Covid, Brexit and the great resignation

The events of the past few years have had a significant impact on the creative talent pool and led to much movement in agencies and studios – but what does the future hold?

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Much has been written about the effects of the pandemic on so many aspects of the creative industries. While some were lucky enough to be able to pivot or remain industrious through the past couple of years, we all know actors who’ve retrained as electricians, comedians doing shifts as truck drivers, and designers with food delivery sidelines.

However, we also know that people left their jobs in unprecedented numbers, the highest since 2009, and that the level of open vacancies is the highest on record. So what does it all mean for the future of the industry?


This so-called ‘great resignation’ has been seen across the board, though especially in the creative industries. The WeTransfer Ideas Report, released in November 2021, surveyed more than 10,000 creatives globally and found that 45% of global creatives were thinking of changing their jobs in the next six months.

Laurent Simon is executive creative director at ad agency YMLY&R, managing a large creative department. He says he’s certainly seen a great deal of movement as a result of the pandemic. “There are definitely signs of people moving around and people being interested in seeing whether the grass is greener, and this is the case for freelance and permanent roles,” he says. This movement, he says, seems to be inter-agency, but he’s also seen an increase in applicants who’ve been working in-house at brands.