How do you manage your creative career?

November 29, 2013


The following post is a guest contribution from PHD psychology student, Fiona Millar. She’s looking to tap into our creative community to complete a research piece on how people in the creative industry structure their careers.

Have a read, and if you fancy participating then get in touch on the details below. You never know, it could even help you kick-start the changes you need to manage your own career!

Ask yourself the following questions on how you manage your creative career:

Q1: Is your career strategically organised and planned? Or does your career float along by itself?

Q2: Do you network in order to enhance your ‘little black book of contacts’? Or do you shy away from the conventions of militant networking?

Q3: Is your career a carefully planned, well-oiled machine or is it all down to luck?

Whether you answered yes or no to the questions above, I’m looking for individuals who work in the Digital Media or Fine Arts sectors of the creative industries who would be willing to share their career experiences with me as part of my PhD research at the University of Stirling.

I’m in my third and final year of my PhD, and I’m looking to collect data between now and January 2014. The research sample will be made of 20 individuals from both Digital Media and Fine Arts in order to compare the two sectors and develop an understanding of how individuals in contrasting sectors manage their careers. The research interviews should take no longer than one hour and I’m happy to travel to you as and when is convenient.

I appreciate you may have a few questions, so I’ve listed some FAQs with the answers for you…

What does the research involve? The aim of the project is to explore the career management practices of individuals from the two creative disciplines in order to gain valuable and insightful data that provides understanding of the behaviours, actions, influences and strategies the individuals have utilised or faced in the management of their careers.

How can I help? If you’re employed in either of the sectors, I’m interested in hearing how you entered the industry; the influence you had upon your recruitment (and continued recruitment), whether you actively manage your professional image and reputation and about any unpaid labour you have engaged in during your career.

Why is this research important? As the creative industries grow and employment within the sector increases in recognition, it’s important to understand from an individual perspective, how and why creative individuals manage their careers. Hopefully the results of this study will be able to be fed into Scottish policy and by generating greater knowledge and understanding through the career stories, provide support to younger generations wishing to enter and maintain employment in the sectors studied.

Great! Sign me up, how do I get involved? So if you are based in Scotland and work in Digital Media or Fine Arts, I’d love to hear from you and about your career journey, challenges and successes.

Please get in touch with me by email ( for more information or with any questions. You can follow my research on Twitter by using the hashtag #CMgtinCI

Your participation is greatly appreciated and together we can support the careers in the creative industries by providing greater knowledge and understanding through the collection of first-hand individual experience.

(Image source)