Finding a job that you truly love allows you to grow personally and professionally. If you know that you want to work in heritage, you’re certainly not alone. With the advice of some of our Heritage Trust Network Youth Forum members, here are five tips for getting a job in the sector…
1. Find the right course for you
“The placement module in my Public History masters was amazing. I worked with two other students to create a mock exhibition for a local museum – it was an invaluable experience.” – Holly
A degree, undergraduate or postgraduate, can prepare you for working in the heritage sector by offering a broad understanding of the sector and the theory behind it. Otherwise, apprenticeships are another great way of gaining experience. Historic England, for example, offers both heritage and non-heritage roles here. It’s important to find a type of learning that suits you, your chosen path and the skills you’ll need for the workplace.
2. Give something back whilst growing your skillset
“I would say that volunteering in different types of roles has been useful for me in working out what sort of heritage jobs I want to apply for as there is a huge range.” – Fae
Volunteering is another great way to build your skills and establish which part of the industry you’re interested in. Look for a range of opportunities – from being a member of a Front of House team to a research role or a general administrator – to find your niche. This way you’ll have a versatile range of skills with a better understanding of where your passion lies.
We’re always looking for new members of the Heritage Trust Network Youth Forum – for more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing Fae at email@example.com or signing up using this form.
3. Apply, apply, apply
“I found my job by persistent keyword searching for the job title(s) I was interested in on google – not all heritage jobs are advertised in useful places!” – Lucy
The application process for jobs in heritage, as in many industries, requires a lot of time and effort – sometimes because job adverts can be scattered across a number of websites. Quite often you’ll need to search to find jobs that suit your skillset, cultivate your transferable skills, write the best CV/applications possible and know that rejection is all part of the process (however demoralising it can feel).
Discover job and volunteering opportunities with our members here
4. Build your network
“If you’re on a heritage/history course, I would recommend guest speakers to your course leader and then ensuring you grab their contact details! Or most often, your lecturer has been in the sector and can have loads of great contacts too.” – Zoe
Take a proactive approach to building your network of contacts, whether that’s getting to know everyone on the team in your volunteering role or creating connections with those you meet whilst at university. You can also meet new people by chatting with staff at museums and heritage sites or attending talks/webinars on subjects of interest.
Why not join us next month at the Heritage Trust Network Conference 2022 either online or in Caernarfon? Find more information here
5. Know that sometimes your path won’t be straight forward
“You might not always have what you consider to be the ‘right qualifications’ but your passions in life, entry level jobs and volunteering experience can quite often be attractive to employers. My degree is in Heritage Studies, but my first job after my degree was for the Woodland Trust where I worked up to Project Management roles.” – Bev
A degree in heritage studies, or similar, may be a traditional route into the industry, but there are plenty of ways in which you can find yourself working in heritage – persistence is key.
This blog post was written by Holly Smith, a member of the Heritage Trust Network Youth Forum. There are regular blog posts written by different members of the Youth Forum each month.
The Youth Forum is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thank you to players of the National Lottery.