Employability: how to make a career in the creative industies

We can't all walk into a West End show, Hollywood movie, or TV drama straight after training. Most of us will start our careers at the bottom rung of the ladder, or some distance away from it. 

So, how do you form a career in such a competitive and over-subscribed profession? 

Acknowledge the challenge:

Recognising the challenges ahead will help you play the long game. It will take time to build your CV, reputation, and gain experience. While lucky breaks do happen, they're rare and it will be tough, so acknowledge that, embrace it, and proceed. 

Life goes on:

Too many sacrifice other life dreams for a career which could take off at any moment! It invarably doesn't, so be happy in life and live it. Get married, buy a home, travel, start a family, get a dog, write, whatever your dreams happen to be. If it makes you happy in life it can only make you a more interesting and pleasent person to work with. Just don't take your eye off the goal. 

Understand the business of the industry, not just your role within it:

Unless you're a major star, you really are the final piece of the puzzle. Months or years of planning have already gone onto the project. Understanding how the business works may help to plan and develop your career. Why not offer to shadow producers or directors to learn more and get a foot in the door casting wise?