Whether you’re taking your first leap into a professional life or looking to pivot careers after a pandemic epiphany, the best way to feel inspired is to talk to the people already making waves in the industry you want to work in. Reaching out for advice can be daunting, but most successful women are willing to give their time to support new talent as they value the role of mentorship in building a happy and diverse future workforce. The way we work is changing forever, so there’s no better time to think about the kind of job that you’ll find fulfilling and what you really want from a career. Time to dust off your CV and let these inspiring creative leaders help you make your first move.
How To Get A Job In... Podcasting
Georgie Holt, Managing Director ACAST
The great thing about podcasting is that it has no barriers to entry. If you have an idea, a means to record it [as simple as voice notes on your phone] and you publish it via a podcast RSS feed (which you can do for free via our technology at Acast to all podcast platforms). You are a podcaster! Congratulations and welcome!
Podcasting Career Advice
1. Building an audience in podcasting takes time, even if you have an established following on another platform. So don't worry if you're not hitting over 6 to 7 figure weekly listens in month one! The time it takes however is a good thing. Promise! This is when the podcast magic happens. It's where that loyal, hyper engaged community of advocates for your podcast is created, advocates who in turn will bring more listeners, more opportunities and more success for you as the Creator
2. Don't be afraid to try new formats and ideas on your podcasting journey. It's the best space to test creative ideas, try new things, learn, adapt, find and grow your audience. Podcast audiences are so forgiving and understanding on formats and finished product. It doesn’t need to be a studio style production to find success. The pandemic proved that something as simple as recording a zoom call or sharing voice notes can create brilliant podcasts
3. This sounds so simple but it will always be true….tell someone in the industry you want the career there, or you have an idea, or you want to know more. Don’t wait for it to come to you. Start now. My LinkedIn and Instagram are always open. If you want great support and people to go on the journey with you I am a huge advocate of the work of Creative Access and The Brixton Finishing School.
How To Get A Job In... Publishing
Abigail Bergstrom, founder Bergstrom Studios
People often think that it's the 'best' books that do well and have breakout success, and whilst that's sometimes the case, often there's so much more going on behind the scenes – from marketing and PR spend from a publisher to how motivated and passionate the team working on it are, and most crucially, timing – just as often brilliant books fall between the cracks and don't get the commercial or professional support they need to do well.
Don't wait for anyone's permission to get ahead, it will never come. You have to go for what you want, take the meeting, send the email, tempt fortune. Be bold, the person with the career you want had no idea what they were doing to begin with either.
Publishing Career Advice
1. Work hard - not just at your career but also on yourself. Being fulfilled in yourself and your identity outside of your career will make you better at your job and will lead to a healthier relationship with it.
2. Follow your instincts, they're almost always right.
3. Don't forget to have fun and enjoy the climb, when you get to where you want to be it can sometimes feel underwhelming. The ascending is the career.
How To Get A Job In... Graphic Design
Lisa Rahman, Freelance Creative Director and Graphic Designer
I’ve genuinely given up trying to explain to my South-Asian family what I do for a living, especially as a freelancer. In the last year, I’ve worked on set design, art directed a branding video (via zoom), designed a book, created style guides for a sustainable fashion start-up and helped run an alternative art school for creatives aged between 20-65. Graphic Design can encompass so many different pathways, and freeing myself of specific labels opened up the opportunity to explore my passion for the arts and design without fear of it needing to fit into a neat package.
Graphic Design Career Advice
1. See your CV and portfolio as a design project - I can’t tell you how many CVs I’ve seen that don’t reflect the design work that the young person is capable of doing and therefore they may miss out on opportunities because other CVs and portfolios looked stronger. Websites like: Creative Lives in Progress and General Assembly have great tips on this.
2. Continue learning throughout your career - Technology is constantly evolving, the design projects I was working on 10 years ago are so different to the needs of an audience / user today. Keep riding the wave of that change
3. Play and have fun - For a young creative today existing in a time of social-media, I think there’s a pressure to present lots of finished work/ process work in real time, it’s understandable that a digital visual space like instagram feels overwhelming. Take time away from social-media to play, make mistakes, have fun with design and problem solving, then present the work you wish to share when you want to share it.
How To Get A Job In... Broadcasting
Alison Earle, BBC News Presenter
The biggest misconception about my job is that it’s glamorous and well paid! Behind the studio, cameras and lights is a person who got up in the middle of the night. I begin my Breakfast shift at BBC London at 5am. The hours in TV are often unsociable and long. 10-12 hours are the norm. It’s also a very competitive industry, with fairly basic pay at the beginning. So, it may be a while before you’re earning wages like Gary Lineker!
