Top tips for starting a career in the arts sector

Sophie Hack One Dance UK Ambassador 2016-2018 and University of Lincoln dance graduate (2017).

Upon graduating 3 years ago, I have worked for multiple arts organisations such as Dance4, DanceXchange and In Good Company as well as working on Birmingham International Dance Festival, Check In and Departure Lounge Festival. My roles within these organisations and festivals have included producing, project management and administration.

Finishing education, whether that would be school, college or university, can be exciting but can also be a daunting situation. If you are job hunting at the moment or just starting out in the arts industry, here are some top tips that I learnt along the way throughout my first few years of working within the arts sector:

· Don’t be afraid to ask for help – when you’re starting a new role/working on a new project you won’t know everything on day one and that’s ok. Questions are your friend. Asking questions shows that you are striving to do the task better and most importantly willing to learn. Learning that no question is a stupid question was something I wish I realised at the start of my career. Or if you are looking to apply for a job, don’t be afraid to ring and chat about the job, then you can get a sense of what they are looking for that could help tailor your application.

· Be open with telling people your ambitions. If you have an idea of what your future career goals are then discuss it with your team/colleagues. As soon as people are aware of what your ambitions are, they will help you in whatever way they can. Whether that is introducing you to someone that has more experience in that particular department/skill set or they might know of an event/training opportunity and could even know of some extra opportunities that you can do alongside your current role. Even if you are still undecided or unsure, if there is a particular skill or opportunity that you would like to be involved with and learn more about, ask if you can be involved.

· Introduce yourself – in other words don’t be afraid to say hello! The term networking can seem quite daunting. But it doesn’t have to be, switch it around and think of networking as a friendly chat. By saying hello and introducing yourself, you are making people aware of you. Networking doesn’t always have to happen in formal situations either as this can happen anywhere/anytime perhaps at the end of dance class or even a lunch break.