You’re reading an excerpt of Land Your Dream Design Job, a book by Dan Shilov. Filled with hard-won, personal insights, it is a comprehensive guide to landing a product design role in a startup, agency, or tech company, and covers the entire design interview process from beginning to end, for experienced and aspriring designers. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.

Where can you find events? Start by searching for “design” on Eventbrite, Meetup, or even Facebook Local. It’s as simple as that.

Here are a couple of well-known organizations that are good to check out:

These are just a few of the big ones. Aside from hosting events, these organizations also give you access to an online community, which is great not just for jobs but also for mentorship and career advice.

Connecting with Local Professional Communities

In addition to the more prominent orgs such as the ones above, you can also search for local chapters or local orgs. Usually these have more clout and can better connect you to the local community. I’ll list the ones that I know of in San Francisco, but even if the same ones don’t exist in your city, it’s possible your local organizations follow a similar format. If not, that’s something you could pitch to them (for example, organizing a portfolio review event or a mentor night).

Aside from talks, mentoring and portfolio events provide opportunities to connect with people and companies you’re interested in and improve your skill at showing the work itself.

Andi Galpern organizes the Cascade SF events. In addition to design talks, she hosts mentor nights where attendees get to show their portfolio (or ask for career advice) with up to four mentors. I’ve been mentored there and provided mentorship and can’t recommend this format enough.

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