Everybody has had to reassess their life and career choices as a result of what is going on, none more so than the creatives. If you are someone who has been pursuing a creative career, and you are wondering if you are able to make a success of it in the current climate, let’s see if we can help you. It’s not easy, especially with the likelihood of current jobs being made automated in one respect or another. However, let’s provide you with a foolproof approach to creating your own creative career.
One Job, or Many?
A freelance career is something that is the typical goal for many looking to create a creative career. When your skillset is too limited or you’re not able to do what you want in terms of a traditional career, this is where you have to diversify. Being adaptable and diversifying yourself is indispensable when making a creative career. And if you are looking to go in one creative area, such as music, it’s not about necessarily going down one avenue. While it is possible to sell your music online, you have to remember that even the seemingly “successful” musicians need to diversify their efforts to make the equivalent of a regular wage. Having more than one job that works out the financial equivalent of your desired wage may be the best approach.
The Task of Network Building
You don’t want to be someone who is constantly networking, but you have to be aware that any opportunity can arise at any moment. You may know people, but you may also find that your network can consist of people beyond who you know. They say it’s not what you know, but it is who you know, but building a network is something that we have to do without thinking. And yes, networking can be particularly exhausting, especially when everybody is looking for an entryway into a job. But you can expand your current network by keeping your ear to the ground through various social media groups.
It’s also a good idea to know who the big players are in the industry, who knows them, if you have any connections and so on. You might not, but you never know what doors people can open for you just by being associated with them. For example, someone like Travis Preston at CalArts is a fantastic connection to have and there are so many people that you could get to know if you put the effort in. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
The Hustling Aspect
There is a lot of talk about the “hustle” in the modern climate. As we build up a creative career, we can find that there are passion projects, but there are also essential duties we have to maintain. And it’s about finding the right balance so that you don’t feel burnt out, but also making sure that you are still interested in what you are doing. This can mean taking matters into your own hands. Many people start a freelance career because they want to have some control over their lives, which means setting up a business that they can work around their lives. And it may very well be that it’s not about the business that you have a passion for, but more about a business that you naturally have an aptitude for. This is just as important to recognize, especially if you find that trying to break into a certain creative pathway is proving too complex. When you look at someone who is passionate about music, it would not necessarily just be about them putting their music online or performing gigs, but they gradually develop their skills set to widen their scope within a specific industry. This is why you will find musicians being tutors or even lecturing part-time in a local college. And when we are younger, and we look at developing a career in one specific area, we may feel that teaching or doing something outside of what we really want to do is a concession, or that we haven’t “made it.” But the fact of the matter is that in the modern climate, everybody has to diversify. This is especially true for those in the performing industry, who run workshops and teach drama to children on a Saturday morning. It is still within the same industry, you’re just taking on different aspects of it.
Because of the precarious nature of a creative career, even prior to the pandemic, it became necessary to add many strings to your bow. Now, with people having to adapt, and take on different challenges in their lives, it’s about recognizing within yourself if you have to diversify. It becomes a necessity. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t give up on your passions. Ultimately, this is what will make you feel happy, healthy, and successful in life. It’s also important to note that if you define a creative career as something stereotypical, such as being a musician or an actor, that’s not to say you cannot make other aspects of seemingly uncreative careers creative!