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10 tips for a creative career


Understand that you have choice
Today’s job market is much less segmented. You no longer have to choose a path when you leave university and stick to it. Creative people tend to find it easy to get engaged. They are able to make connections where others don’t. Right now, an ability to think laterally and cross-refer across practice, interests and disciplines is a big advantage.

Keep learning
Passion, and developing this into particular specialisations, fuels your professional usefulness. It provides consolation when things do not go as planned, and it also makes you memorable.

Consider what kind of organisation will suit you
Large creative organisations tend to have formalised plans and training budgets. Small organisations, by contrast, may mean you are nerve-wrackingly close to the bottom line – and no job at all. However, they often enable you to get involved in all aspects of product/service delivery. If you want to have a choice long-term, think about early career experience with a large organisation.

Copywriting is important
Most things can be justified if they are effectively explained. This includes any gaps on your CV, unlikely-looking subjects for your dissertation or degree courses, unpromising work experience, or a short term stay at an institution with ‘national treasure’ status.

Learn how to win an audience
Most creative events require enough people taking part to make them financially justifiable. If you can identify a likely audience, communicate effectively with them and motivate attendance, you will be a powerful asset to any organisation you get involved with. To promote these skills, it’s a good idea to expand your life experience. Go to events that are outside your usual range. Aim to understand how other people spend their time.

Stay curious
Talk to people and find out how their processes work. A cross-organisational work experience can offer real value in helping you see how things look from a different department. Internships do not have to be solely in the role you envisage for your long-term career.

An interview is a two-way process
When you go to an interview, it’s as much an opportunity for you to find out about them as it is for them to find out about you. Keep asking yourself whether you like the atmosphere and feel as though you would fit in.

Find people who will encourage you
Find someone who will help you plan, be pleased for you when things go well, and offer pragmatic realism when they don’t. Be sure to encourage yourself. A simple nod to yourself that something has gone well, or better than expected, will help build your confidence.

Encourage other people
What goes around, comes around. Let the people you work with know when they have helped you. The most valuable feedback is specific and detail-orientated.

Write it all down
Theorising about how your particular creative sector operates may be the start of a volume that would be hugely useful to others. Analysing the sector you are part of, while it is going on, is energising. Seeing your thoughts published is also a source of huge satisfaction.


Creative & Cultural Skills