Twenty tips to begin a career in the creative industries

creative cultural careers festival logo

In the week that culture minister Maria Miller announced the UK’s creative industries were growing at over 10% a year and outperforming EVERY other sector of business whilst contributing £8m an hour (£71.4billion a year) to the UK economy I was priveleged to front a discussion evening at the Edinburgh College of Art on how to get a job/career in the creative sector.  It was part of the inaugural Creative Cultural Careers Festival.

The evening was co-curated by Creative Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh’s Careers Service and the 10 speakers who each made ‘Lightning’ speeches gave the gathereing of around 150 students and creative industry workers a fantastic breadth of insights.

I noted twenty of them as the evening progressed.  I am pleased to share them with you;

  • Develop your own voice.
  • Surround yourself with good people.
  • Don’t work with people you don’t trust.
  • Use social media to get work.
  • Be speculative.
  • Be targetted and have a strategy for getting to your goal.
  • Use the public sector (training and funding).
  • Don’t just look for a job.  Look for a career.
  • Know your audience.
  • Put something out there.  DO THE WORK!
  • Be brave.
  • Be dogged. (Don’t give up.  Work hard.  Pester.)
  • Read Scott Belsky’s book – Making Ideas Happen.
  • Eat lunch!
  • Say Thank you.
  • Be your own ‘brand’.
  • Learn to drive.
  • Get lucky (by making your own luck).
  • Work with local charities (as practice).
  • Take control of your agenda.

Thank you to Gillian Easson, Alice Dansey Wright, Milo Mclaughlin, Frances Pratt, David Mahoney, Fi Scott, Charlotte Rendall, Steven Drost, Vana Coleman, and James McVeigh for these great insights

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