It’s that question that we all dread at family functions; if you’ve studied a subject and are now working a ‘normal’ job until you are able to get into what you want. Then you’ll fully understand.
‘So what’s your new job then?’
‘It’s an admin job. ‘
It’s at that point they stare at you with both confusion and dismay. But you studied journalism, aren’t you working for the BBC?
Anyone who studies / studied any of the subjects that come under the diverse umbrella of ‘creative industries’ will understand my struggle. Creative industries are highly competitive – and experience based. Meaning, if you are not funded by financially supportive parents it can be very difficult to enter such an industry. Often, journalists are expected to complete several unpaid internships before being able to compete for an entry level job.
Sometimes I feel real low about this. I feel like a failure because I’m not where I want to be. But it takes time. I write, I write as much as I possibly can. On top of my blog that you are reading right now, I’m also doing a freelance internship at The Beauty Guild Gazette (pictured the latest Easter issue).
Which is the most read beauty trade magazine in the industry. But when the stresses of life and your day to day admin job hit you – it can be difficult to keep your sights on how well you are doing and how far you’ve come.
Here are my top tips for any freelancers in any of the creative industries:
1. Networking is key
Networking is going to be your best friend. If you are socially inept now is the time to re think your strategy. Most of my best opportunities to write have come from chance meetings at blogging events. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to meet the right people who can help you. Remember, social media is great – but maintaining and creating a real life connection with someone is sometimes priceless.
2. Don’t lose focus & keep practicing
Set yourself a goal to keep yourself in check. For example ‘I’m going to publish at least one blog post per month’. This helps you stay on the right path, and will keep your focus in the forefront of your subconscious mind. Otherwise, when you are juggling a normal job and a freelance career – it’s easy to get comfortable in the normal job as it becomes a routine. Writing, as with most other creative practices are talents that need to be practiced in order to be maintained. Every single time I write my passion is reignited.
3. Lower your standards
I mean this in the sense of, not expecting to graduate become to editor of Vogue magazine. Of course, we can set our sights and visions high and this is a positive attribute. However we must also be realistic, or we set ourselves up for failure. Have the highest standard of goals, but by realistic of when you can achieve them. You’ll find by comparing yourself to others or setting unrealistic goals only makes you less motivated. Think about your goals and focuses with a logical mind. As previously mentioned, you’ll also need to be willing to do a lot of work for free.
Never give up on your dream.