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What Creative Career Is Right for Me? Quiz

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Maybe you love to paint or draw; maybe your friends always come to you to come up with the most exciting party ideas; maybe you’re the one who always suggests karaoke or craft nights. You’re creative — that’s incredible! If you want to use that creativity in the workplace, there are so many creative careers out there — including creative careers that pay well.

>>MORE: The Ultimate “What Career Is Right for Me?” Quiz

What Are Creative Careers?

Creative careers are roles where people focus on developing, innovating, and expressing ideas. There are many different pathways for creative people depending on what type of creativity you’re interested in. 

Careers in the Written Word

Jobs like writer, journalist, author, or screenwriter focus on expressing creativity through writing. These career paths require impeccable editing and writing skills and the ability to translate complex concepts into easy-to-understand articles, essays, or other written content.

Careers in Marketing

Jobs like brand strategist, advertising creative, or public relations specialist all use creativity to develop campaigns to help promote a brand, person, company, or product. These career paths require empathy and analytical thinking to understand what audiences are looking for and a strategic mindset to determine how to match their needs.

Omnichannel Marketing

Develop an integrated marketing plan for a new at-home fitness product.

Avg. Time: 6-7 hours

Skills you’ll build: Creative thinking, written communication, project management, strategic and analytical thinking

Careers in the Visual Arts

Jobs like graphic designer, photographer, or UX designer focus on expressing creativity through the visual arts. These career paths require an artistic eye and the ability to transform abstract ideas into visual masterpieces. 

bp logo

Digital Design & UX

Learn about basic UX design principles as you develop ideas and come up with a prototype for a mobile app.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: User research, persona creating, prototyping, mobile design, app design, product design

Careers in Performance

Jobs like singers, actors, or musicians express creativity through performance. These career paths require musical, theatrical, or comedic talent and impeccable stage presence. 

Creative Careers That Pay Well

Creative careers often get a bad rap for low pay. We won’t sugarcoat it — many creative careers don’t pay as well as jobs in technology or finance, for example. However, that doesn’t mean you need to settle for low wages! Tons of creative careers pay well.

“Banish the ‘starving artist mentality,'” says Caley Rose, Billboard-charting singer and the creator and CEO of Music with a Message. “The creative field has often gotten a bad rep as a field where people can’t earn a living. That idea can get stuck in creative’s heads and become a limiting belief. To rid yourself of these thoughts, make it a habit of studying successful artists. There are creatives out there in your field making great money. Find them, study them.”

What does “pay well” mean? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage for all occupations was $61,900 as of May 2022. Here’s a list of creative careers that pay higher than that average wage. 

Job titleAverage salary*Job outlook*
Graphic designers$64,5003% (as fast as average)
Fine artists (including painters, sculptors, and illustrators)$69,8704% (as fast as average)
Public relations specialists$78,5406% (faster than average)
Film and video editors and camera operators$80,9907% (faster than average)
Commercial and industrial designers$81,7402% (as fast as average)
Editors$84,820-4% (decline)
Producers and directors$110,6607% (faster than average)
Fashion designers$85,7603% (as fast as average)
News analysts, reporters, and journalists$86,290-3% (decline)
Technical writers$86,7607% (faster than average)
Writers and authors$91,5604% (as fast as average)
Music directors and composers$95,4301% (little or no change)
Web developers and digital designers$101,74016% (much faster than average)
Special effects artists and animators$111,1308% (faster than average)
Art directors$124,3106% (faster than average)
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers$147,0506% (faster than average)

*According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Creative Careers Are Right for Me? Quiz

So, what creative careers are right for you? Take this quiz to find out. It’s completely free — you’ll just need to sign up to get your results!

1. It's a rainy afternoon. You're probably…
2. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, it would be…
3. Pick a social media app.
4. You've just moved into a new space. You're most excited about…
5. You're packing for a trip. Besides the actual vacation, you're most excited about…
6. You're thanking a friend for something. You're most likely to…
7. You decide to make a movie with friends. What's your role?
8. Pick a school project you'd like to work on most.
9. Your dream vacation destination is…
10. You're trying to sell a new brand of soap. What's your strategy?
11. Pick an emoji that resonates with you.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How to Land a Creative Career

Landing a creative career can often be more complex than finding a role in a more popular field, like software engineering or investment banking. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible — far from it.

