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The institute for employment studies Creative Career Stories Further findings from the Creative Graduates Creative Futures project.

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Presentation on theme: "The institute for employment studies Creative Career Stories Further findings from the Creative Graduates Creative Futures project."— Presentation transcript:

1 the institute for employment studies Creative Career Stories Further findings from the Creative Graduates Creative Futures project

2 Overview Reminder of the methodology Key findings from the main stage Themes from the follow-up work ● current work (one year on) ● finding work & career facilitators ● impact of the recession on lives and careers ● the value of a creative education ● looking to the future Over to you

3 Methodology: Main stage Partnership of 26 institutions ● design, sampling and administration of survey 27,000 graduates ● census of art, design, craft & media graduates Surveyed Sept to Dec 2008 ● postal survey, online survey, telephone support ● 8 page questionnaire – down from 20+ pages 3,500 respondents (14%)  Creative Graduates Creative Futures report (Jan 2010)

4 Methodology: Follow up survey ● 8 open text questions ● mailed to approx 2,000 respondents ● during Sept/Oct 2009 (mid/end of recession) ● 400+ responses (23%) Depth interviews ● semi-structured conversation (up to an hour) ● transcribed and summarised ● 40 case studies/graduate stories  Creative Career Stories report (November 2010)

5 Key findings from the main stage Majority working, and in creative occupations Complex picture of employment ● spread across multiple jobs (portfolio working) ● high levels of self employment ● still high incidence of unpaid work ● and low pay High levels of satisfaction Different career drivers Continual skill development Model for other graduates?

6 Current work – one year on Some early turbulence Settling into and progressing in their careers ● broadening experience ● managerial responsibilities & senior roles ● continuation of personal creative practice Portfolio careers and self employment still key Gravitation towards teaching Importance of public and third sectors “After graduating, I worked as a runner for various TV production companies on and off, whilst doing some freelance print design work for local companies where I live, whilst working in a pub part-time too. After a year I found a job on a production website for a runner at a motion graphics company. There I worked my way up from runner, to designer, to lead designer. Before taking the decision 4 years later to continue as a designer and director on a freelance basis” “Six months after graduating I got a job as a camera trainee making commercials. It gave me a lift. I thought, God this is really good, they’ve got proper, grown up cameras – I’ve made it. Since then I’ve probably done 300 jobs in one form or another; it evolves constantly. Three or four years ago I made the move and called myself director of photography. I could have earned a lot more as a camera assistant but I was deliberately trying to jump around on different things. And accidentally I became a teacher”

7 Examples of current work roles Creative Design Assistant ● + marketing work Community Improvement Partnership ● + running a graphics design company Aftercare Worker for specialist addiction charity Senior Designer supplying high street stores Promoting live arts acts in arts centres/community groups ● + running a music based charity ● + freelance design work Self employed fashion designer: surfwear company

8 Examples of current work roles Teacher of art, technical theatre, technology and costume Marketing Assistant at a health care charity ● + produce own work (sculpture, photography, film and writing) Research post at a London university ● + fund-raising for local theatre group ● + writing for media Senior Production Design Engineer Working at an Animation Studio in California

9 Finding work First jobs via ● personal contacts ● networks ● placement experiences Unpaid work to get a foot in the door Trying out different kinds of work Some degree of compromise Feeling that HE could do more! “I got a funded placement straight after university. The placement company weren’t paying me to be there so I could oversee other people and do my own work as well, without the pressure of having to churn out really good quality stuff straightaway. Learning alongside professionals was good. It gave me some pieces of work to put on my show reel, so I had a better show reel as a result. And I got a few more contacts through working there, so found my first job quite quickly after the placement” “The biggest help has always been from people I have worked with in the past and/or ex-tutors putting in a good word for me” “The key decision I have made since graduating has been to continue to change jobs when I stopped learning and growing as a designer. I did everything I could to try something different with each job before settling on to my current discipline”

10 Career facilitators Self belief and resourcefulness Staying creative Relevant work experience Continued investment in skills Connectivity, collaboration, working with others Accessing grants, residencies and schemes Support of parents, family and friends Flexibility Survival strategies “Always be friendly and professional as word of mouth is your biggest selling point. Take advantage of all the support networks you have available to you. Network, network, network” “Work hard. Do work experience. Don’t think or act like you know it all. Be able to use design programmes well. Do large scale briefs with commercial realism. Make sure everything in your portfolio is there for a reason. Be interesting and eager” “Keep it real, don’t price yourself out of the market and do the leg work, visit galleries, send out imagery and keep your chin up. If all else fails try again!” “Volunteer for a while, to get your foot in the door. Organise projects with your peers, this helps with confidence and allows more interesting/bigger projects to happen, it also attracts more financial support, rather than seeking funding as an individual”

11 Impact of the recession Resourcefulness and persistence Income and growing creative ventures Risk taking Competition Teaching safe haven (?) Decisions about further study and development Focus on long-term (recovery) “If anything, it has brought me more business…many companies who would have previously gone straight to agencies with a large budget are now looking to save money with freelancers” “The recession has thrown a few unexpected changes my way, but overall it has made me more proactive with my work…I have seen it as a challenge and worked harder, become more independent, learning more and producing better work as a result”

12 The value of a creative education Opportunity for personal exploration Learning by doing Learning from others (the critique) Access to work experience Developing technical skills Developing workplace skills and attributes Business education Confidence building “I found the fine art course absolutely wonderful, it was an opportunity to play for three years whilst learning profound concepts and expanding your mind into areas that I’d been aware of but hadn’t previously taken on board” “When you finished each module you had to explain what you were doing and why, justify it and explain your thinking behind it and the design process – which gave me more confidence in myself, which I’d been lacking”

13 Looking to the future Key success factors and drivers ● stay creative ● develop new work and ideas ● have greater control ● learn new skills ● gain recognition & customer satisfaction ● facilitating creativity in others ● become sustainable Financial gain vs personal development? “I think I’ve done really well. I have progressed in certain ways: moved to different areas of print design, started doing a lot of children’s wear, T- shirts… but I mainly still do the same thing I have always done – but the skills and techniques have progressed. Going to New York has given my work a real boost – you’re in the middle of the industry and it’s an eye opener. My success is that I’m still doing what I set out to do in the first place, and that I’ve managed to make a living out of it. I’ve got better and better at what I do.”

14 Where do we go from here? What are the key challenges for HE? for the creative sector? How can we prepare our graduates for entry to the sector? and for building sustainable careers? Where next for the research? ● what else do we want to know? ● how can we continue to use the data?

15 … thank you


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