Ask Esther // 39


Hi Esther,

I am in need of some advice! I am currently a graphic designer for an Architecture firm in Melbourne, Australia, but I find that I am not doing much creative and challenging work, most days I’m really not doing much at all! I have been looking for a new job for a while now, on job seeking websites and some cold emailing with my folio attached, but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. The position I have is also ended in me debating if I want to still do graphic design, I am loosing my passion for graphics and am doubting my abilities, hard. I am still fairly young (22) so I thought if I want to get out it would be better to do it sooner rathe then later, but I still feel as though I haven’t given graphics a good go yet.

Do you have ANY advice for me? Or ideas on how I can keep my inspiration going? I would appreciate anything right now!

Thanks Esther

Dear Designing Woman,

Welcome to the real world. You’re in the wrong job. You’re 22 and you’ll sort this out.

It’s hard to be a Graphic Designer in an Architect’s office. The Architects get all of the fun. And although you might get some lovely opportunities, your skill set is not the main function of their business, plus the pace is usually much slower than a design firm because there are fewer, (much bigger) jobs going through.

If it doesn’t feel as though you’re learning or growing, leave as soon as you can afford to, or when you have another job.

You won’t know though if it is actually the wrong career though until you find the “right” job. When you find a place that’s busy and you are creating, growing and learning and you’re still unhappy, that’s when to have second thoughts about this career you’ve chosen.

So in other words, not yet.

To get your next job you have to put a more positive face on this. No one wants to hire an unhappy employee. “It’s a great job, the people are terrific, but I have learned as much as I can from an Architectural firm”….etc. You’d be well placed to go into a design company or an ad agency that handles real estate developments among their clients. You can use your expertise to segue into other categories from there.

So you need to target places that are busy, have a broad client base that includes construction, real estate development, or even homewares.

They’ll love someone with your skills and background. Target well instead of applying for random jobs in order just to escape where you are. Making a mistake or two and learning from them is an important part of your career (and life). Repeating errors by not analysing what the real issues are and aiming to avoid them in the next role means that your disenchantment with design will become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Start over. Look at your folio, your bio and the type of the companies you would like to work for. Figure out what would make them take notice of you. Work backwards from there and start over.

And good luck.

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 28/03/2013
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .