“Stay proactive and start using that power you have”

Starting from scratch in a new city is a big leap of faith. Alex Bec shares strategies for building connections and gaining experience in London’s creative industry in this week’s Creative Career Conundrums.

8 July 2024

Creative Career Conundrums is a weekly advice column from If You Could Jobs. Each week their selected panel of professionals from the creative industry answers your burning career questions to help you navigate the creative journey.

This week’s question:

I graduated last summer with a bachelor in Visual Communications and instead of looking for a job locally, I decided to move countries right away to gain a different artistic experience in London. Now that I look back on it, it was a crazy decision since I had no flat or job lined up and I arrived with only two suitcases during a time when the pandemic was becoming a thing of the past. I think the pandemic had made me crave desperately for a new experience and to really get out there after being cooped up for so long. Fast forward to now, I’m slightly regretting the decision to come to a new place fresh out of school where I have no networks, no experience (other than some short internships and apprenticeships while I was in school), and no recognition for the university I went to. Job hunting as a new grad is already hard, but I’m finding it more challenging as I am starting from scratch.

How can an expat like me navigate London’s creative industry with no experience and networks?

Alex Bec, CEO of It’s Nice That, Creative Lives in Progress and If You Could Jobs:

I’m sure many of our readers (including me) will read your challenge and have instant respect for your bravery and desire to make something happen in a new place. Many people dream of doing exactly what you’ve just done without ever making it a reality. You are out there, in the ‘arena’ trying to make it happen. That takes a huge amount of proactivity and belief, which you should never take for granted. Respect.

“Find meetups that interest you, where you can find like-minded people and start building community.”

Alex Bec

My ‘Plan A’ if I was in your shoes would be to use that incredible gusto you have to start building your networks and experience. You’ve identified that yourself as the core of the problem – so tackle it head on. Easier said than done I know; but perhaps not as hard as taking the leap to move to the big smoke with only two suitcases and no flat?

Find meetups that interest you where you can find like-minded people and start building community. The job market is hard at the moment in London, but there are still opportunities out there if you look hard, stay proactive and start using that power you have.

Give that plan a timeframe that you can afford, feel excited to embrace and give it all you’ve got. Don’t look back. Believe in it. And if at the end of the day it doesn’t materialise for you, then you can rest easy and be proud of the leap you made and all the amazing personal development that happened along the way. And who knows, that journey might also lead you to a ‘Plan B’…

In answering your creative career conundrums we realise that some issues need expert support, so we’ve collated a list of additional resources that can support you across things that might arise at work.

If You Could is the jobs board from It’s Nice That, the place to find jobs in the creative industries.

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Further Info

View jobs from the creative industries on It’s Nice That’s jobs board at ifyoucouldjobs.com.

About the Author

Alex Bec

Alex is the CEO of It’s Nice That. He oversees the commercial side of It’s Nice That, Creative Lives in Progress and If You Could Jobs.

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