I hope someone can give me advice on this because I really need someone who's been doing this longer than I have.
I got hired straight out of uni for an UX role. I was so happy and too inexperienced to see the warning signs... I've been the only UX designer at the company for almost two years now because I thought things would change and establishing UX takes time, but things are getting worse and worse. I should have quit far sooner.
My work life is hell. Every attempt to establish UX got squashed by people who don't believe in "fancy new job titles" and the "bullshit that comes with it". They view me as a graphic designer that gets paid a tiny bit more than the print team. Last week was the icing on the cake as I got told to skip research and creating personas because it takes too long and I should focus on more important work (slapping UI onto a nonexistent prototype...) by my boss. They've been pushing me towards doing graphic design for their marketing team in print, too. I'm everything but a print designer. I have no clue about all that print stuff, like layouting entire magazines and creating files a print office can work with and all that... and frankly, I tried but I hate doing the print stuff and I want out asap!
Given how "nice" my colleagues are, every project I worked on had a good UX concept that got completely ignored by the dev team in the end. They did whatever they wanted to do. Sure, the end products work, but don't have good UX. I can't put any of those projects into my portfolio if I want to get hired. The other things that were developed by a team outside the company included my UX concepts but those projects are and will remain under NDA. I can't use them as portfolio pieces either.
Back in the days I had my student portfolio but after two years I have no professional work I can show. How can I put a portfolio together this way? Can I still just do a project of my choice and use it in my portfolio? Won't employers ask why I didn't include anything professionally that's finished?
I'm also scared I won't meet the standards and expectations of companies who already have existing UX teams. I have two years of work experience on paper, but I had no one who would correct me if I was wrong about something. Everything I know about UX is from uni and the things I was able to figure out on my own. I don't want to leave UX, I love it. All I want is a professional setting where I can work like a normal UX designer.
If I leave this company I know I'll be asked why (standard procedure) and I don't know what to tell them because the truth is a mess and they'll most likely hold everything against me and say it was all my fault. Is there any way I can let them know everything is messy and unprofessional without sugarcoating too much? Given how some people behave towards me (and the boss doesn't care at all) I doubt anything will change, but I'd like to clearly communicate one final time that this is not how UX works and they shouldn't hire another UX designer if they aren't willing to include the UX work in their projects. I'm not sure if telling them is a good idea, I'd rather go for "I have a better offer" but then nothing will change for the next designer.