When I watched TV growing up most newsreaders and reporters didn’t really look or sound like me. In one of my first roles as a journalist, I was the only black person working in the newsroom. Thankfully, being different is no longer the barrier to opportunity that it once was.
Broadcasting Career Advice
1. Always have an idea. TV is nothing without them. They’re not only a great way to contribute and show new perspectives, but they can also help you to get noticed.
2. If the opportunities aren’t there, create your own. Thanks to social media it’s now possible to do-it-yourself. So, make your own programme or film, tell your own stories - it’s all a showcase of you and is often a place the industry looks to find new talent.
3. Have a thick skin. You will get a lot of nos and a lot of closed doors. And there will also be some who just aren’t a fan of what you do. But so much of this business is subjective, so don’t let it put you off.
How To Get A Job In... Photography
Jameela Elfaki, freelance photographer
Although there have been some real positive changes over the years, there is still a huge disparity in pay for minorities working in the industry among a plethora of other issues such as accessibility, financial accessibility, and lack of support in creative areas. There is still lots to be done.
When I first started out in photography, I wish someone had told me that things take time, a big break doesn't always happen over-night. I would have allowed myself more time to rest, slow down and enjoy life. Burn out is not a measure of success.
Photography Career Advice
1. Be patient with yourself and your growth
2. Aim high and try and build up a strong portfolio and work experience in the industry
3. Always believe in yourself, your vision and your abilities
How To Get A Job In... Theatre And Film Directing
Nadia Latif, director
The biggest misconception about my industry is that it’s glamorous - or that there’s ever enough money to achieve everything you want on a project. When you start out, you’re making work for absolutely nothing, but you always have to inject maximum artistry, no matter if the budget is five pounds or five million pounds. There’ll be countless compromises, but make sure they’re ones you can live with. Nobody’s career is made overnight. All those rising stars - they’ve probably been grafting for years, but it’s much sexier to have appeared out of nowhere. It’s bloody hard work and a marathon for everyone, so just keep an eye on your form and your lane. Don’t worry about those others. Focus on your art.
Theatre and Film Directing Career Advice
1. Don’t feel like you have to be part of 'the industry.' Consume all the art you can, know who is making what and what opportunities there are available to you - but don’t get sucked into the gossip and 'scene.' Focus on creating a great friendship group to keep you sane - and remember it’s just a job. It doesn’t define you.
2. Damn the man. Always make work that speaks truth to power and dismantles the mess we find ourselves in today.
3. Make dope sh*t. As long as you love it and put your all into it, that’s what really matters. Do what makes you happy.
How To Get A Job In... Script Writing
Georgia Pritchett, script-writer on Succession, Veep and author of memoir My Mess is A Bit Of A Life: Adventures in Anxiety
Scriptwriting either involves being alone and wrestling with your self-doubt - or being in a stuffy windowless room with other anxious writers with questionable personal hygiene. Then filming usually entails getting up at stupid o’clock and standing outside in eighteen coats, wondering how long you can hold out before you need the portaloo. On the plus side, there are a LOT of snacks.
Your best writing will be when you are true to yourself and brave enough to be brutally honest.
Script Writing Career Advice
1. Keep writing all the time - even if nobody is paying you or asking you to. You learn something with every script you write.
2. Sometimes people will give you bad notes but you can still use that as an opportunity to make your script better.
3. Do your homework! By which I mean, watch lots of TV and films. No better way to learn than about great dialogue than soaking it up.
How To Get A Job In... Social Enterprise And Mentorship
Ebinehita Lyere, founder of Milk Honey (A Black Girl led expressive safe space for Black Girls to flourish) and nominee for the Veuve Clicquot Future Award 2021
Within my role as a youth practitioner and as a Black Woman, I wish I’d learnt earlier on that I’m allowed to stop and take time to breath, no matter how difficult the situation at hand was. I wish I’d known that I didn’t have to keep going and I was allowed to be vulnerable in my role. As a Youth Practitioner, you can utilise your voice in many different ways and be creative within your practice, for example by doing a Ted X Talk and by doing a PHD, I’ve been able to bridge a gap, allowing people to understand the reality of young people. We have the ability to reach many people with our voice. It is such an honour to be acknowledged by Veuve Clicquot for the BOLD women of the year awards.
Social Enterprise Career advice
1. Your experiences do not define you, they will only allow you to do this role better, by learning with the people that you support.
2. Personal therapy is important, if your cup is full, you can’t support other people around you. Allow yourself to put H.E.R (healing, empowerment, resilience) first and look after your own mental health.
3. Young people are fun and you need to be able to have fun for and with them. No matter how hard it gets, don’t forget to play and allow the young people you support to feel safe enough to join you. You can show many things through play, it’s an incredible form of communication.
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