Thinking of a career change

Hi there,

I graduated from a 4 year ID degree last year and have been working for a small manufacturer since Dec 09, so I’m coming up to my 2 year mark this December. I’m really not liking my job, but there are no ID jobs in my state and I can’t really move because of family commitments.

My company basically hit the skids just before I started because they have put all their eggs in one basket and that market is on the decline. The problem is, management are so conservative that they don’t want to take any chances and are hoping we can just stay in the market until it (maybe) picks up.

So I come to work and try to keep myself busy but I run out of work all the time and I’m losing confidence in my design abilities because I get negative responses to everything I put forward and my boss never has time for me because he’s trying to save the business.

It’s hard to say, but I’m thinking I might need to re-evaluate my career. I love woodworking, but I don’t have trade qualifications. I did a 6 month full time course in cabinet making/carpentry when I was 21 and worked as a wood machinist/assembly worker for 4 years before I went to uni. I’m seriously considering going back to hands on work because I can’t stand the boredom of my job and the doom and gloom environment I work in.

My question is, has anyone been in a similar situation? If yes, what did you do? There are a few small design firms in my city, so I’ve thought about asking them if I can meet with them and see what they do. The problem is the Australian dollar is rising and the higher it goes, the less viable it is to make products here.


perhaps you should first of all think about your family
commitments really being that limiting. Industrial Design
per se is an international business and jobs tend to be
located in the clusters that “globalisation” has formed.

Having left “the industry” myself 5 years ago I do not
regret it too much. But sometimes I do.

(While I still do design work in the family business that I
am in the process of taking over in the mean time.)

But leaving design for woodworking after putting about
6 years into a desing career sounds regrettable to me.
There must be alternatives to going backwards to where
you were those years ago.

Could you perhaps compete to what your bosses do in
a different company, that does better? Are you even sure
that your current employer really needs an industrial designer
full time?


P.S. : As I was able to obtain your LinkedIn Profile and your
employment status within one step of googling you might want
to reevaluate your statement above concerning your current situation.