As a self-employed person, I recommend that everyone try to work for yourself at least once. Even if it’s not your full time gig, it is very gratifying to find a way to make money on your own, using your own abilities and ideas. I started on this path not quite a year ago. Being forced to make all my money through writing was challenging at first. And it’s still a daily effort to keep new clients coming in and new work going out. But being forced to pay the bills this way has forced me to do a whole lot of work, work that has bolstered my resume quite a bit. In the end, I’m geared up to enter the regular work force within the next year. But I will be able to get a better job than I could before, even though I’ve been working for myself. This is the best part of self-employment, I’ve found. By having to survive on your own, you can try out a lot of different kinds of work, settling on what you do well and letting that dictate the future course of your employment and career. By working in areas with growing recruitment trends, you can set yourself up for an awesome job after you get a little experience. Here are three different creative fields that people can do on their own, building their resume in the process.
- Writing and Editing Jobs. This is the one I have the most experience in. Wherever you live, there will be the need for good writers. Just check Los Angeles Jobs listings. Writing takes a lot of forms. In my early days, I was doing crappy online work, writing pieces for just a couple of dollars each. Within weeks, I learned the lay of the land and found much better paying contract work. Gradually, I made relationships with individual clients, some of whom I continue to work with to this day. I have written hundreds of blog posts, several ebooks, and lots of different forms of web and print publication additions. I’ve also edited a tremendous amount of copy and begun writing my own. Copywriting is an interesting field. Basically, you just write the stuff that goes into web sites and branding campaigns. Someone’s got to do it, and it might as well be you. So if you can write, give it a try. Let it grow in the direction that you enjoy, and you really could built a solid career in not very much time.
- Video and Photography. There are a lot of people who record video and take pictures. But it’s in the editing that these folks really shine. Editing takes many times the work that goes into capturing images with a camera. It is what makes photographs look their best and what makes a video great. While there are hundreds of photographers in your area, most of them won’t have the editing skills that you could earn with time. So take a class on photo or video editing. Watch some Youtube videos and learn the craft yourself through trial and error. When your work looks better than other people’s, you’ll start getting gigs and calls. You really can build a career this way. Once you have the experience, lots of people will put you on their payroll to apply your craft to their company.
- Though not traditionally considered a “creative” field, this job isn’t all about grunt work. It’s about creating someone else’s natural dream space, using natural tools. If you are able to create beautiful landscapes in a short amount of time, you’ll be able to get a lot of work. I’ve watched my friend do it, even buying up other companies in his small town till he owns the industry in that part of North Carolina. It takes inspiration and hard work, but it’s a job that can get you hired somewhere else, or even have you be the one cutting the checks for your own employees.
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