When to start looking/preparing for a new job.

I am happily employed, but I am planning to relocate in more or less a year from now.

I have started doing some early footwork to get some contacts in the area, as well as introducing myself to some potential design firms.

my question is…when should I start looking “full time”?

How aggressive should I be right now? So far I’m keeping my tone very informal and non-committal (I don’t want to cause any confusion about how eager I am to get a new job at this time) but I worry that in the near future, that approach may be too soft and cause me to be overlooked.

Any thoughts or experiences?



i am always looking and my portfolio is always about 75% ready and udpated. there is no “full time” search. if you aren’t ready to interview at a week’s notice, you shouldn’t be looking.

good advice. i’ve told the same thing countless times to friends and colleagues, that even if happily employed they should make a routine of collecting their work and updating their portfolios every few months or after a major project. you never know when you will be looking (or be forced to look) for a new job, and should be ready to hit the ground running if a good opportunity or the need arises.

besides, starting a portfolio from scratch if you havent done so in years can be a daunting and huge task. complicated all the more if you dont have access to samples of your work for one reason or another (fired, moved, etc.).


Someone once told me that opportunities don’t come when you are ready, they come when they are ready. I’m also always updating, editing, adding to my folio. It is a good exercise as a designer. It helps you see where your weaknesses are and also areas that you have over developed. I feel it helps you to be a more focused designer, regardless of whether you are looking for a job.

Wow, now those are two great pieces of advice! Point definitely taken.