuine interest and connection with the company’s pursuit and passions will help you move to the top of the candidate list.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Make every aspect of your application a demonstration of your skills. For example, if you’re applying for a graphic design position, put extra effort into creating a unique original presentation for your cover letter and resume. Whenever possible, include examples of your work with your application to show the company what you’re capable of and how they could put your skills to work as part of their team.

A mailing tube & t-shirt as a resume is a sure way to stand out.

[hyperlink images with source:]

As a graphic designer, employers are going to expect you to get creative. To set yourself apart, take time to think of different ways you can present your cover letter and resume information using your creativity.

This includes making sure your online portfolio is updated with your best work, but you can also take it a step further. Think of your cover letter and resume like a project you would be creating if you got the job: what kind of new, fresh ideas would you bring to their marketing collateral? Bring it to life with your application and they’ll have no choice but to get you working for their team.


If you have applied to a position and have not heard back within a week or two, picking up the phone and making a call to check on the status of your application is completely within reason. In fact, many employers will be impressed that you took the initiative to follow-up with them directly. However, make sure the company did not detail “No phone calls” on their job description. In this case, a polite follow-up email is perfectly acceptable.

You may also consider looking through your network to find a connection that could provide a more personalized introduction. LinkedIn is a helpful tool for this research. Search the company to find the most appropriate employees such as the HR team members and the director or manager you would be reporting to directly.

If you have any “Mutual Connections” that you think would be willing and able to provide you with a sparkling reference, ask for an introduction. As long as you’re polite and humble in your approach, the worst they’ll say is that they are no longer in contact with that person.

In the job hunt, positivity is key

No matter how many rejections you may receive, remain steadfast on your search. While the job hunt can be difficult and stressful at times, it is equally rewarding when you finally secure a dream role.

Remain persistent and open to new opportunities as they present themselves. You never know where your job search could lead you.

Looking for your next design gig? We’ve got lots of those at Authentic Jobs.

The Secret to Amazing Interviews? It’s All In the Job Posting

The Secret to Amazing Interviews? It’s All In the Job Posting

Getting an interview is exciting after submitting countless resumes. That is, until the panic sets in.

Job hunters looking to show up prepared to an interview should look no further than the original job posting. Most employers carefully craft these descriptions and use them to frame candidate performance and fit.

With the job posting in hand, use these five tactics to wow interviewers and get the job.

Look for keywords

If you want the job you’ve got to talk the talk. Using the same language as the job posting shows an understanding of the company’s needs and can help with the technical aspect of applying.

At the resume stage, many companies use automated filtration systems. Finding the words that are repeated in a job posting and peppering them thoughtfully throughout your cover letter and resume will help get it in front of a hiring manager. Be sure required skills are included, too—it doesn’t hurt to reiterate that you have experience with Node.js or Adobe programs.

Once you get to the interview, keep these keywords in mind. Think about how the company might ask about a time you met the leadership requirement or a project when you used responsive design principles.

Turn tasks into examples

Job descriptions always provide a list of responsibilities or tasks that the new hire is expected to deliver on. Prepare for the interview by turning each item into a question and thinking of a project or scenario where you met the requirement.

If the job description says you’ll need to explain technical things to non-technical audiences, think of a specific example where you did that successfully. The more detail you can add, the better. If you don’t have a long resume, this is a great opportunity to tie in volunteer or school experience.

The list of responsibilities also provides an opportunity to deflect the dreaded question about weaknesses. Take one of the least important requirements and think about how you could improve upon your skills. This shows your understanding of the role and willingness to grow within it.

Numbers don’t lie

Most job postings include a description of the company in plain terms. You can tell a lot about a potential employer based on whether they provided hard facts about:

  • How long they’ve been in operation
  • The company’s current and previous products
  • Number of operational countries, zones, or clients

If the position is limited as remote, it’s also worthwhile to determine whether the company is remote first, remote-friendly, or distributed as we’ve talked about before.

If the job posting doesn’t include this paragraph and you can’t find a similar one on their website, this hints the company might not know how to explain what it does. That should be a major red flag for any potential employer.

