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I was 29 years old, living in Brazil, when I decided to finally give it a try. I had all kinds of thoughts that pushed me back, like "I'm not good enough yet", or "it's gonna be too hard", but I decided to take a step forward and just try.
After putting up a new portfolio , I started to shoot e-mails to all the job offers I could find online. Got so few replies it made me sad. And even these ones stopped the conversation after I told them I needed them to sponsor my visa.
You probably know that already, but there are 2 reasons why moving to the U.S is hard:
1) Are you good enough? This is a very competitive market where we have thousands of very high-level designers. Have you reached that level? If you have, does your portfolio reflect that?
On the other hand, there are also thousands of startups and companies with 1-20 people desperately looking for designers. So even if you're just good enough you can find a spot and grow together with them.
2) Visa This is the worst part, because it's kinda of out of your control. Big companies are used to sponsor visas, but you have to be veeery good to grab their attention. Small companies sometimes don't even know how it works, so they don't really consider that option, even though you could be the perfect fit for them.
But it's not all bad news! There ARE small companies willing to sponsor visas and looking for foreign designers to work with them. It's just hard to find them. (Or it was when I was looking).
So, moving on with my story, after getting so few replies to my applications, I contacted a designer recruiter who helped me find what I wanted. She interviewed me first to make sure I met all the requirements the companies she had working with her had, and then introduced me to those companies. I interviewed with one of them and got the job.
This recruiter was so important for me because she knew I needed a visa, so she only connected me to companies that were willing to sponsor. It saved me a lot of time. Also, because she was intermediating the process, she would take her time and preach about the benefits of hiring somebody from abroad and helping those small companies comprehend how the visa works, its costs etc.
I think the reason I shared my story is to say it's hard, but not impossible. If you're good and if you're determined, you can definitely make it. :)
Same for me!
Just throwing out another point of view here: I'm a senior product designer in the bay area, and at some point I decided I should follow my dreams and work for a company that I always admired.
I had a nice portfolio up, but I didn't know anybody there. I cold-messaged a recruiter on Linkedin, introducing me and my work, and got the job that I wanted. Last month.
If it wasn't for Linkedin, it wouldn't have happened.
I like one of my own :) http://www.marcellomanso.com/quoting.html
Jesus, how did that happen? Probably slipped on one of those long nights working on this. But thank you sir, you helped me fix not only that, but a slowness on the navigation that was driving me crazy!! <3
No more hijicking after all. The criminals responsible for this have been arrested.
You have a good eye, sir! The fact is that I started out being very rigorous about the responsiveness, and as the time passed, I started to let some things go in order to get it done! Now that V1 is out, I will start to fix those details. Thanks very much!
Well, people seem to love their freedom to scroll, I will give you that. I wanted a SOFT highjacking so it gave you the sense of a keynote presentation, but I messed it up with the code and it's now very clunky. But I'm working on that.
But I appreciated that you've seen past that and commented that if feels like an app landing page. Are you talking about the home page? Can you be more clear?
It's been awesome to gather so many good critiques. thanks!
That's a very good insight.. I will work harder to make it look more... personal, maybe. definitely rethinking the copy.
That's very helpful feedback. Thanks for taking the time.
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