How do i even get a job when i need X amount of experience?

Im 25 i have a degree in interactive media and i have been unemployed since i left university aside from the occasional freelancing work (that i’m drastically under paid for due to my lack of self esteem or assertion) .
I got a job at minimum wage as a php developer , even though i repeatedly told them i haven’t written a line of PHP in 2 years , i was told i would be retrained, i wasn’t so then basically laid me off three days later.
Then tried finding junior , unpaid or intern work but i just get flat out no’s , my job advisory says i have to show examples of my work , however i literally have nothing because i am god awful at design.

Basically i’m screwed i have no belief in my own ability anymore, i am a terrible designer and every local business is either making thier own website using those free services online or they have already paid someone who clearly just a marketing company that has wordpress.

I know how it feels. It seems like everywhere I go the minimum amount of experience (well, in my country definitely), is 4 years of continuous work, so I don’t know how CS university graduates even get jobs here. As far as I know, though, if it’s mid sized companies they will have their own designers. I’m also terrible at design, but I’m busy putting up several coding projects on my GitHub account to try and build up a portfolio so interviewers can see the quality of the code I produce.

I also don’t know your level of coding experience and if you know any other language, but I always tend to avoid the mainstream programming languages, that’s why I still don’t know Java or why I don’t use PHP anymore. The job openings for those languages usually require a lot more experience since there are so many applicants that know those languages. Learn some supplementary tools and techniques, like Git, unit testing, a proper IDE, etc. anything that might put you ahead of the competition. Also, instead of doing your own designs use CSS frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation, there’s a new kid on the block called Materialize that implements the new material design. have a look on Start Bootstrap, there are some free templates that you can use freely in your projects. They make the design a lot easier and you can easily produce professional looking sites.

I actually am very well versed in bootstrap and foundation XD , my problem is the actual design itself.

I know exactly how you feel, I am struggling with similar issues, just a bit further along in my career. Disclaimer: I am back-end engineer that occasionally works front-end.
Design Work
Design jobs usually require a portfolio regardless of the experience. I believe it is to see your potential and abilities as a designer.
Lets Make that Portfolio :smile:
To improve your design abilities and make your portfolio, I would take @rvh advice with Start Bootstrap templates and make a clones of a few simple templates of your liking(give the original designer credit of course). *While cloning, try not to cheat, write out everything yourself, structure and styles, use your naming conventions. If you get lost then look up what they did, use the documents as google, don’t rely on it as an answer but a tool. You are trying to learn design, structure, colors, the more you see how it is done you will see why it is done. DON’T USE ANY NEW TOOLS, they are distractions.
After you clone the layouts and are getting more comfortable and building up your confidence/portfolio start improving them, first by changing the colors. Then start changing the structure a bit or adding new features you may like to see. Make sure everything you start is small and work your way up to larger changes. Try and have an idea in your head before you start, or sketch them out in photoshop or something similar(Only if you know the tool, not if you don’t once you are eventually you want to learn as you can test out a lot of colors,designs,etc quicker).

The hardest part is starting and making sure you don’t do too much to be overwhelmed. You have to rebuild yourself. I say this from experience I have overcame these obstacles before, but my issue is maintaining them.

I hope this helps, I do apologize if my grammar and spelling are terrible, that is one another thing I need to work on.

Its like … i understand design theory , i understand how the code works but i was never taught , what makes things look good.

I know the feeling, specially when you don’t have a lot of experience, but the key is to be persistent and most important keep self-motivated.

What I would suggest to do is the following:

A. Start listening to motivational podcasts or read motivational books, and I mean entrepreneurial ones. I personally like the following (you can find them on iTunes).

  • 48 days (Dan Miller).
  • The Eventual Milliionaire (Jaime Tardy)
  • Read To Lead (Jeff Brown)
  • The Smart Passive Income (Pat Flynn)
  • The EntreLeadership (Dave Ramsey).

B. Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. I personally enjoyed bicycling using a stationary one, but anything else you enjoy like running, swimming, even a brisk walking should work.

There are more things you can do that should help, but for now if you can do those 2 things should be a good start (specially doing A).

By listening to those podcast you will get introduced to a great number of different authors, many of them have gone from being depressed to success in their fields.

There’s nothing more rewarding that having your own business or doing freelance, specially if you are young and don’t have a lot of obligations.

Been able to pick and choose your projects and working at your own schedule with an unlimited income potential doesn’t compare to working for somebody else and knowing that regardless how much work you do there’s always a limit in how much you can make.

Let me know how it goes, hope these 2 tips help you (you’ll find more tips from the hundred of authors you’ll meet by listening to those podcasts).

Take care.