Returning to a career in the creative industry after a prolonged career hiatus...

I would love to hear some thoughts from anyone who has taken an extended hiatus from their creative practice before eventually returning to focus on their career.

How did you use this career break to inform your own creativity?

How did you use the gap in your resumé as a positive?

Was it easy to rebuilding your network on returning?

Are there any tips or advice that made your process easier?



  • @Martin Johnson that infograph is quite powerfully de-motivating. I think it's partly because it's linear, with one line and one ending. The Hero's Journey, and The Cycle of Renewal, another tool I use, are both all about the circle over the line. Our lives follow cycles. Just like nature. There's no one beginning and ending. I believe people have multiple careers within them so when they head into the autumn of their work, see the signs of yellow leaves i.e. their work is no longer giving them joy or they feel stagnant, then it's a sign to hybernate or cocoon for winte, decide what to do next and then blossom on into another cycle, another spring. Taking your skills with you, staking them, and trying something new.

  • I am a creator who moved to Bow London after two years in berlin.
    It's the path I'm currently on. I've been networking, emailing and fighting the algorithm on social media. I've just recorded my second podcast episode. My goal is to get an interesting guest on for great conversations of course but to also network if you know what I mean?
  • Thanks Dario, I am still very positive but I am finding that it takes a while to really get the momentum going.
    @Dina Grishin my career path seems to be following this infographic instead (and to think how much we in the studio all laughed when we first saw this a few years ago...)
  • Thank you Both for your replies. Some interesting thoughts and insights.

    @Dina Grishin - Thank you for this, I love the infographic. Definitely going to give this a read, I'm interested to see how I can interpret as part of my own 'journey'.

    Martin, Thanks for your reply, you raise some really interesting points, and some real food for thought. I hope things work out for you!
  • Dario, I'm actively looking for a new job right now after being made redundant 18 months ago. There are a couple of observations I'd like to make:
    1 - If you can, go travelling. It really helped me to get a fesh perspective on things and yes it is a cliché but like all truisms...

    2 - Reconnecting and networking is actually more difficult than I ever thought it would be. Be prepared to have to slog it out for a while.

    3 - Strangely enough, creative industries seem to be the least creative when it comes to recruitment. You wouldn't believe the number of conversations I have where my experience is considered not relevent or not helpful. For instance, I was asked about my experience in packaging and told them about my work doing Premium spirits, cosmetics, etc. but was told they wouldn't consider me because I hadn't done haircare specifically. People seem to want your portfolio to look exactly like the work they have done in the past. Anything else and they don't seem very interested. Switching from one field to another seems like a non-starter at the moment.
  • Hey Dario, great questions which I'm sure resonate with a lot of creatives out there. I coach creatives and career changers and a lot of my work with clients is rewriting their narrative. Be it returning to work mums, creatives that took the 'wrong' job and burntout, others who had to compromise their career when they moved countries...a lot of my clients feel they made mistakes or aren't where they thought they should be in their careers. They're quite harsh on themselves.
    I use Joseph Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' as a fun creative way of reframing any breaks, challenges, ordeals as part of your journey as a Hero. What important life lessons and skills (and super powers) did you pick up along the way? How have these unique experiences made you into the creative hero you are today?
    The 'return' is a stage in the Hero's Journey and I love that he calls it 'Returning with the elixir'. You aren't rebuilding, you're coming back with gifts, wisdom, and novel solutions.
    Here's a fun inforgraphic of the Hero's Journey with examples of how it shows up in films -
    Have fun with it!

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