The Great Resignation has begun; the WeTransfer Ideas Report shows that 45 per cent of creatives are thinking of leaving their jobs

According to the survey, creatives are now more focused than ever on doing work with meaning and reward, rather than seeking “cold, hard cash.”

3 November 2021


The WeTransfer Ideas Report 2021 has been released today and its findings on the creative industry are enlightening. WeTransfer asked over 10,000 people from 135 countries in July and August of 2021 how their creative worlds have changed in the past year. Following a year of retrospection, a byproduct of the pandemic, creatives who are thinking of switching jobs are 36 per cent more likely to feel restricted financially, 32 per cent more likely to feel their work-life balance is off, and 50 per cent less likely to feel connected to the people they work with. Ruby Tandoh, a food writer and journalist, says that “Rather than working ourselves to the point of burnout, we’d do well to quit our own unrelenting standards, ease off the accelerator and set some healthy boundaries.”

This information might be the natural result of under 25s feeling undervalued, underpaid, and overworked. 50 per cent of Gen Z who responded to the survey cited mental health as a main creative distraction during the pandemic, and 60 per cent of Gen Z are thinking of moving jobs within the next six months. Gen Z is also a creative bunch: apparently, 61 per cent are willing to take more creative risks and 53 per cent are dedicating more time to creativity, outperforming other age groups by five to ten per cent.

Interestingly, the survey found that most creatives want their work shown in publications, on Instagram, and in magazines, rather than being handed awards for their work. This might be unsurprising considering the majority of our creative work is now shared and produced online, via social media channels.

Comparatively only 33 per cent of men cared about aligning their personal values with their work and jobs, whereas 42 per cent of women and 40 per cent of non binary people cited aligning values as crucial to their work. Apparently, men are also feeling less productive, taking fewer risks than their female counterparts. Pandora Sykes (you know, the one with the podcasts) feels that “when your work aligns with your moral compass, when your professional life feels like an extension of your own personal ethics, you’re so much more able to claim it. To stand by it, defend it, inhabit it.”

It also wasn’t uplifting news for creatives of colour, almost 50 per cent of whom are feeling less financially stable since the pandemic, 15 per cent above the average.

There also appears to be growing age gap between creatives in the global north and west compared with elsewhere. In the US, UK, France, Germany, and Canada, 55 per cent of creatives in the US are over 45 years old, compared to only around 30 per cent in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Western creatives are also taking fewer creative risks, and the Latino creative community came out on top for their creativity levels and pursuit of innovation.

Read the full 2021 WeTransfer Ideas Report report here.

GalleryWeTransfer Ideas Report 2021, courtesy of WeTransfer.

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WeTransfer Ideas Report 2021, courtesy of WeTransfer.

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia is a freelance writer, producer and editor based in London. She’s currently the digital editor of Azeema, and the editor-in-chief of The Road to Nowhere Magazine. Previously, she was news writer at It’s Nice That, after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh.

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