I've been applying for a few more product biased design roles recently and it's become a trend that I'm being asked for a portfolio of my work. As a design engineer (rather than a product/industrial designer) I don't really have a lot to show for myself. Most (or all) of my work has been done for an employer, and therefore is not overly relevant to show off my skills/interests, and in most cases confidential or owned by the company.
I have been working in my own time to do a bit of design work, but without any purpose or direction other than for the sake of making something, it's not proving to be overly productive.
Similarly, the only freelance work I have done has been for private customers and nothing suitable for showing off.
Has anyone encountered this issue, and how do you get around it?
As a structural engineer, I'd have the same problem if asked to present a portfolio. I'm usually just asked to provide a list of recent projects I've been involved with and the level of said involvement; high profile stuff for the most part not "Mr. Smith's kitchen extension."
You could try asking your previous employers permission to use some of old designs. Not sure how that would work out though.