Your Pathway to A Creative Career from Scratch
Have you ever woken up with the idea that your life wasn’t supposed to be like this? Have you ever come to a corporate office only to count hours until the working day ends? As teenagers, we often make wrong career choices influenced by our parents’ opinion, prestige or high salary – but it doesn’t mean that we have to stay with that career path for a lifetime.
If you feel captivated at the job that doesn’t bring your neither happiness nor professional realization, it’s never too late to change the road you’re on. Why not fulfill the dream of youth and pursue a creative career, for example? Making a radical career change is nothing new these days. Corporate lawyers become photographers, sales managers retrain to become English teachers and former accountants work their way up as internet marketers. So, if you have a passion for creating something unique, give your passion a try. Today’s guide will show you where to get started with your career transition and how to make the living out of it.
Before we get started, don’t forget that finding a creative job takes a good resume as well. The best resume writers you can find on our website specialize in writing resumes for creative industries as well. We help programmers, copywriters, actors and fashion designers to land their dream jobs. So, if you need a career transition resume that increases your chances for an interview, our expert resume writers are always happy to assist. Wondering how to find a job after graduation? Look here.
Why consider working in a creative industry?
‘Creative industries’ is quite a broad term that refers to multiple industries that are innovation-driven, knowledge-based and have their origins in individual creativity. The group of creative industries cover dozens of fields from architecture, publishing and performing arts to advertising, software and video games. Copywriters, software developers, video producers, dancers, bloggers and graphic designers are all considered creative professionals.
So, what makes people fascinated with creative jobs? Firstly, many creative careers are flexible. Employers often let their creative professionals work remotely and value the result over fixed working hours. Secondly, creative industries make up for a significant share of the US economy with 9.5% of the workforce. And, unlike some of the traditional jobs which are at risk of being automated, the demand for creative professionals will only grow. And finally, the nature of creative jobs assumes creating new things from scratch, which means a high level of fulfillment and job satisfaction.
Making a transition to a creative industry: 9 tips
If you are dissatisfied with your current course of a career and would like to start doing something meaningful, these ten steps are meant to guide you throughout the process:
1. What would you be doing if you didn’t have to earn the living?
If you have a creative hobby or passion which could be turned into the best job for me, you already know what brings you joy. Otherwise, you’ll need to slow down your pace of life and think over it carefully. You might want to recollect the childhood hobbies or student activities that you took part in simply because it was fulfilling and rewarding. And no, the fact that you loved drawing in the third grade doesn’t mean that you are an inborn artist. Look at the ideas you come up with as at clues rather than ready career directions.
2. Think where your current skills can be applied
Maybe, you want to make a switch to the profession which has nothing to do with your current line of work (for example, accountant to a graphic designer). If you don’t have a particular creative dream job in mind, start exploring where the skills you already have can be applied. For instance, if your office job requires writing frequent reports and memos, your writing skills can be applied in journalism and copywriting. If you used to draw as a kid, consider breathing new life into your old passion and becoming an illustrator, graphic designer or interior designer. Or, if you have to code and use various software professionally, maybe you will fancy career in web or app development.
3. Take formal training
Practicing a creative hobby in your free hours requires nothing but your enthusiasm. To become a professional, however, you need to be well-educated about the new field you’re entering. Luckily, you don’t need to obtain a new degree – there are many courses designed specifically for career changers. You might also like educational platforms like Coursera or Udemy which offer short courses or specializations in nearly every field out there. Training will help you hone your skills and take them to the level that employers or clients are ready to pay for. A good program will give you knowledge about how to write first novel, a web application or how to edit photos.
4. Talk to successful people in your dream industry
While making a transition to a creative career, you might have many questions about the new industry and the process of finding a new job. In this regard, it can be priceless to talk to a few specialists who work on the same positions that you hope to work in the future. Reach out to these people on LinkedIn or professional events and ask for their advice. Or, you can invite them for lunch and talk about what it takes to land the first job and succeed in a new industry. Insider knowledge is priceless as it will help you focus on the right things in learning and practicing new professional skills.
By the way, you can learn from the resumes of famous and successful people too. Check out some examples of resumes of political leaders and entrepreneurs: http://resumeperk.com/blog/5-resumes-of-famous-people-what-you-can-learn-from-them.
5. Practice and build a portfolio
You might have heard it thousand times before, but perfection takes practice. As you take courses, continue practicing your creative hobby. Write, design flyers or visiting cards, code or edit videos – after all, the only difference between an amateur and a professional is how long they practiced. Pick the best results of your work to include in a portfolio and show to your potential clients or employers. Almost all creative jobs require a portfolio, so you want to take care of it in advance. Commit to mastering your craft, and let the results speak for themselves.
6. Realize that it isn’t going to be a walk in the park
Even if you are super excited about the new career, the process of changing jobs is not easy. It takes a lot of time, money and effort to retrain in adult age. Most likely, you will have to attend the training after work and practice late in the evening, sacrificing the family time, sleep and rest. Good training is always costly, so you might need to cut the expenses for months. You need to be very determined to continue working on the job you don’t like and work every evening on your future career.
Another harsh truth is that your mastery and creativity themselves are not enough for you to land employment. In other words, if you love writing short stories, it’s harder to make a paying career out of it than of writing sales copies or white papers. You need to find a niche that pays to build a successful career. That’s how the market works.
7. Change the way your resume looks
Since you’re entering a completely new career path, your resume needs to be changed as well. Showcase your recent training in the target fields and don’t forget to attach a portfolio. Also, even if you don’t have commercial experience as a web developer or photographer yet, some of your soft skills can be transferred to a new field. For example, both the accountant and QA engineer need such traits as attention to detail, and aptitude for problem solving. If you are seeking a resume writing website at reasonable prices, our writers specializing in career transitions can rewrite your resume for a new creative career.
Creative professionals can also get away from the boring resume format. Non-traditional resumes such as video, infographic and resume website are welcomed in creative fields. Here’s why you should get yourself an infographic resume: http://resumeperk.com/blog/our-new-service-custom-infographic-resume-writing.
8. Stay realistic
The golden piece of advice for all career changers is “don’t leave an old job until you find a new one”. This perfectly works for a switch to a creative industry. Even if you can’t stand your boss anymore, don’t quit until you have a job offer or at least a couple of paid freelance projects. You’re not a college student anymore who can move back in their parents’ home if they run out of money. If you have family you provide for and other obligations, you cannot risk a steady income. Of course, you can quit and give yourself a deep dive into a profession for a couple of months, but only do this if you’re 100% sure that you’ll land a well-paying job after these two months.
9. Start looking for jobs
As soon as you’ve completed the education and acquired the needed skills, start applying for junior roles. Use the job descriptions as a guide: you should meet approximately 80% of requirements listed to apply. If you struggle getting paid employment at once, start seeking unpaid internship opportunities with companies and agencies. A few months of work will help you understand the peculiarities of the working process and you’ll be able to add this information to your resume.
Consider doing a few freelance projects for free so you could add them to a portfolio. Chances are that you will decide to become a freelancer in your creative field as it gives a lot more flexibility and control over your work-life balance.
If the idea of career change crosses your mind over and over again, follow your inner voice and start making this change. Creative jobs have big prospects for growth and give you the chance to make money doing something you enjoy. And, in a year from now, you would be grateful that you had taken this step.
Need a strong career change resume?
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