Professionals in fields such as music, fashion, and art share their take on working in the creative world
PANELISTS WORKED IN CREATIVE SPACES ACROSS DIVERSE INDUSTRIES
This March, we hosted a Networking from Home event focusing on creative careers. We hosted four panelists, including several alumni, from TOD’s, Warner Music Group, Artsy, and MoMA (log on to LionSHARE to explore these company profiles) and they shared details about their professional journey in this field. Here are our four top takeaways…
1. There is no set path to getting into a creative career.
Panelists shared that internships allow you to get exposure to different aspects of an organization within the creative industry. This also allows you to expand your professional network naturally, which is so important in this space. For example, one panelist interned in the legal department at a record label. Through that experience, he was able to see that he was actually more interested in the work his colleagues were doing on the brand management and public relations side of the label. Panelists also shared that internships are also considered an extended job interview and that is a moment where students can distinguish themselves within an organization, not just within their current team.
When interning, take notes on the work culture some environments are bureaucratic with structural support, some are more flat organization and start-up feeling. This can be helpful to note or research so you can best navigate around.
Think about the companies or positions that are at the intersections of your interests, such as marketing and music or technology and art — bringing expertise to the table, and in doing so, you will be a formidable professional! Think about what your “special sauce” is — what makes you different, and lean into that because creative organizations will value your perspective in your work.
Common first jobs can be very insightful! As one panelist who works in luxury fashion explained that working retail for a brand is a great way to gain experience. That interaction with the product, the store, and the customer base is valued experience and important in understanding the business.
2. A day in the life of a creative professional is never the same.
The professionals shared that their work is very dynamic but at the center, you are usually working with others to get work accomplished. There are plenty of team members that have studied different things and have different skills.
Know that a word like “marketing” can mean very different things from company to company. For example, at a company like TOD’s, marketing is also the people who go into stores and prepare them for opening.
With a dynamic day, it comes with some great perks — like our MoMA panelist explained that she gets to be with the art after hours and her office is located within the gallery among the art.
3. Skills, Skills, Skills!
You will use a range of skills as a professional in a creative career.
Some to think about are:
- Adapting to new technologies
- Fluency in technologies
- Prioritizing work
- Awareness of what’s happening in the industry and on social media
- Ethical decision making
- Relationship management and building relationships
- Effective communication
- Conflict resolution
- Solution-oriented work
- Working across cross-functional teams
- Active Listening
4. Expand your network and it can help you.
When you connect with people to grow your network, focus on building genuine, rather than transactional, professional relationships. Some panelists found this work through a friend of a friend. Keep being out there, keep persevering, and don’t underestimate the value of networking and showing up at events like Networking from Home!
One panelist shared the tip that when you’re working in a creative field, be your own public relations specialist. Consider your social media and digital presence are part of your resume. This is a way to show your artistic style, new content ideas, how to engage with an audience, etc.
Another strategy is to identify someone in space you admire and review their path and how your social circles could intersect. If someone doesn’t respond right away, know it’s nothing personal, be persistent.
The goal of networking is to create opportunities to graciously learn from others about their career paths and insights. It’s important to think about networking as building relationships over time. A panelist shared that relationships are very important in music, brand, and public relations space. When he was stuck thinking about a brand partnership, he mentioned it in conversation with a contact. That contact ended up being the source of his next big brand partnership with a global technology company.
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to continue the conversation about exploring creative careers!