Get Crafty With Your Job Titles…

Creative roles often don’t have standard job titles, especially compared to other industries. 

For example, when applying for roles to try to be a writer, I didn’t just search “writer” online. I looked at job descriptions for roles that sounded similar to what I wanted to do, then made an extensive list of terms to look for, from “content strategist” and “journalist” to “copywriter.” Some “assistant editor” positions even required a lot of writing!

…and Your Job Boards

Not all job boards list creative careers, especially if they’re more general, one-size-fits-all boards like LinkedIn or Indeed. Sites specifically for creative careers include:

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Search for the Right Work Environment

Creative careers might utilize the same skill set, but have very different work environments — which can completely change your experience at a job. For example, there’s a big difference between a photographer who works internally for a company and a travel photographer whose job requires them to be in a new country every month.

Oana Borcoman, creative entrepreneur and CEO and founder of EVOKE: An Experience Agency, recommends asking yourself what kind of work environment you’d like to help narrow your search.

“Do you want a fast-paced, thrilling, ‘every day is different’ career, or one that is predictable and steady? Or, do you want to wear a uniform to work or dress freely? Do you see yourself in an office building, outdoors, or prefer working from home? A lot of those questions can be answered just based on our life preferences and personality type. The idea of an office job may make a creative nauseous who would love a job photographing things in nature. The introverted personality that enjoys a predictable day and steady job may look towards a graphic design type job where they can work from home at their own pace.”

Talk to People

It’s cliché advice, but it’s true: talking to people about their careers can be incredibly enlightening. Whether you speak to someone in your university’s alumni network, a professor’s friend, an aunt’s hairdresser’s sister, or someone you find on LinkedIn, talking to people who have already established themselves in creative careers can help you understand how they found their role. 

Ask them questions like:

  • How did you decide on your current career?
  • How did you find your current role?
  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of your role?
  • What’s your work schedule like?
  • What are some of your favorite work projects?
  • What are your career goals?

>>MORE: Learn how to ask and prepare for informational interviews.

Create a Portfolio

Creative careers lend exceptionally well to online portfolios, or collections of work you share online. These portfolios can be a real asset to your applications as they demonstrate your creative talent. Most job applications will have a spot to share a link to your portfolio, but you can also feature it on your LinkedIn

Here are examples of portfolio ideas for each creative career type:

  • Careers in the written word: a website showcasing your top articles, essays, or short stories
  • Careers in marketing: a website showcasing social media campaigns or pictures and summaries from events you’ve worked on
  • Careers in visual arts: a website showcasing your photography, graphic design, or pictures of fashion design
  • Careers in performance: a reel of your best acting, singing, or musical performances

Believe in Yourself

It’s cheesy, but it’s true: you need to have perseverance, dedication, and optimism to land a creative career. You also need to rally a community around you to support your career goals.

“Start telling everyone you see about your dream creative career,” Rose says. “Don’t be quiet about what you really want to do for a living. The more you share your desired career, the more opportunities will present themselves to you. Your mom’s friend might know someone who you can shadow, which could turn into an internship or paid opportunity. Your old friend from high school who you run into in the grocery store could have a great connection for you. Figure out what you want to do, and then tell everyone.”

Creative Careers: The Bottom Line

If you’re a creative person who wants to apply that skill set to your professional life, there are many different types of opportunities that aren’t just “artist.” Choosing the best creative career for you means identifying what aspect of your creativity you want to pursue the most — applying writing skills, artistic vision, strategic storytelling, or your impeccable stage presence — and finding roles that allow you to flex that creative muscle.

“Creative jobs are everywhere,” Borcoman says. “Even the most mundane-seeming company or industry has creative opportunities within it, so don’t overthink exactly what the job you want to find is and think more about your skill set, personality type, and what type of work environment you will love living your day-to-day life in.”

Searching for the best creative careers requires determination and perseverance, but don’t be discouraged if it takes you a little longer than, for example, your classmate who’s trying to be a financial analyst. That’s normal, and it doesn’t mean you won’t find and land a role that fits your creative passion! There are so many different types of roles that require creativity daily. You might just have to get a little creative in your job search.

Image credit: Canva

Zoe Kaplan is a Senior Writer at Forage. Prior to joining Forage, she wrote and edited career and workplace content for Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women.

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