The Tricky Art of Predicting Your Future Career……

ImageJanuary is always an interesting time for reflection and thinking about what the coming year will bring. If you are a final year student, you will be currently preparing for your transition into the world of work and decisions about what next are probably in your thoughts.

When thinking about your career, having a crystal ball or the capacity to predict the future would be a useful skill to have to help you to make good career decisions, especially in the current employment environment where opportunities, occupations and skill requirements are ever changing. Unfortunately, we simply don’t have this ability and leaving your career to chance or hope is not recommended.  So, how can you predict the future and support yourself to make informed and realistic choices about your career and the creative industries?

The good news is that there are some simple tasks that you can adopt into your daily routine that will help you to become more knowledgeable about your sector, the shifting job market and employer needs.

Here are my top tips to help you predict your future career options:

  • Undertake specific sector research…..Are you reading industry magazines? They are a great source of information about your industry, leading professionals and companies, as well as helping you to keep abreast of skill requirements and industry wants.Are you signed up to sector organisation e newsletters and updates?Are you aware  of sector council websites? These are a great resource, packed full of detail about your sector’s labour market, career options, and advice. See:  Skillset: http://www.creativeskillset.org , Creative Choices: http://www.creative-choices.co.uk and Creative and Cultural Skills Council: http://ccskills.org.uk for further information.
  • Gain an industry placement…this is a fantastic way to learn more about what it is like ‘in the field’, gain experience of a working environment and  hear from professionals about what they see as the future developments in their sector.
  • Keep your ear to the ground…. Social media is a great way to hear about current trends in your sector as well as spot up and coming ones. Shape your twitter fed to help you gain relevant sector information by signing up to company’s twitter feeds, industry organisations and magazines. ’Like’ company pages on Facebook. Join sector groups on Linked in.
  • Keep networking…one of my favourite ways to hear about up and coming events, trends, jobs etc.   Your network should be helping you to source information about your sector…if it is not check that your network is as professionally focused as it can be and take action to develop it.

Not sure what type of information you can find and how it can help? Here are some highlights from information that I have come across recently, that are already being forecast for the creative industry in 2013:

  • Growth in opportunities, Nesta http://www.nesta.org.uk  forecasts that between 2009 and 2013, the UK Creative Industries will grow on average at 4%, more than double the rate of the rest of the economy and by 2013 would employ 1.3 million people.
  • Multi skilling will continue to be a trend where job seekers will need an understanding of different technologies (brought about by the dramatic increase in digital practice) and their application within the sector. (NESTA)
  • Archiving skills, awareness and practice will be in demand especially for the digital sector.(NESTA)
  • Management, leadership and business skills will continue to be important. (CCSkills)
  • Average wage for creative’s in the UK will continue to be around £7.36 for visual artists and for designers £11.40 per hour. (CCSkills sector statistics 2012/13)

So, while you might not be able to completely predict the future, actively undertaking sector research and keeping up to date with your industry, will help you to make informed decisions about your future career and plans. Good luck with your research.

Find out more about the Creative sector in Scotland and the UK:

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