Have you ever felt unfulfilled in role? How did you get out of it?

Hello everyone! Just looking for advice because I am feeling kind of stuck right now.

I currently work for a company, Autumn Cashmere, where I am the assistant women’s wear designer/ print designer. I would like to say that right off the bat, I am very grateful for the job and so lucky to have one right now but I just can’t help but feel unfulfilled and stuck. I have had internships with Luxury brands such as Ulla Johnson, Marchesa and Cynthia Rowley, and I crave the work and environment that level of design brings with it, and currently I just feel I am far from it.

With the brand I work for now there are a lot of restrictions to be creative. Things such as fitting a price point, only creating knits, designing for an older client, etc. I realize I will have that anywhere I go (to some extent) but I feel as far as creativity I am not being pushed or learning new things or really enjoying what I am making. And I always want to be learning and moving forward because I know I still have a lot to learn. In other words I want to get back to that point, even considered quitting my job for an internship, just to get an opportunity to work in high end fashion again.

I guess I’d just love to know if anyone has gone through the same feelings and if they were able to push through and get back there? And if so how you did it? Is quitting a salary job for an internship crazy stupid? I just don’t know where to go from here but I just feel I need something more and worry I won’t be able to get back there.

Thank you in advance!!! <3


Hey there! I went from a higher end design job where I had an unlimited budget and lots of creative freedom to a fast fashion job and felt much the same. In my case, I left the high end company because of a toxic work environment. I earned more money and was much happier with the work culture at the fast fashion job, but then felt creatively unfulfilled. We were meeting such tight budgets, down to 5 cent changes and removing even the smallest element of design so that most things were just so basic. It got boring AF.

I think it is a huge challenge to find a workplace that checks all the boxes. Whenever you make a move, I think it is good to be cautious and plan it out. Leaving a job right now might not be a great idea considering the job market and the challenges you might have re-entering the job market. Especially when it comes to pay.

My advice would be to start your search for a new job. Especially if you don’t want to be stuck in this same niche market. It might take a few months but just keep at it. Meanwhile, challenge yourself creatively on personal projects. Work on some beautiful, creative projects for your portfolio to show at interviews. Or just make some cool clothes for yourself or friends. Ive even had fun making some TikTok videos showing my design process. Ive also spent a lot of time on self development for my Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop skills.

I personally got bored of my job and went part time while COVID happened and eventually stopped working for them. While I was doing that, I built up my Etsy shop and freelance design clients to fill the gap. I am earning a hell of a lot less money right now, but super happy with what I am doing. I will probably eventually go back to a “real” job, but for now just applying for freelance and part time roles.I don’t want to get that “stuck” feeling again either.


Don’t quit your job for an internship. I don’t know how long you’ve been at your current company, but if you’ve been there for 2 years or so, and are feeling stifled, then it is time to start a job search. Update your portfolio, etc- just know that right now the job market is really really sucky and hard.

But know that any job, no matter where you are, can feel stifling at times. In this crazy time, HAVING a job is really great, and it is also always easier to get a new job while you already have one. (Weird logic, I know, but true). And unless you don’t need to make money- losing a good, but boring, job in this economy might mean you might not get a new one (and a paycheck) for 6-12 months or so.

While you have your current position, and they like you and your work, see what other projects you can do there. Offer to take on new responsibilities and projects. Go above and beyond. Sit in on fittings and learn from patternmakers; re-organize the print library; pitch new ideas/color palettes/print ideas; be an eager learner. There are a lot of people you can learn from at a company, and all those skills will be helpful in getting you to the next level of designer. Keep in mind while those designer labels you mentioned are fun and a devil-may-care freedom in design, 99% of fashion companies (the Targets/Chicos/Anthropologies/Eileen Fisher and everyone in between) are based on a business/volume model, which includes limitations to how they design. Having the parameters of core customer/sales receipts/costing and minimums/factory limitations actually will help make you into a better designer. You have to design around those challenges. I get that it can seem boring. But these are all things that make you more well rounded, and a better candidate for your next roles.

Perhaps for your next role you should think about a position where your fabrication (not just sweaters) and customer (maybe a younger customer) will provide a challenge, so that you can learn from yet another point of view.



Thanks for this question, I’m enjoying reading what others have to say on the matter!

I really struggled with this at my last job as well. I actually did many of the things suggested in the last post- I reached out to people in the company who did very different things from me and asked if I could shadow them or work on a project with them. There were many things my boss wouldn’t let me do (some companies sadly want to keep you from growing it seems) but other things she seemed more open to, so I just kept pushing for new opportunities to expand my knowledge.

In the end I’ve come to the conclusion that 1- freelance work is the more mentally stimulating and creative, but 2- it’s pretty hard to make a living doing freelance in fashion right now. So I’m big into the “41st hour”.

Let work be work, but let outside projects drive your growth and creativity. And, sometimes, these outside projects become something bigger you can do full time!

Most people who have that really great job got in the company when it was in infant stage. That could be you!

I left the corporate world in 2019 and now only work for small companies (full time and side projects) and I feel SO much happier.

These companies and beginning brands don’t have fancy coffee machines or expensive Holiday parties, but I feel happier doing real work and less corporate BS. I also feel that my career will benefit in the long run from the things I’m learning.

I hope you are able to find your way to happiness too!