No design job is perfect. But if you're no longer being creatively challenged at work, or feel that your skills aren't being fully utilised or appreciated – or you're just not giving it your all anymore – we have good news: there's never been a better time to quit your job.
You have a number of options: you could switch studios, go freelance or start your own studio. Here, we're looking at the first option – but how do you know which studios are flying right now? What if you've been in your current job for a while and your contacts books is out of date?
Here are five pro tips to help you scope out the jobs landscape and decide which studio to work at next.
01. Research online
"Whilst the market is far more complex than it used to be," begins Stuart Youngs, "it's still comparatively small. There are so many more ways to discover which studio's are doing interesting work through blogs, social media, magazines and industry award schemes, for example."
02. Network at events
For the best way to scope out the competition, though, you need to know how to network. "We're an industry awash with events," says Youngs. "My advice is to get to them and get chatting. You'll learn and you'll connect."
03. Engage with the community
"Engage in the wider creative community in any way you can," agrees The Partners' Kath Tudball. "Find your voice on social media, immerse yourself in creative culture, attend the talks, ask questions, have an opinion and share it. Get out there and talk to people."
04. Check Computer Arts' UK Studio Rankings
Every autumn, Computer Arts polls Britain's leading creative directors and studio founders to find out which studios they've been most impressed by over the last 12 months. The results feed into its annual UK Studio Rankings Top 50, which makes for valuable reading if you're looking for a new job. Find the latest list here.
05. Put out content
Don't just scope out the competition, let them see you, too. "Put out content on a daily basis on every visual platform – Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube – that's relevant to your discipline," says Reiss Hinds from BLUP. "Also, use LinkedIn and a personal blog to get your work in front of every potential new employer that your work is congruent with."