Company culture

All hiring offers are made based on technical skills and company culture. When you’re interviewing, it’s important to verify that you see yourself fitting in the company’s culture. A startup might lack structure and formal processes, while a government gig takes both to the extreme. Think about what’s important to you before taking the interview.

Job postings usually provide bits and pieces of insight into the company’s culture. Are there references to game nights or team building exercises? How does the role fit into other members of the team?

If these answers aren’t provided, don’t hesitate to bring them up in the interview.

Research the interviewer

Usually, an interview will include the hiring contact as well as the direct manager (sometimes, it’s the same person). Researching the people who will be interviewing you never hurts in the preparation process.

Companies often have staff pages with blurbs about each full-time employee. If they don’t, finding the interviewer on social media or LinkedIn is the next step. Knowing that you share an alma mater with the hiring manager or that the recruiter hates people who show up more than 5 minutes early can be played to your advantage.

Bringing it together to get the job

On the day of the interview, make sure you have all this information ready but not memorized. The goal is to have an understanding of the role and the company’s goals, but it’s key to be natural and not rehearsed.

Showing an interest and an understanding of the role ticks one box. Let your professional knowledge tick the other.

Before you test out your interview skills, you’ve gotta apply! Authentic Jobs has you covered.

But Will You Be Happy? 5 Things That Make a Job Fulfilling

But Will You Be Happy? 5 Things That Make a Job Fulfilling

When you are on the hunt for a new job, there are a variety of factors to weigh in your decision. What will my responsibilities be in this role? Is it a growing company with opportunities for advancement? What kind of compensation and benefit packages does the company offer their employees?

All of these questions are important and will help you make decisions as you take the next step in your career. The real dilemma occurs when you have to decide what questions are the most important for you. Some job seekers may be driven heavily by salary, while others may be more interested in working for with a cause they’re truly passionate about.

This is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves in their career. As you get older, your priorities may change and this will also have an impact on your career aspirations and trajectory. Wherever you find yourself in your journey, consider the five factors below as you move forward in your the quest for that dream job.


The opportunity for flexibility in your workday is often one of the most celebrated workplace perks as it allows the job to fit into your life (as opposed to the other way around). With greater flexibility in your schedule, you’re better able to complete all of your priorities in a day and reserve your downtime for activities that recharge your body and mind.

Depending on your industry, many workplaces are coming to understand the value of this flexibility. A happy employee means better work and productivity in the long run. If your workplace does not currently offer flex work schedules, it might not be completely off the table. This could be worth a discussion with your manager. When approaching this conversation, be sure to be explicit and compelling in your motivation, but also make it clear that you’re open to compromise and a formal review after a trial period.

When asking for a more flexible schedule, it can also be helpful to have several options for discussion. Perhaps working from home one day a week, working a compressed four-day week, or even having the option to take an extended lunch break on certain days of the week to fit in an afternoon exercise class. With multiple options on the table, you’re more apt to have one of your requests granted or at least considered.

Work-Life Balance

Not every job is going to have the ability for flexible hours and remote work, but there are many other factors that contribute to a healthy and satisfying work-life balance. The hard part is figuring out which factors are a deal-breaker and which can be reorganized or better prioritized both at work and at home for the betterment of your overall lifestyle.

For many, time spent commuting is one of the biggest deal-breakers. If you’re going to be facing a lengthy commute each day before and after work and you don’t have much flexibility in working around rush hour, this will have a significant impact on your daily life. If it takes you one hour to get to and from the office, that is two hours you’re losing each day that could be better spent doing all of the other things on your list.

To help maintain a better balance when factors like this are out of your control, look for ways you can work around it in order to maximize your time. For example, go to the gym close to your office in the morning or at lunch so that you get all the benefits of your workout before you get home. You can also maximize your time by doing meal prep once or twice a week so that you’re not rushing to make lunches each morning and dinners will be ready to go as soon as you get home from work.

There are many options to consider that will help you boost the effectiveness of your downtime for a satisfying lifestyle.

Fair Compensation

While a cozy salary shouldn’t be your only consideration on your job hunt, let’s be honest—it certainly helps. Everyone deserves to be fairly compensated for their work and you should strive to work with a company that understands that and is willing to invest in their employees.

