I’ve got creative ability but no formal training

Emily wants a creative career with on the job training


I have a 2:1 degree in English and American Literature and Creative Writing, and A levels in Art, Theatre Studies, English and Sociology. I am currently a manager of a gift shop and, though I love the creative side of designing shop floor and window displays, I am not finding it very stimulating.

I am a very creative individual with great communication and people skills. I would like to start applying for more stimulating jobs. But the problem is, although i have done a vast amount of research, I have no idea what area I want to go into, and without a degree in that area a lot of job opportunities seem closed to me.

I have a great eye for colours and designing and I am happy when doing anything creative. Can anyone suggest any creative careers I may not have thought of where I can do on the job training?

— Emily Brown

Expert answers

Amie Herriott's reply:

Hello Emily

Thanks for the question. I know how difficult it can be when trying to decide on area of focus. Obviously the easiest way to decide would be to try your hand at a few different disciplines – so one option could be to approach some companies across different specialisms and ask if you can do a short internship with them to start to get a feel for what they do and if it feels right for you.

Another option could be to look for areas within the creative industries where your degree will be approapriate such as copywriting – we work with copywriters alot and they are very heavily inolved in the creative process. Copywriters also play a big role in advertising agencies, working closely with art directors and your current qualifications would be relevant for those roles.

By the sounds of your interests and background something like Visual Merchandising could be a good option. It would combine your retail experience from the gift shop with a creative profession. Also something like Set Design could be of interest if you studied Theatre Studies at A-level. And if you're looking for 'on the job training' then an Apprenticeship could be worth looking into. There are plenty of Apprenticeships in both Visual Merchandising and Set Design. The good thing with an Apprenticeship is that, although you're working towards a qualification, it's a real job in which you earn a wage, rather than a degree you have to pay for. It would combine college based learning with hands on training with a real employer.

People like the National Apprenticeship Service (www.apprenticeships.org.uk) and the National Careers Service (www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk) would be good to speak to and they can help give you all the information you need regarding Apprenticeships.

I hope that helps and good luck

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