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Staying Ahead: Creative Industries Work Experience

Whether you are a creative designer, prefer to work with words or a technology lover, a creative industries degree offers many opportunities and career paths to guide you towards reaching your future aspirations. With the industry attracting so many different personalities, the competition for a career within the creative industries is fierce.

Saying this, the creative industries in the UK are recognised as being amongst the best in the world, outperforming the rest of the economy’s growth in terms of jobs, and driving innovation. Gaining hands-on experience will help develop your skills and knowledge, and assist in getting that all-important foot in the door when you finally hit the job market. So, the question is, how do you go about getting the experience?

Avoiding the Catch22 Employment Situation

When it comes to the stage of applying for various roles in the creative industries, people need to be able to ‘market’ themselves to their potential employers. A good CV and confident interview skills are key factors to a good first impression. Applicants need to demonstrate their own strengths and be able to communicate these to potential employers. One important feature that most companies will look for is work experience and employability skills learned from this. However, the main problem arising is that many people struggle to gain this experience, as not many companies are willing to take people on if they have a limited knowledge of the industry.

As a solution to this, ‘Prospects.ac.uk’ and ‘Careerchangepathways.com’ provide some examples of how to gain valuable experience:

  • Building your network

Getting to know people within the creative industries and learning from them. Using both online and offline methods; following industry leaders on Twitter, communicating on Linkedin and even meeting/ interviewing professionals face-to-face.

  • Undertaking an Internship

Internships are an excellent opportunity to be able to experience a period of time in the right environment. Internships allow you to improve various skills to make you more employable. It will also help you to decide which direction you want to head in for your future career.

  • Work shadowing

An opportunity to observe and talk to a person as they go about their day-to-day job. Work shadowing also allows you to gain some insight into what an occupation entails.

Choosing Sides: Agency versus Client Based Roles

Work experience can be carried out in different types of environments, such as working for a large multinational business, a small to medium sized business or even an agency. It is important to consider the differences between these as the experience working for the client or agency side are very different. Roles on the client side require you to focus on just the brand you are working for, planning annual strategies to support the overall business objectives. Agency roles tend to offer faster paced environments, as you may be working for many brands simultaneously. This also requires creating a good relationship with a multitude of clients and understanding their business needs.

Honest Experience

Honest is a leading Cambridge based brand, advertising and digital agency, with a reputation for producing thought provoking creative solutions to respond to client business challenges. Honest provides a select group of interns with the opportunity to participate in the process of generating fresh creative ideas and thinking.

The Honest approach is one that makes time for what may well be the next generation of creative agency folk, developing and building the skills of those who respond to challenges with enthusiasm. This may involve working on a creative pitch, a website project, an internal communications plan or branding. Whatever the case, you will have plenty of opportunities to build organisational, communication, creative thinking and budgeting skills. These are skills that will help to build up your curriculum vitae and be used to support your path to a career.

Bagging the Benefits of Work Experience

With work experience under your belt, you are likely to be packed with valuable skills and gain a great advantage over others applying for the same position. These skills may consist of interpersonal skills, organisational skills, or even becoming more confident when delivering presentations; these are all transferable skills that will be useful in any future career. On top of this, you have an opportunity to make valuable contacts while fulfilling your placement role that can be nurtured and called on again in the future.

For more information on work placement opportunities in design, branding digital or client services at Honest please email us at info@honestideas.co.uk.