The Creative (Dis)advantage
Although, I do believe everyone has a creative side, considering yourself a “creative” person, whether it be for work or hobby, has a lot of advantages to it especially if you can incorporate those skills into your career. Your work life will feel fun, exciting, and new all the time. It barely feels like work when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. As your skills develop and you are getting faster and more efficient in your work, whether it be graphic design, video editing, creative writing, voice-over work, etc. There gets to be a point where you think to yourself, “hmm I’m pretty decent at this, I should really start freelancing out my skills.” Which is a great idea, it gives a bit of extra money, can turn small jobs into bigger and long-term jobs, and most work is remote so you can do it from home, which all sounds great, right?! Unfortunately, it is quite competitive, and there will be a lot of jobs that you apply for that you’ll never hear back from. But, if you really dedicate the time to applying for jobs and crafting your portfolio they start to come easier. And the more jobs you get, well… the more jobs you’ll get! Turning your creative skills and sometimes hobbies into money and experience is very exciting.
And yes, those are some awesome advantages to fulfill your creative spirit! But, here’s where your work can turn on you. The disadvantages of being in a creative work field and lending out your skills can be quite disappointing but rewarding if avoided. A great tip to be successful in freelancing is to price yourself appropriately! This is easier said than done but, make sure to do some research and see what a typical freelancer in your field is charged based on experience and skillset. Also, make sure to consider the time frame of the project. Will this only take a couple of hours? Or will it take a few weeks? And price accordingly. The most important piece of advice, above all, is to include revisions in your pricing! I can’t stress enough how easy it is for the client who hired you to get carried away with revisions and before you know it you’re basically working for free. Set an amount of revisions for the project, and a price for how much it would be for over that amount. This way, you’re still getting paid every time you make edits to the project.
Which all leads to the biggest disadvantage of being a working creative. People will be a lot more likely to try and take advantage of you. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to happen to everyone. But, it is very common! A lot of the time, someone who’s hiring a freelancer is in a very different field of work than you. And, a lot of the time there’s a misconception about how long these sorts of projects can take and what kind of work actually goes into them. Don’t do hours of work for pennies, because there will be companies who offer right around $5.00 for a commercial script, or a “quick” voice-over piece. And, most importantly charge your friends and family for freelance work! I know it sounds cruel, and you’ll feel like “I’ll just do it for them because they’re close to me.” But, don’t! You want to set a precedent and order with your work. Now, you can maybe accept a dinner, or a gift, or a trade of services instead, but please get compensated! Because it’ll only lead to the expectation of more free work and that’s not how it should be. Your gifts are a valuable skill to have, and they should be rewarded!
Now, I know this piece seemed quite negative toward the creative field, but don’t let it scare you away! There are disadvantages to every career path and these hardly even compare to the benefits of being able to be creative and do what you love for a living. In my opinion just being a creative is one of the best advantages of all!
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