Now you have had an overview of what cultural industries are all about, the next step would be to decide what would be your ideal job in the industry.
The best option to start with would be to look at some job descriptions, just to get an idea of what each position is all about. A very good website to visit is careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/helpwithyourcareer/jobprofiles/.
To see what a position might require in terms of experience and qualifications, have a look on www.monster.co.uk: it is not a specialised agency for creative jobs, but it does advertise for a great variety of different positions at various levels, so it is a good starting point. Alternatively, another excellent source of job ads is The Guardian, which you can find online at www.guardian.co.uk.
Once you have looked at a variety of job ads, you should be able to find yourself in a position to know what might be right for you. Of course, you should bear in mind that a lot of positions within the creative industries tend to be very specific in terms of qualifications required, so there might be the need to re-train or develop whatever skills you already possess.
If, after having a look around this website and the ones mentioned above, you are one of the lucky people that have already decided what you want to do in the cultural industries, all you have to do now is make a plan. We will talk a bit more about career changes and training later on.
However, if you think that, despite all the research you have put into it, you still have no clue as to what you might be good at, it is worth taking a step back and considering asking for some help.
Though not strictly connected to the cultural industries, it makes sense to write a few lines about career planning and guidance, particularly when the path to take to your ideal job is not so clear.
Put the words ‘career’ and ‘guidance’ in your Google search box and it will return a vast amount of results which, for the best part, consist of private consultants who would charge you a fortune for a simple phone call. Do not despair, for there is plenty out there that will not cost you a penny. Try a few assessments for free at www.alec.co.uk/free-career-assessment/free-online-career-tests.htm. The best one on the page is the MAPP Assessment, which is free to try out for a shortened version, but offering a longer, much more in depth overview of who you are for just a few pounds. Alternatively, go to careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/helpwithyourcareer/skills/.
If the web is not really your thing and you want face-to-face help, there are career guidance services in every college and University in the country, and they all offer advice for free.
Finally, a word of caution about career guidance: it is not a magic wand! It will help focus your efforts on something that is compatible with your skills and aptitudes, but it will not tell you what to do.
Likewise, when choosing a job that you would ideally like to do for life, please remember to choose something that you will without a doubt want to do for life. Just to give you a simple example: it is most certainly enjoyable spending a few hours of your time playing around on the Internet, but it is quite another to live and breathe Web Designing to get your wages at the end of the month. It is stressful enough to consider a career change, but to then find the change was wrong all along is even more frustrating.
Also, on the all important day of an interview remember to look your best. Brushing your teeth with toothpaste and rinsing with mouthwash go without saying but looking clean-shaven is also just as important. Think carefully about what you wear. Research the company extensively and carry yourself with confidence… but not over-confidence. You don’t want to get off on the wrong foot. Knowing your abilities is essential and don’t be afraid to say that there are certain things that you are not aware of, but you would definitely look forward to learning.