To get a better grasp for what is considered “fair” compensation for your industry and level of experience and expertise, consult job postings and pay scales for your industry and your region. Authentic Jobs offers a variety of tech-centric job postings from which you can compare your job and salary aspirations to similar roles in comparable cities. This will help you set realistic salary expectations so you’re prepared for this discussion with a prospective employer.

That being said, no matter how great a generous salary may seem, it isn’t going to keep you motivated and happy in a toxic environment, so make sure the company and the role is a good fit first.

Aspirational Goals

Any fulfilling job will offer goals to aspire towards. Your goals could be within the company itself, like the opportunity for advancement or greater responsibility, but they can also include your greater career path. If you know you would enjoy this role and also gain skills and experience that would help you take the next step in your career in the future, it is worth exploring the opportunity.

If you’re currently in a position and lacking the goal-driven motivation you crave, ask yourself how you want to grow. Once you’ve defined your goals, prepare some ideas on how you could work towards these goals in your position and discuss them with your manager.

More often than not, management will be more than willing to provide opportunities for internal training or accommodation for training or participation in events that will help you grow your skill set. After all, the company will also benefit from your ever-expanding expertise.

Respect and Recognition

Finding a position where you’ll be respected and recognized for your hard work is a huge factor in job happiness. If you’re working in an environment where you feel your hard work is being overlooked, you’ll inevitably begin to feel unmotivated and resentful in your workplace. Healthy and productive work environments give credit where credit is due.

If your company isn’t quick to give recognition, don’t jump to conclusions. It may not be that your superiors are not supportive, it could simply be that there is no real organizational process or structure in place for this type of acknowledgment. Many smaller organizations and startups may run into this problem given that senior leadership is busy working right alongside you and there is often a lack of designated HR and admin support.

To help promote more of a culture of open recognition in your office, take a proactive approach and show consistent, informal recognition to others for their professional victories. As this practice spreads throughout the team culture, you can bet your accomplishments will have their time in the spotlight soon enough.

For a more direct approach, it can be helpful to stop by your boss’s office for a quick update on your projects every so often—don’t wait for a quarterly or annual review. This can be completely informal but gives you the opportunity to make sure your boss is aware of your hard work and achievements. Do be sure to be a team player and also mention any colleagues that played a part in the victory as well.

Weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision

Do your research on any company you are aspiring to work with. Look at how they’ve branded their company, what they share on social media, what kinds of community events and initiatives they support, and what they are presenting with their mission and values.

Get a more personal account by referring to your network to see if you know anyone that has worked for the company (past or present), or if someone you know may have a connection that has worked at the company. If possible, ask around to see what the work environment is really like for the employees. Companies can market themselves however they want, but ultimately it is the employees that will be able to tell you about the true culture from experience.

If everything you’ve learned about the company seems to be a good fit for you and your career aspirations, reach out. Companies are always on the hunt for other like-minded individuals to join their team and you could be just the person they’re looking for.

Find your happy place. Search for jobs on Authentic Jobs.
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Acing Salary Negotiations as a Remote Worker

Acing Salary Negotiations as a Remote Worker

You’ve made it this far. You’ve gotten through the HR screening, the interviews, and the reference checks. The offer is on the table (or coming shortly), and you know this could be a mutually beneficial relationship if you move forward.

Before making any decisions, make sure you’re prepared for proper negotiations with these simple steps.

Know the market rate by location

Conduct your own research to have a strong understanding of the market rate in both your city and your employer’s city. This is important to do so you can come into negotiations balancing your skillsets and the current market rate. If you’re working with a company outside of your country, stick to local currencies and consider how the cost of living differs.

Knowing the market rate in your city gives you an idea of what you would make if you accepted a full-time position locally, while looking into the employer’s city provides the rate they would be paying non-remote workers in the same role.

There are a lot of online resources that allow you to search specific job titles, years of experience, company size, and set regions. Check out Indeed Salary Search, Glassdoor, and to get started. For an employer’s perspective, read Buffer’s Medium post on how it calculates remote worker salaries.

