Ask Esther // 48


Hi Esther,

I currently work as a graphic designer for one of the large, award winning, well-respected advertising agencies in Melbourne. I have been here for a 11 months and my role has gone from servicing all our clients to working on one client only – due to re-shuffling within the studio.

I was recently approached for an in-house role of digital designer/art director for a leading fashion brand. The new role would enable me to gain more skills and expertise in areas I am very interested in – whereas my current role appears to be stagnating further and whittling down to a few key tasks. Basically I am no longer challenged and I am wanting to take on more responsibility. I want to gain more experience as an art director with the long term goal of becoming a creative director.

I am concerned about the faling nature of the retail industry, if I take the new job will this brand survive? It is worth noting that this particular fashion brand appears to be growing whilst a lot of brands are shrinking.

My question for you is, do I stick with the prestige and trusted name of my current ad agency in a role that has little room for improvement in the foreseeable future? Or do I make the change and try something new?

Dear Gravitas,

It sounds as though you might have good reason to move on from your job. But reshuffles can also quickly create opportunities. What does your gut say about staying? Does the agency recognise your potential and this is just a small step sideways? Or will they always see you as a junior/studio person and there’s no likely chance of being given more room to grow. Think about that first.

Now, with the fashion gig, there’s a few things to consider: Firstly, it’s very early in your career to move inhouse if you want to eventually become an agency Creative Director. The Digital part sounds meaty though. Many fashion brands have been lagging behind in that area and there’s great potential for you if the management is putting their money and strategic direction behind developing a better digital presence.

But is the work ideas driven or execution driven? Many fashion brands are all about the execution, rather than having an idea. And that might limit your options when you’re trying to move back into an agency with non-fashion/retail accounts.

As always you should trust your gut. Don’t leave for the sake of it, just because this job has come along. If it doesn’t feel like the right move, then it probably isn’t. But if it does, go for it 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: 04/10/2013
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .