If you’re looking for a change and are trying to figure out what to do next…or you’ve just graduated and you’re a little lost as to where to start, this article will (hopefully) help you orientate your creative job search in London.
Firstly, good choice. Over 25 per cent of the UK’s creative jobs are in London, according to the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport. (That’s around 500,000 jobs.)
So, in this post I’ll cover:
- The best job websites for creative jobs in London
- Tips and strategies to make you landing a creative job a likely outcome
The best job websites for London creative jobs 🌐
The most direct way to find them is through job websites. Here is my pick of the best.
The Dots is a professional network for creative people. It offers both freelance and employment. It has jobs in marketing, graphic design, video work, art direction—you name it.
Arts Jobs is run by the Arts Council, a non-departmental public body. It features creative roles with an emphasis on cultural institutions, arts & heritage, theatre, orchestras and education.
The Guardian Jobs has a mixture of creative roles, spanning everything from music, dance and theatre to funding, artist management and public relations.
Workinstartups has creative/marketing roles in start-ups.
Damn Good Jobs has good creative and marketing roles in companies with a focus on sustainability.
Many creatives use LinkedIn—it’s worth having. It’s always good to keep eye on other major jobs websites, too, such as Indeed, Totaljobs and Reed.
Entertainment, production, music
Music Jobs, unsurprisingly, has jobs in music. NB, you have to pay to access the jobs.
Mandy is good for performance, entertainment and production, with jobs for actors, musicians, theatre workers and more.
Design Jobs Board has roles in creative/branding agencies, including graphic design, UX design, creative, marketing and copywriting roles.
Dezeen Jobs has jobs for architects and interior designers, as well as business support roles.
Tips and strategies to make you landing a creative job a likely outcome 📋
There are other routes to finding a creative job in London. Sometimes, you have to zigzag to get where you want. The key is that you should be the architect of a set of conditions that make you getting work in your creative field the most likely outcome.
Here are three ways you can.
1. Get a job in the hospitality industry ☕
Many creatives in London—like those interviewed for the Creative Londoners project—have worked in hospitality while starting out in their creative career or while looking for a change. (Take Anne-Claire Fleer, who left a job in finance to become an artist. She worked three days per week in a coffee shop in Dalston, east London.)
Working in a restaurant, café, bar or hotel gets you in front of people. It forces you to make connections—with customers and colleagues.
Pick an establishment in an area where there are people doing what you want to do and treat everyday like a networking event.
One creative I interviewed, Madeleine Godsill, even put on an exhibition in a café where she worked, in Chiswick, west London.
One place to start your hospitality job search is: Coffee Jobs Board.
2. Create your own job or business 🚀
If the job market is having trouble realising the skills and experience you have, then take your skills and experience and build a product or service around them.
Setting up as a freelancer or sole-trader, or even starting a company, can be a great way to start generating an income using your creative skill or practice.
The key is to focus on what your value is to the market you wish to serve. Figure out the best way to sustainably monetise your creative skill or practice. Then, build up credibility, an audience, and experience.
As a creative, marketing yourself is an essential skill—there’s no bad time to learn or grow your marketing knowledge. And there’s no more direct way of getting feedback on your marketing efforts than by listening to and measuring how the market responds to you.
3. Find online communities and like-minded people 💥
If you haven’t already, it’s likely that you’ll lose touch with most of the people you went to university or school with.
You’re more likely to get word of or create opportunities for work if you build and retain professional relationships with like-minded people.
Face-to-face events are starting to reappear on events websites, such as Meetup. Convince yourself to go to enough of these and you will lead yourself in the right direction, either by getting valuable feedback or by making new connections.
Facebook groups are a good way to network while even gaining work experience. In London, there are many focused on specific types of creative practice. They tend to focus on collaboration opportunities, which in part explains why there are many aimed at film/TV.
Here is my selection of the best:
Photographers, fashion industry creatives, make-up artist
Filmmakers, actors, writers, composers
To discover how a sample of creatives in London have navigated their careers, browse the Creative Londoners interviews and content.