If you have time to prepare, it’s beneficial to explore other location rates before going into negotiations. As a remote worker, prospective offers could come from anywhere. Your employer needs to understand a better offer could come around next month if they’re not meeting a global standard—and maybe you would rather hold out for that offer and the higher compensation

Restate your value from a new perspective

At this point, the company has read through your resume and spoken to your references. Ultimately, the recruiter is sold, but the negotiation process is an opportunity to “re-sell” yourself from a new perspective.

Now is a good time to remind both yourself and your potential employer of the value you offer.

Don’t focus on what you’ve achieved in the past because that’s what brought you to the table. Focus on your unique value and how you see yourself impacting the company’s long-term growth. Be confident you can make a difference and show enthusiasm about the opportunity to join the team. Remind them of the guaranteed return on investment of your employment, and your negotiations will start off with a respectful offer.

Provide a strategic range

Do you hit them with a cold, hard number or propose an open range? It’s the ultimate salary negotiation question.
Some candidates prefer a range with their desired salary in the middle, hoping for the offer to “meet them halfway”. Some employment specialists lean towards providing a single number, because potential employers take advantage of the lower end of the range you offer.

But why not let them?

The trick here is how you set your salary range.

When hoping for a $75,000 salary, it’s natural to spit out a range of $70,000 to $80,000. Instead, try setting the bottom of your range to what you actually want. In this example, we would offer a range of $75,000-95,000. By doing this, your employer feels like they’re getting a deal at $75,000, and you walk away with what you wanted. If they meet you halfway, you score some extra cash on top or alternatively, they may offer additional benefits to balance your request.

As long as you keep the “low” number reasonable based off your research and the value you provide, employers rarely come back with a refusal to meet you somewhere within your provided range.

Look at the whole package

Once you’ve conducted research and put your numbers on the table, it’s easy to forget about perks that aren’t reflected in the salary. Keep these in mind throughout your negotiations.

Some questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Is there an opportunity to travel like you’ve always wanted to?
  • Does the company offer flexible hours that fit into your early riser schedule?
  • Does it allow you to manage an incredible team of skilled individuals?
  • Can you work on your own projects on the side, if desired?
  • How will this position help you progress in your career, learn new skills, or gain important experience?

While negotiations focus on financial compromise, keep these other components in mind. When evaluating two options, Company A may provide 20% more compensation but Company B might be the best choice because it fits your lifestyle and makes you excited to work.

Making your decision solely based off the numbers could mean finding yourself searching for something new in no time.

Be willing to walk away

There’s nothing more valuable than knowing your worth.

Negotiations are an opportunity for give and take, but ask yourself whether you’re giving too much, what value exists beyond salary, and if the job is the right step in your career.

These questions are what’s going to help you decide if a company’s final offer is the right decision for you. Sometimes you may just land your dream job, but other times you may be clouded with compliments before realizing someone is taking advantage of you.

See how their offer compares to what you feel you’re worth. If it’s not adding up, speak up, but accept that you may have to walk away.

Want to find a dream remote job? See open opportunities and subscribe to job alerts on Authentic Jobs.

3 React Jobs Hiring Right Now

3 React Jobs Hiring Right Now

Are you a React aficionado ready for the next step in your career?

Below are three companies looking for React developers right now. If you don’t see your dream job, check out Authentic Jobs for our full list of opportunities located around the world.

1. Software Engineer at (yes, that Broadway) serves millions of tourists, theater lovers, students and groups.

The company is looking for a Software Engineer in New York City to participate in product reviews, develop Javascript code, deploy new experiences, and find ways to elevate the customer experience.

The ideal candidate has excellent coding skills, is a well-rounded communicator in English and HTML/CSS/JS, and can work independently. Experience with Django and e-commerce are assets.

Apply now if this job posting has you singing.

2. Software Engineer at Flocabulary

Flocabulary is an ed-tech company that uses music to drive student achievement.

The company is looking for a Software Engineer in Brooklyn, NY or Portland, OR to write clear, testable, maintainable code. The ideal candidate has solid Python, SQL, and JS programming skills and experience with Django and React.

Flocabulary offers medical insurance, flexible time off, a 401K, and quarterly team outings.

Apply now if this opportunity with a small, fast-moving team seems right up your alley.

