Lost my passion - get it back or change career?!


New Member
Hi all,

I need some advice please.

I've been in my job for over 8 years now, I'm 30 years old. I've been through phases in the past, like I'm sure we all have, where I've lost motivation, flare etc. This time though it feels more serious.

I'm a studio manager / lead designer in a small company of 12. There's only 4-5 of us based in our office. I drive about 30mins to work everyday. Work in a lovely place in the countryside. Sounds ideal, but something feels wrong at the moment. I'm starting to be very negative about things at work, and I've really lost my 'get up and go'. I think back 5-6 years ago and I seemed young and excited, now I feel stale and bored. New challenges don't excite me anymore. The company I work for is constantly fire-fighting and everyone around me seems stressed out all the time. I don't thrive off stressful situations like some, and find myself craving for a more laid back lifestyle, doing something I am really passionate about. But, if I didn't have my job, I wouldn't be able to pay the mortgage etc etc... the same situation most people are in.

So, have any of you fellow designers been in the same situation, and how did you get yourselves out of it? Or is this the point where a career change has to happen?

Any advice very much appreciated.

First thing- you say that you're constantly fire fighting & extremely stressful.
As studio manager & lead designer- you're party responsible for this current state of affairs. Take a long hard look at the way you're managing your studio and team- it's sometimes a bitter pill to swallow but it's an important first step.
If you're stressed then so are your team and it's your duty to rectify the situation- no one can live off a diet of quick fire deadlines and late nights for long without something collapsing (and from your message, it sounds like it's you who's about to topple.)

I know it sounds patronising, but have you assessed your business practices lately- internal & external communication, the skills and abilities of your staff, you ability to deal effectively with your clients (we found that getting rid of account managers had a profound effect on our ability to work effectively) there are lots of things that may need changing but you don't have the time to assess- bring in a freelancer to cover your work load and take a big step back- you'll be amazed.

The second thing is- buck the fu@k up buddy. Do you know how many people- graduates, the recently and long-term unemployed, juniors who aren't going anywhere... would love to be in your position- you job sounds great, you're paying your mortgage and you've got the responsibility to effect change in your place of work. It's a grim world out there for creatives at the moment- my inbox is chock-full of extremely experienced people looking for work and unless you can do the work of a small agency by yourself for £25k a year then you're also not a very attractive candidate for employment.

If you've done everything you can to improve your situation and you still feel this way in 12 months time,then that's the tie to re-train,but be aware that you'll even struggle to get a place in further education anyway now due to the funding cuts.

You're best off making the most of what you have.

Mercy : Design Agency, Literature & Arts Collective : London / Liverpool : UK
Take a holiday and decide what you want to do. Perhaps a new set of challenges or your own business, or a new sector?

Craving a more laid back lifestyle is a big concern. I would not employ anyone with this goal.

It's important not to confuse pressure with stress. Pressure is healthy and constructive - stress is a clinical illness requiring therapy.

Write down what you would like in a role, study the newspapers - you may even find your in a very good position now!

You need to make some big decisions.

Hope this helps, just a few thoughts. Select or discard as applicable.

Best wishes whatever you decide.

I was in exactly the same position so I chucked my job in and went travelling for a year. Puts things in perspective if you go to some of the poorer places in the world.