Hi April Steed. Thanks for your thoughtful response.
I totally can empathize with the idea that early in your career, you don’t have experience and it’s frustrating that employers want experience. I experienced this when I was just starting out as well … along with everyone wanting me to know Flash :o) One thing I found helpful was to write about UX on my blog which I started back in 2005 (I think). This forced me to think through design observations I had and I would also create designs to help communicate ideas. This lead to some client work and also helped in lieu of a large portfolio of work. It’s important to show your work, but it’s also important to show you can think like a designer and communicate those ideas.
As for industry people who are more senior being more active in supporting newcomers, I hear you. I am trying to currently do this in two ways. First, I am always writing about UX in my weekly UX newsletter www.sarahdoody.com/ux-newsletter as well as on my blog www.sarahdoody.com/blog. Second, I am prototyping some courses right now to help UX people get more hands on practice two of them are here: www.sarahdoody.com/beyondux101 as well as www.sarahdoody.com/uxresearchworkshop
This isn’t an easy problem to solve, but know that because of the overwhelming response to this post on Medium Dan Maccarone and I are thinking about how to organize around tackling this.
Happy for any more thoughts or ideas you have.