3. Front-End React Developer at Fracture (Remote)

Fracture prints digital images onto glass and is looking for a Front-End React Developer to join its team.

The ideal candidate has a passion for user interfaces, is extremely strong with Javascript and React, and enjoys working on projects from the ground up.

Although this is a remote position, candidates must be eligible to work in the U.S. and be located in the Eastern or Central time zones.

Apply now if you’re React-ing to this description

5 Companies Looking For Talent Beyond SF and NYC

5 Companies Looking For Talent Beyond SF and NYC

San Francisco and New York offer awesome opportunities but come with expensive real estate and long commutes.

Luckily, there are tons of amazing companies looking for talented web creators with broader horizons than just the Big Apple and Silicon Valley.

Jobs for Designers and Developers Who Don’t Want to Work in SF or NYC

Designers and developers are in high demand everywhere, so there’s no reason to limit the job search to only tech hubs. Below are five companies looking to hire people right now.

P.S. If you don’t see your dream job, check out Authentic Jobs for our full list of opportunities located around the world.

1. UX Designer at SimpleNexus in Draper, Utah

SimpleNexus is a mobile app that bridges the gap between mortgage loan officers, real estate professionals, and mortgage customers.

The company is looking for a UX Designer to craft customer journeys and experience flows, lead usability testing sessions, analyze content structures, and create UI styles.

Candidates should have 3 to 7 years of experience as a UX or UI designer and a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a design-related discipline. The ideal fit would also share the team’s natural curiosity and drive to learn. Bonus points go to Etch A Sketch wizards.

SimpleNexus is headquartered right outside of Salt Lake City, the fifth fastest growing city in the USA. Anyone with a love for the great outdoors will keep busy outside of work.

Apply now: UX Designer at SimpleNexus

2. Senior Designer/Motion Graphics at Warehouse Twenty One in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Warehouse Twenty One is an advertising agency offering services in graphic design, custom exhibits, website development, branding, advertising, campaign management, integrated marketing strategy, and everything in between.

The agency is hiring a Senior Designer / Motion Graphics to conceptualize and implement design solutions by creating custom graphics, original videos, and motion graphics. The Senior Designer will work closely with the Art Director and play the lead design role on projects.

Candidates should have 5 or more years experience, ideally with several years at an agency. A strong portfolio and expert level knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite are also musts.

As its name suggests, Warehouse Twenty One is located in an old warehouse. The company offers an excellent benefits package, a 401K plan, and a company culture that’s a bit eccentric, a little groovy, and a lot of fun. Plus, it’s offering relocation assistance in case the perfect fit lives outside of the area.

Apply now: Senior Designer / Motion Graphics at Warehouse Twenty One

3. Django Web Developer at Caktus Group in Durham, North Carolina

Caktus Group is a leading Django and SMS firm with over 100 custom solutions that reach more than 70 million people. Clients include Mozilla, UNICEF, and Discovery.

The company is looking for a Django Web Developer to join its team. The developer will be responsible for writing complex Django apps, providing code reviews, leading discussions with internal and client stakeholders, and serving as project lead at times.

The ideal applicant will have a strong grasp of Django development techniques, agile methods, and relational databases such as PostgreSQL or MySQL. Bonus points go to anyone with front-end Javascript familiarity and deployment experience using Apache, Ngninx + Gunicorn, or other WSGI-based web servers.

Caktus takes job perks seriously and offers 25 holidays, office snacks and lunches, and a medical plan including dental and vision coverage. The right application could receive relocation assistance.

Apply now: Django Web Developer at Caktus Group

4. Senior UX Designer at PowerPlan, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia

PowerPlan offers an enterprise-class suite of financial and asset management software products.

The company is investing in redesigning and redeveloping its products. The Senior UX Designer would be key to that transformation by advocating for the end user, designing user flows, creating mockups and prototypes, and championing UX Design Culture internally.

The perfect candidate has an empathetic nature, five or more years doing UX Design, a portfolio of strong work, and a Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline.

PowerPlan offers great health insurance, paid time off, free food, and fabulous coworkers in the US and Toronto.

Apply now: Senior UX Designer at PowerPlan

5. Engineer-Identity/Access at University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Information Technology unites IT and academic initiatives at the university.

