Hi there, I've been working as a graphic designer for 8 years and am currently in my fourth role. In the last year or so I've realised that I've never worked under a good creative director and as a result, my portfolio has suffered. I have always felt that I haven't been given allowed the creative freedom to fulfil my potential, whatever that is. I've been in my current role for 3 years and have been looking for a new job since August - there's been very few vacancies to even apply for and I haven't got anywhere with any of them, probably partly because of the job market being even more oversaturated than normal with candidates and partly because of my weak portfolio. I've been doing freelance work on the side for the last 18 months with has given me some more pieces to go in my portfolio. However, I've realised I approach all briefs the same way and am very much a product of where I've been working. To break out of this, I'm setting myself some briefs that aren't live and are more art-based than design-based. For example, as I enjoy typography, I am going to find a quote I like and illustrate it in any way I choose and use it as an opportunity to experiment. I hope that will generate better work for my portfolio. Do you think that's a good idea? Has anyone else been in my situation? What would you do? Given my experience, job agencies have been putting me forward for senior graphic designer roles but should I take a pay cut and go for middleweight roles? The bottom line is I'm really worried that I won't be able to get a role with a good agency where I can learn, meaning I'll be stuck in a rut of working for the same, unsatisifying employers and never do anything I enjoy!