Is there anywhere in England to get career advice?

Hi Guys,

I just wondered if there is anywhere in the UK that I can go for career advice about the Design Industry?

I’m in my second dead-end CAD operator job since graduating with a degree in Product Design nearly 3 years ago and my head is ready to explode with the benign sh*te that I do all day - I create a simple building block assembly for a salesman, who first draws me a sketch, then gives me part numbers. I haven’t been able to create, think or design anything since graduation and I’m beginning to go mad. I try to sketch, but as soon as I have the paper in front of me I can’t think of anything to draw!! That never used to be the case. I’m not using ANYTHING that I learned at Uni. I’m trying to learn 3D Studio Max in my spare time, but now I’m worried it will take me further down the same road. I also work alone, so there are no other designers to talk to. I don’t have any friends or contacts in the industry and our lecturers at uni never respond to any contact.

Please help, is there anyone that I can go to for advice on what to do???



Open your eyes chap, theres always people to contact and talk to, heres a good place for a start, if you want to create why not use online competions, I do it just to keep my hand in when the daily grind gets tedious.

Look around on coroflot, hit people up and ask questions. Sorry to hear about the work though, which uni were you at? If work feels that bad, quit dude I know its pretty drastic, but if its getting you down its probaly best to get the flock out so you can concentrate on folio work and searching for something more appropriate. You’re defo not alone bru, you ve taken the first step in being here…

I don’t know if thats any help, but if you wanna chat hit me up at


Hey man,

I’m living in Wales in a dead end t-shirt printing/embroidery digitizing job. I know what it’s like to be doing all the monotonous crap and to have no one to speak to etc. I have a floor to myself which is mostly stock and then my office at the bottom. I’ve got the net (I’m at work now :wink:) but I’m the only person in my company that can do my job. Customer brings something in and I digitize it. No scope for creativity, I just take their artwork whether it be off a business card or ad from a newspaper (seriously) and turn it into a vector format that we can use. There’s a few girls downstairs running embroidery machines and they’re nice people but not very… technically minded and if you don’t watch big brother or live in their neighbourhood, then there’s not a lot to talk about.

Difference is I don’t have any qualifications. I’ve got a few fair GCSE’s but I really potched about afterwards. Spent half a year trying to do A levels but decided they wern’t for me (all my friends went to college.) So I went to college to do ICT… Decided that wasn’t for me, so got a full time job. I’ve taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and since starting this job I’ve learned Wilcom (embroidery program)… I was thrown in the deep end with no training!

Anyways I’ve been thinking a lot about a career the last few months. Unsure of what I wanted to do I thought back to my childhood to see what I really took an interest in when I was in to everything… then it hit me: drawing! So I decided I wanted to be an illustrator, but to cut short I really wasn’t into drawing arty-farty stuff, when I was a kid I used to conceptualise and draw vehicles/‘things’ rather than arty stuff… so now I want to go into ID (I’m not knocking illustration, I love seeing it it, it’s just not for me to create).

My sketching skills are rusty and I’ve bought Scott Robertson’s drawing perspective form DVD. I’ve enrolled on an OCN general art course at my local college (was all I could do in the evening while I kept my job ticking over) letting the tutor know exactly what I want to achieve- my aim is to use the class to gain the practical skills needed to draw again and through practicing there and practicing at home, build up a portfolio of concept designs to present as a means to entering uni next year or the year after as a mature student.

So there’s my story, sorry it’s a bit of an essay, it’s not much of a help but I just wanted to show there’s others out there in the same situation, and I’d love some input if anyone reads this! I’ve been reading the forums for a while and it seems full of bright, informative people. I’m so glad I found it.

Anyways, that aside I think you’re just out of practice. The skills are there, you’ve been doing the same crap for so long it’s all gone a bit rusty. It’s difficult to just sketch on your own once you’re in that rut and that was one of the big reasons for joining an evening course… with a tutor to answer to and briefs coming in it gave me direction.

What TOM said was a good idea. Try competitions… even if you think you don’t stand a chance of winning it’ll give you some criteria on which to design, rather than just trying to draw for the sake of drawing, and what you create is always added portfolio juice.


  • Andrew

Thanks for the reply matey.

It’s the monotony and boredom that’s getting to me most - I just wish I had someone to sit down with for a coffee and try to work out a plan of attack for my next move.

Whereabouts in Wales are you? I visit the West coast fairly regularly…

I’m in the valleys - a place called Ebbw Vale, horrible place to live! The only industry that thrives here anymore are the pubs!

I did go camping a while ago on the west coast… a place called Newgale near St Davids/Haverford West.

Are you a surfer or something?

The monotony of this job is killing me too! It feels like I’ve been drained of creativity and I’m turning into another grey valley dweller. My girlfriend’s given me a kick up the arse though, she’s a great help. My dad was a bit of a daydreamer like me, and he needed a shove to do something with his life but never got it! I need to break the mould :slight_smile:

Hi Stewie, have you tried to call your old uni up and speak to your tutor I’m sure he would get you some adivce. If you want t okeep your design jucies following have you considered entering a few compertitions?