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Career Options for Creative Professionals Finding a Job The average American getting out of college today can expect to have five careers during his or her lifetime.

A study of Harvard students, 10 years after graduation, shows that those who had specific goals made salaries three percent more money in their lifetime that of the average Harvard graduate. Those with written goals made ten percent more than the average. Rarely do artists make a living exclusively from sales of their work, even if they become fairly well known artists.

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Many artists hold down a number of jobs in their life. The key is to find a job that allows you to keep making your work and that is satisfying or at least challenging. Many professional artists also moonlight as preparators, craftsmen, curators, professors, and graphic designers to name a few.

Some artists may pursue a career path that runs parallel to their art practice and take on such positions as engineers, construction workers, architects, and doctors.

Even the GYST artists that contributed to this artist manual are editors, designers, and business entrepreneurs. Many cities have an arts list-serv, such as Yahoo Groups. Most job announcements and opportunities for artists are listed here.

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Finding a list-serv in your own city may help you stay informed about what is going on in the arts in your city. Employment Status Definitions Full-Time If you can find full-time work that you enjoy and still have time and energy to devote to your art practice, then go for it. A full-time job is generally 40 hours a week. Working full-time gives you better job security and a steady income, and sometimes health and retirement benefits. Some full-time jobs are paid by the hour and others are salary-based.

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The trick is to have enough time and energy to continue making your artwork. Part-Time Part-time work is generally paid by the hour. It rarely includes health insurance and retirement benefits, but it is a good way to try jobs out to see if you like them.

It gives you more flexibility for making your artwork, and can relieve boredom. Part-time teaching often becomes full-time. Consider a part-time job while you are interning at a company you love or while taking classes. You are in business for yourself and need to understand what that entails. Reading the Self Employment and Business sections of this manual will help you get started. The benefits of being self-employed are choosing your own hours, being able to say no to a client, taking expenses off on your taxes and setting your own rates.

You get to choose your own health plan if you can afford it, and you determine where your business goes. The disadvantages are not knowing how to run a business, paying for your own mistakes, and options for professionals sole responsibility for job security.

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There is a lot more paperwork; for example, you need to pay your own social security and benefits. Temp Agencies Temp agencies temporary work want experienced people for most jobs and will usually test your skill set. Temp agencies vary widely in terms of pay, but joining one may be a great way to get experience and network.

Look for a temporary agency in your city, and ask around to see if anyone else you know has experience working for these companies. Internships Many companies and organizations offer internships, which provide experience and training in exchange for work. A few will also offer an hourly wage. On average, an options for professionals lasts for one to six months. Before you start, get a job description in writing, along with the number of hours per week, the length of the internship, and the skills you will learn.

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Some internships just use you for busy work, but a good internship can lead to great connections and sometimes full-time employment. A successful internship is one founded with mutual benefits and responsibilities.

You will be offering your services to them and in turn they will share resources, trade skills, and help you forge professional relationships. No matter how prestigious options for professionals an establishment, do not intern for any company or organization that is simply interested in using you for free labor.

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Informational Interviews One of the best ways to find options for professionals about a particular industry or company is to do interviews with current employees who work in that industry. Finding a person to interview might be as easy as asking a relative or someone you know who works in the field. If all else fails, you can write to the company and request an informal interview with someone who works there, perhaps a department head.

This interview is a way to get information, not necessarily a job.


Use the interview to clarify your goals and learn things about the company or positions they offer that may not be advertised. Many jobs are found by word of mouth, so take the opportunity to get the inside scoop. Asking for information is a great way to get support if they like you. They just might recommend that you apply for a position.

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This is trading from a robot a good way to practice your interview skills, so you know what kinds of questions to ask at a formal interview.

Doing research ahead of time is crucial, as you want to be knowledgeable about the industry or career you are discussing. Asking someone to chat with you is taking time out of his or her day, so treat him or her with respect. Dress appropriately, and keep it short. Be sure to send a thank you note to the person you interview.

Career Options for Creative Professionals

Your Goals There are six main goals of informational interviews: Establish rapport with the interviewers. Get to know them personally. Get advice on your job search, particularly on improving your options for professionals and your presentation.

Let them know who you are. Be genuine and interested. Find out about your job market. Get referrals. Be remembered favorably. Here are some sample questions: On a typical day in your position, what do you do? What training or education is required for this type of work? What personal qualities or abilities are important to being successful in this job? What part of this job do you find most satisfying? Most challenging? How did you get your job?

What opportunities for advancement are there in this field? What entry-level jobs are best for learning as much as possible about this job?

What are the salary ranges for various levels in this field? How do you see jobs in this field changing in the future?

Is there a demand for people in this occupation? What special advice would you give a person entering this field? What types of training do companies offer persons entering this field? Which professional journals and organizations would help me learn more about this field? From your perspective, what are the problems you encounter when working in this field? If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself?

What do you think of my training and experience in terms of entering this field? Do you have any suggestions for improving it? Who should I talk to next?

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May I use your name when I contact them? Determine your careers goals—what jobs do you want? In what industry? Make an exhaustive list of your strengths, abilities, and past experience that supports those career goals. Determine your preferred employment status—full-time, part-time, independent contractor.

Research the companies that you would like to work for. Phone Calls When on the phone with a prospective employer, let the other person do most of the talking. A phone interview should establish your communication skills, not be an opportunity to tell the interviewer your entire career history. Although it may seem strange at first, remember to smile even while you are conducting a phone interview.

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This will help you sound positive, likable, and honest. When taking a call from a prospective company or a recruiter, do so when you are ready and comfortable. If a call comes at a bad time, say so and reschedule. Interviewers are continually amazed at the number of candidates who come to job interviews without any apparent preparation and only the vaguest idea of what they are going to say. Other candidates create an impression of indifference by acting too casual.

At the options for professionals extreme, a few candidates work themselves into such a state of mind that they seem to be in the last stages of nervous fright.

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These marks of inexperience can be avoided by knowing what is expected of you and by making a few simple preparations before the interview. Be prepared, but be yourself!

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A job interview is the last opportunity to explain and sell yourself personally to a prospective employer. The employer wants to know more about you than what the papers in front of him or her have already revealed. Do your research. It is helpful to know the age of the company, what products or services it supplies, where its plants, offices, or stores are located, options for professionals its growth has been, and what its future growth potential is. There are a number of publications that provide information about prospective employers.

Most of them can be found in any college or public library. A brokerage office or your bank may also be able to supply you make money doing nothing pertinent information about companies.