To start to generate some more career options, and build up your own list of possibilities, you could try conducting some initial research:
- Research what alumni have done and use the information to pick a few options which appeal more than others.
- Talk to tutors and your peers from within your field to learn about what other people have gone on to do, again listening to identify options which might appeal.
- Take an online career questionnaire or trying career planning exercises - you can learn about these using our advice for generating options.
Mapping options out
Another idea is making a 'map' of the different areas which relate to your subject or specific interests. Take each question in turn to help you research the organisations and kinds of work that serve these different niches.
- Who is creating new work/ideas? (Academia? Businesses?)
- Who is communicating about the new work/ideas? (Marketing firms? Media? TV production houses?)
- Who is making the work grow? (Entrepreneurs? Firms? Investors? Government?)
- Who is making sure the work is being done properly? (Regulators? Reviewers? Government? Professional associations?)
- Who is in a helping role around the work? (Charities? Government? Businesses?)
- Who is doing grass roots/front-line work? (Retail? Public services? Small businesses? Individual practitioners?)
An example: using a subject interest in literary fiction
Answers for someone keen on a career revolving around their interest in literary fiction, following investigation using our information pages for Publishing and Creative Arts:
- Authors (some of whom have staff), literary agents, new writing festivals and events
- Specialist marketing firms, in-house teams in publishing houses, trade press like Bookseller, consumer press and media (from Front Row and Sky Arts and specialist production companies to informal blog reviews), literary festivals
- Publisher's merchandising and licensing teams, rights management, film, theatre and TV companies
- Publishers Association (PA), Public Lending Right, Copyright organisations, UK Intellectual property, Society of Authors, IP and entertainment law firms
- Lots of non-profit writers groups, creative arts charities, Arts Council England, NESTA, DCMS, literary review and consultancy firms, museums (e.g. Story Museum), public libraries, education and teaching
- Booksellers, including e-commerce, independent booksellers, high-street booksellers, book 'club' models, e-publishing and self-publishing platforms.
This method generally ensures that you end up with more options than those that seem most obvious at first, but it's vital to do your research first to build up this list. And remember, each organisation will have a team of people doing lots of different roles - from updating the website, to managing the finances.
What to do with your map
Use your map to explore organisations' websites to look for job opportunities and learn more about what they do. If you spot something that it particularly interesting to you, whether it's an advertised role, or an area of work that's ongoing, you could get in touch speculatively to ask for advice/ work experience to learn more.