leaving law
Arts and Media

A word from leavinglaw

An extremely broad category of course and one which embraces a number of possible careers with a creative element. What they have in common however is the significant challenge of making a living in a business which is always hungry for talent and yet notoriously difficult in which make a successful career. The entertainment industry - broadly defined - has a career pyramid which is very narrow at the top. Those who have successfully scaled its heights are by definition extremely visible but, like lottery winners, they stand on the shoulders of their far more numerous competitors. Success is generally a question not just of talent but single minded perseverance, networking skills and/or luck. Recommended only for the dogged and the driven. Some of the obvious heads:

Unless you are already very well connected with potential buyers interested in your work, going back to school would be a good idea to build up your profile. Focus on the kind of art you would like to make then take a look here for courses or even art holidays to unlock your potential: http://www.britisharts.co.uk/artcolleges.html.
If you already have work, get it online here asap:
Or if you just want to work in an arty environemt, try http://www.artsjobs.org.uk/.

As the number of book titles grows, and the cost of printing declines, being published has arguably never been easier. Many small publishers will take a chance on a first time novelist or writer. But conversely, a crowded marketplace makes it harder to make a living. Most writers earn a modest sum. Advances (if available) are more commonly four figures than five. And, once published, many authors end up being their own personal PR agents, pounding the pavement to drum up sales and elusive media attention. If you already have a first draft, join this website - set up by Harper Collins - and chance your first chapter with other wannabe novelists who will offer constructive feedback:
Meanwhile, if you have a finished novel, this is a must-have:

See also 'creative writing' and 'publishing'.

Notoriously hard to break into even for the talented and well-connected. The BBC website occasionally advertises internships and training jobs https://jobs.bbc.co.uk/fe/tpl_bbc01.asp and most independent production companies offer paid internships now too, e.g. Tiger Aspect, Cactus TV etc. Good screen writers can earn a decent living, though nothing like the riches of their brethren in Hollywood. And acting is for the birds - impossible to break into and harder still to make a living at. For actors over 30, there is only one place to start: http://www.thepoorschool.com/

Among the growth areas are animation and visual effects - since the Harry Potter franchise kick-started the London VFX business, many London companies compete successfully for big budget Hollywood dollars. Digital skills and training are a must, so check out the London Film School: http://www.lfs.org.uk/. For wannabe screenwriters and directors, have a look at: http://www.raindance.co.uk/site/

Traditional routes into journalism include the City University course, from which many Fleet St alumni have graduated: see http://www.city.ac.uk/journalism/. Local papers are still a good route in too. The website http://www.gorkana.com/uk/ is particularly useful for first jobs, but word-of-mouth is still the number one best route into Fleet Street, so get talking. Print media is however suffering from internet competition, and almost all newspapers have declining circulations. Magazines are in the same leaky boat, and no-one (except possibly the porn industry) has figured out a way to make money from the internet. Still, Fleet St soldiers on despite its problems and a good wordsmith can make a living. Public bodies like the BBC tend to be much more sheltered refuges from the chill winds of the private sector.

Also see 'Journalism (general)' and 'Journalism (legal)'.

Made the move

Emma Mapp

Emma Mapp

I co-run the London Photo Festival and this provides amateur and semi-professional photographers with an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work without having to undertake a formal elevation process. I had worked as a lawyer for a number of years (both in private practice and client side) and I always felt that something was missing in my life but couldn't quite put my finger on what it was and felt that I was trapped in a well paid job with no other options available to me. My job was .....



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Eva Voutsaki

No Photo

I am now an exhibiting and published photographer. As a child I always loved framing the world around me even with my own hands, without a camera. I come from a small village and everything around me was very photogenic and weird at the same time...My village is still a source of inspiration and somewhere I love going back. Unfortunately, I was an excellent student and it seemed quite normal to end up studying law. While a student I discovered the Photography Club of my university and tha .....




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Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of posting, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as professional or legal advice.

alternative careers