The team is looking for an Engineer – Identity and Access Management to join the Middleware team and participate in just about every major IT project at the university.

The ideal applicant could range from Associate through Senior levels. All have access to the State of Wisconsin’s benefit package and the campus’s beautiful setting.

Apply now: Engineer – Identity/Access at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Want to lure great talent to your hidden gem of a city? Post your next job on Authentic Jobs.
Ready to blow this town? Find your next adventure on our job board.

Your Next Job is Out There…

Your Next Job is Out There…

It just may not be where you thought it would be.

We’re coming up on graduation season (congratulations, everyone!), and that means that a bunch of bright-eyed folks are joining the millions of people who are already on the quest for the perfect job.

But what if I told you that there’s more to the tech hiring industry than the Valley, New York, and Austin? Don’t get me wrong, those places are great, and there are fantastic opportunities there right now, but what about the rest of the world?

And what if I told you that you might have been missing entire sectors in your hunt? There’s more opportunities than the big name companies, and you may even find the work to be more rewarding, challenging, and impactful.

Let’s talk about why you should consider widening your job search horizons.

Living can be expensive

While salaries in the tech sector are some of the highest, the tech hubs of San Francisco, New York, and Austin, also have some of the highest cost of living, taking a sizeable bite out of what would be an otherwise generous salary.

Living in say, Pittsburgh, Bentonville, or Indianapolis will give you much more bang for your salary dollar. You may sacrifice some of the “Big City Wow” factor to go work there, but it may also present you with opportunities to make an impact by starting a Meetup, a chance to slow down, or to be closer to loved ones or outdoors experiences.

Commuting can be expensive

“No worries,” you say. “I’ll just rent outside the city and commute.”

To state the obvious, commuting is expensive in cash terms, even in places with good public transport. However, it is also time expensive.

Think of it this way: Break down your salary into an hourly rate, or use your hourly rate. Then consider the time factor for your commute. If it’s variable, say 45 minutes on a good day, 1 1/2 hours on a bad day, land somewhere in the middle.  How much does that commute cost you each way in time? Then add in how much it costs for gas if you drive, fares if you use public transport, or yearly bicycle maintenance costs if you’re a fan of two wheels.

Adds up, doesn’t it?

It also adds up mentally and emotionally. A 2014 study by the Office of National Statistics in the UK found that commuting increases anxiety and negatively impacts overall well-being.

Opting to live in a city where you have a shorter commute has benefits, even if you take a pay cut.

Alternatively, looking at a tech career in a different type of industry for employment may lead you to a workplace that is within easy commuting range, or the best commute reduction-remote work.

Which brings me to my next point.

Tech jobs. Tech jobs EVERYWHERE.

The great thing about having a career in tech, whether you’re a developer, a data scientist, a social media strategist, a UX designer, or any one of the myriad of roles, is that your skills are highly sought after by companies that aren’t “tech” companies.

Your expertise is highly portable, and the principals of your practice can apply almost anywhere. So why not consider a role as a UX designer for a healthcare product? Or data science for a local government? Or software engineering for a museum? Web development for a school district or university?

Think about products, industries, and causes that you care about. Who are the players in those arenas? Start scouting them for networking opportunities and job openings.

Give it a chance

Taking your tech skills into a new industry may be a challenge. You may have to lead your new coworkers in some learning sessions on current practices, tools, and methods.

Think of that as an opportunity. You’re gaining experience in being part of a team, being agile (small “a” agile) to achieve a goal, and solving problems in not-perfect conditions. I can guarantee you that those skills, and the empathy you gain from them, will serve you well throughout your professional life.

Additionally, your contribution may have a larger impact in a non-tech sector. You won’t spend months toiling over the perfect curve of a button (ok, you might. We see you, designers.) but you may fundamentally change the way a company does business. You’ll also likely have more agency and ownership over your product and work than you may have had in a large tech company, and that’s something to add to your portfolio.

So I implore you to think outside the box by evaluating your skills against your desires for location, and work. Consider life in a new area, or even your hometown, on a holistic basis. Find employers that are doing interesting work on problems and products you care about.

Go forth and do good things!