As a creative, pursuing your passion can feel both liberating and unsettling simultaneously. Struggle becomes inevitable on a pursuit for happiness, and success is usually accompanied by discomfort, which cultivates progress. Throughout the journey obstacles will arise, however, in this story we want to focus on one in particular, financial sustainability (ie. the ability to be financially maintained at a certain rate or level).
Commitment, consistency, and financial literacy are a few crucial skills and traits that can promote financial sustainability, and in turn support your creative pursuits. We’ll discuss our thoughts on the best job types for creatives, while pursuing their passion.
These jobs will incorporate three key elements: flexibility, relatability, and sustainability. The ability for a job to be flexible is crucial when certain demands of a creative may arise, such as time and travel.
Relatability is also important, because a job can have the potential to put you into situations that can propel you into your creative field full time, such as networking and education.
Last but not least is sustainability, which I’ve harped on throughout this entire introduction, and for good reason because this element of a job can make or break the longevity of your passionate pursuit.
The word freelance according to dictionary.com is defined as; a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.
This is at the top of our list because it checks each box for each of our requirements, for the most part.
Freelance jobs are flexible and allow creatives to work on their schedule rather than an employer’s schedule. Relatability to your passion can also be provided, if the work you’re doing is similar in fashion, for example a filmmaker selling video work, a producer selling beats, or a painter selling commissioned art, to name a few.
In regards to sustainability, freelance jobs may qualify or not depending on the individuals ability to acquire consistent work.
There are a few resources available that source freelance work for creatives such as Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, and Freelancer.com. These sites allow you to create a profile that represents your talents and skillset in order to match you with relevant work.
There are two types of intern jobs, paid and non-paid. We’re going to focus on paid internships for obvious reasons. Paid internships can be found in a variety of ways including education programs that are offered at universities and colleges; online postings through popular sites like Indeed.com, Monster.com, and Linkedin; as well as word of mouth recommendations depending on the relationships that you build.
This type of work can provide flexibility occasionally, but internships generally require your presence at a set time and place. Relatability is where this job type shines, and this is because your intern job will put you in the same room as people pursuing the same passion as you.
Internships are excellent at providing practical hands on education and it allows you to build real relationships with the people you work with.
This type of job can also provide sustainability because those same people that you built relationships with can be the ones who recommend you work. We did a little research and if you’re interested in the film industry, Warner Bros offers an internship program for a variety of creatives in the field. Tap here for the link.
Transportation jobs are interesting because they provide a variety of options, including traditional and self-employed work.
This includes gig jobs like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, etc, as well as traditional jobs like delivering for Amazon or other delivery jobs that provide W-2’s. Gig work provides flexibility in some cases more than freelance work, but it can lack the relatability aspect that comes with freelancing.
This doesn’t mean that opportunities can’t present themselves, for example if you Uber in an area that houses creative industries you could potentially run into someone that works in your creative field, and then connect with that individual.
Sustainability with this type of job can be provided but it’s predicated on how committed the individual is, where discipline is required to maintain consistent work hours similar to acquiring consistent freelance work.
Service jobs have been the traditional route taken by creatives looking for steady income, and this includes food, retail, and other customer service work. This type of employment can provide flexibility but similar to intern jobs, you’ll be required to work a specific schedule.
Relatability in this field of work is slim, however similar to transit jobs, the proximity of a service job’s location can provide networking opportunities.
For example as a waiter or bartender if you work in area that’s close to creative industries such as Hollywood or Atlanta, you could potentially run into key players in your desired creative field. Also certain service jobs can provide discounted rates for equipment if you work at a job related to your passion.
Working at a service job like Best Buy can provide access to film, music, and other equipment that can be acquired at a highly discounted rate. Service jobs do offer sustainability because this type of work can provide steady income.
However, some employers may require a performance standard such as hitting a daily quota, in which if your passion requires your time away from the job, this could affect the company’s bottom line and your employment there after.
In conclusion, there are numerous employment options for creatives, however, not all jobs are created equal. The best choice for you will ultimately depend on your specific situation, as well as the type of creative field you’re pursuing.
For example, a filmmaker could potentially benefit more from an internship if he/she is interested in working for a big studio, whereas a barber who’s an artisan creative, may benefit more from freelance work to begin establishing a client base.
We mentioned financial literacy earlier and we want to touch on it briefly, as well as some advice fo creatives in their business. We recommend that every creative pursuing freelance work, educate themselves on their states tax laws in order to understand the specific tax requirements for self-employed individuals in their region.
It’s also important to become educated in various aspects of your business including marketing, infrastructure, and daily operation to name a few.
This could mean learning how to develop your own website using Squarespace, WordPress, etc, and being able to maintain that site without the need for a developer; this saves you a ton of money. Also understanding how to utilize ad spends on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc could propel your work into public eye.
If you understand every aspect of your business, when it comes time to hire out the work you’ll hopefully know a little bit about everything so you can avoid being taken advantage of. We hope this story provides some insightful information and resources to help you on your journey.