Everything you need to know when entering the creative industry

From how to write a cover letter to negotiating fees and the how-tos of unionising, here’s a rundown of things you should know when starting your creative career.


The Next Generation (formerly known as The Graduates) is a new annual series highlighting the freshest talent new to the creative industry. Whether you’ve recently graduated with an undergraduate degree, or if you’re about to this year. Or, alternatively, if you didn’t go to university at all but are less than a year into your creative career, you’re eligible to apply. Applications are open until midnight BST on Monday 2 August. We want to celebrate a diverse range of talent no matter what medium you work in. From graphic design to fine art and everything in between, wherever you are in the world, please do share your work with us. We can’t wait to see what the next generation of creative stardom has in store!

A few months ago, we launched a survey asking emerging creatives what advice they’d like for entering the industry, and from whom. Hundreds of you responded, detailing your experiences thus far and suggesting how the daunting next steps can be eased. The results were clear. Creatives of all backgrounds and ages let us know what pressing topics were weighing heavy on their minds, and in response, this advice series aims to be part of the solution.

Below you’ll find a list of resources that hope to provide comfort as well as practical advice for entering the creative industry. From how to build your dream network to negotiating freelance rates, how to nail the perfect cover letter and jobs boards galore; we hope you’ll find mountains of useful information to unpack. Divided into five categories – Expanding your creative network; Finance; Portfolio tips; Applying to jobs and getting work; Opportunities and networks for emerging creatives – delve into this comprehensive list of resources.

Apply to The Next Generation 2021!

Apply now

Applications for The Next Generation 2021 are now open!

Apply now

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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