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Archive for November, 2010

Career Planning for Creative Professionals

Friday, November 12th, 2010

From the day you graduate you have to have a plan for your career. It seems difficult if all you are looking for right now is a job. But if you don’t have some kind of plan, it is easy to get off track.

We all know someone that may have graduated with a degree in a specific field, only to wind up doing something completely different. It is easy to be scanned in accepting the first job offer. But where will it lead?

If you are walking out the doors of a fine institution in a cap and gown hoping to be an art director, you will be very unpleasantly surprised. Regardless of how talented you are, you will have to pay your dues like everyone else. If you are in a current job and have aspirations to run the programs or start your own firm, you need to have a strategy as well.

If your desire is to be a creative genius, accept that first job only if there is some creative aspect to it. Even if it is miserable, you need some experience. Stay about a year, then think about your next move. Take all the creative tasks you did on that job and put them on your profile to get the next job and the next one and the next one.

You have to be smart in picking locations. Ask yourself, is this opportunity to build a block to where I want to go? Will there be recognizable company names on my resume? Am I showing continuing progress in my creative profession? The role of production, as an assistant designer role, designer role, senior designer role – they all build toward your ultimate goal.

Finally, don’t hesitate to find a mentor and ask what steps they took to get where they are. You’ll be surprised. Usually it involves a string of bad jobs and then the door opens and everything changes. Envision where you want to be and mark it with a flag. Then plan the road trip to get there.