Freelancing too early?


New Member
Hello all,

I'm an aspiring motion graphic designer yet to start my first full-time job in the field, though I work closely with designers at work, helping out on occasion. My intention was to work my way into the design department over time, as and when the opportunity arose, and progress my career from there. This has now changed as my partner has been offered a PhD in Bristol. We're now due to move in September.

The ideal situation would be to find a junior role at an agency in Bristol, but from initial searches opportunities seem scarce. I'm therefore wondering if it would be more productive to set myself up as a freelancer, dedicating time to procuring temporary work and individual projects rather than spending my days job-hunting if I don't manage to find anything before we move.

From your collective experience, does this sound sensible, or is it a bad idea to throw myself into self-employment without having experienced a few years of agency work? Would anyone recommend a different approach?

Thanks in advance.
I think a lot of people start out as freelancers when their hand is forced by circumstance and, while background experience is always a good thing, success really just depends on you knowing your stuff: that's all people will want from you... of course, you've got to find those people but that's a whole other discussion.
I've never worked full-time in an agency, only on a freelance basis, and I started as a student. The vast majority of my work is now for my own clients, and I learn a lot tackling projects on my own. Clients don't need to know, or won't want to know, your background, just that you can do the job, and a lot of the time, whether or not you can do the job is just down to confidence. You can learn as you go.
One bit of advice I will offer is to double the estimated project length for the first few jobs you take on. It's the most stressful experience ever when you start a project and realise you've got 2 weeks to learn 3 weeks worth of stuff AND then produce the goods.