Sunday, May 29, 2011

Position Yourself for Success in Creative Careers

As we all know, the job market is pretty challenging right now, especially for new grads. Recently, I was asked by some soon-to-be graduates about how to get started in a creative career. Nabbing that first job, either as a freelancer or permanent staffer, is going to take some time and not to mention some drive. So think of marketing yourself as your first job in order to attain your goals. Design some stand-out business cards and come up with a strategy as to how you are going to make your first "sale."

Once you have a way to showcase your talent and past work, you need to get the word out so start networking. You can begin with social media. Start a Twitter account and a business Facebook page. (It is best to keep the personal stuff off for obvious reasons.) LinkedIn is also a great professional social media resource. Post everywhere that you are looking for work. Repeatedly. Typically, the person you are connected to won't have a job for you but who they are connected to might! It opens up the range of who knows about you exponentially by being linked to the right people.

When doing face-to-face networking the philosophy is the same. The person whose hand you are shaking may not have work for you, but perhaps they know of someone who is looking for someone. It's all about creating a wider network. Google to find networking events in your area and then introduce yourself to as many people as you can.

You can also find a mentor. Contact someone in your community who currently sits in a role that you aspire to. Ask if they can spend some time with you to discuss how they got there. You can get some great tips and ideas, plus don't forget to ask them if they know of anyone that would need your services.

Finally you will get some work. Remember when starting out, a client or employer does not want you to reinvent their business, but rather just to be their hands in creating something. Since their skill set is limited, you need to figure out what they are asking for and then elevate it to your level of expertise.

Remember, your first job will not be your forever job. It is just a way to gain more experience to step closer to where you want to be.

About the Author

Catherine Lang-Cline is co-founder and owner of Portfolio Creative, a workforce innovation firm that was named a fastest growing company in by Inc. magazine in 2009 and 2010. Portfolio Creative helps companies streamline and innovate their creative workforce to save time, energy and money.

No comments:

Post a Comment