New Year, New Job? Making the Shift into a New Creative Role

By Kristen Harris

80% Expect to Land a New Job in 2021–Despite Covid-19

This headline caught my attention? Did it catch yours? 

According to the 2020 Candidate Sentiment Study by the American Staffing Association “Eight in 10 job candidates (80%), both active and passive seekers, foresee working for a new company in the next 12 months—despite, or possibly due to, the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.”

This 80% statistic reflects both optimism and necessity. 2020 was a year of change–good and bad–for practically everyone, worldwide. Some people will be looking for a new job because they want to and see opportunities in their field; others will be looking because they need to. Perhaps their previous industry has been greatly reduced, their job is not coming back soon, or their personal circumstances have changed. 

Are you in the 80%? I mean, most people are! So, let’s talk about how to shift into a new role within the creative industry.

I like to think about it as an equation…

A. You + B. The Job = C. A Great Match

First, it’s important to have a clear understanding of where you are now. 

  1. What skills, experience, and education do you have? These are your hard skills. Take some time to brainstorm everything you’ve done and have to offer. Even if it doesn’t seem 100% related, you might be able to connect the dots later. 

  2. What matters to you? Where do you fall related to personality, work style, values, personal motivation, and other intrinsic characteristics? These are more of the soft skills. If you’ve never thought about these areas, take some time to get to know yourself better. (link to old posts, podcasts)

  3. Do you have any limitations to consider? Do you need to keep a certain schedule, limit travel, reduce your commute, make a certain level of pay, etc? Even if you love the job (or the idea of the job) it won’t work for you if it doesn’t meet your basic requirements. 

Next, think about different potential jobs and industries.

  1. What jobs are available? You probably already know many of the different roles that people have within your niche. Explore and learn about other roles within your industry. Think about where your skills and experience could apply, and how a certain job may look different depending on the client, customer, or execution. For example, visual merchandising for a retail store is entirely different than for an e-commerce site.

  2. Where is your industry going? Research the trends, read projections from experts and futurists, and plan for the future! Look for roles that will keep growing and evolving for as long as you want to keep working.

  3. What are you interested in and excited about? Consider how your past experience and personal interests could align with certain jobs in your industry. Identify companies and industries that have growth potential, and that you are personally interested in. Work is so much more rewarding when it’s something you’re interested in!

Now, look at these two categories to see what lines up.

  1. Is there a natural next step based on your experience? Are these jobs open and available to you? Do you need any additional education or training to move into that role? Will there be continued growth potential if you stay on this path?

  2. What jobs fit your requirements? Certain jobs will have the flexibility, schedule, or compensation you need and others won’t. 2020 showed us that work can be done in more places and more ways than previously imagined. BUT some employers will not be open to long-term remote work arrangements and some jobs can’t be done remotely from a practical standpoint. It’s important to find the right match between the jobs available and your requirements.

  3. Will it take a few steps to get to your ultimate goal? If your eventual goal is a new role in a new industry, it can be easier to first shift to a new role in the same industry or the same role in a new industry, where you can leverage your experience. Then your next step can be to fully move into that new role in a new industry. The graphic below might help visualize this…think about going from green to yellow to red, rather than directly from green to red.




One more thought about finding a new job in the new year. The American Staffing Association study also found that job hunting is stressful. Yeah, we know that’s not really news but the statistics might surprise you. 

Candidates say that looking for a job is more stressful than…

  • planning a wedding (66%)

  • public speaking (65%)

  • the birth of a child (59%)

  • health concerns from Covid-19 (29%)

  • the death of a loved one (25%)

  • financial concerns related to Covid-19 (24%)

Wow, that’s a lot of stress. By taking the time to research, brainstorm, understand your needs and desires, and identify the right next job, maybe you can bring that stress level down a bit. If you’re part of the 80% looking for a change in 2021, let us know. We love helping creatives find the next step in their career!