Friday, May 3, 2013

Staying Relevant - As a Creative Professional Between Gigs

It's no secret that the industries in which we crave to be apart of are some of the flakiest. You're booked solid or in demand one day, barely able to keep up with all the work coming your way.  A mere few months later you find yourself on your couch, trolling through Indeed, Mandy, and posting your new "freelancing" status on LinkedIn. You've applied to every job possible and now your just moping around thinking....soooo now what? 

In this "Staying Relevant" series, I hope to give creatives in varying professions (musicians, older creatives, actors) some guidance on how to stay on the minds of fans, readers, and employers while strengthening their skills once they get back in the game. 

Let's start with some general tips that are sometimes over looked. 

UPDATE YOUR NETWORK - I know, I know this seems so repetitive but its a reminder that is very important. Share in postings ( where it is appropriate and in the most professional way) mention that you are open to new opportunities. Don't forget to share your expertise too. 

      Don't post  - "Hey guys, looking for a job - if you know of 
                           anything let me know" 

       What?! How does anyone know what you do and keep you in 
        mind for what? Too vague. 

      Do - Good Morning all! If there is a need for a Producer/ 
             Production Manager with experience in tv and film, I am
             not booked for the next couple of months so please keep 
             me in mind. I am open to networking, collaboration, and 
             joining new projects. Thanks! 

VOLUNTEERING AND INTERNSHIPS - Truth is, in this economy, it's not the most ideal option but it is a great networking tool and something that will build your resume. Apply to short term low or no pay gigs.  Try to keep all jobs, internships and volunteering within your personal or professional passions, so that it allows you to keep your skills current. 

TAKE A CLASS - Stop by a local college and pick up a course book. See what they have to offer. Are you a producer who needs to work on your editing skills? Sign up! Find where you lack and find a class or workshop that will strengthen your skills professionally. 

CONSULTING - Not exactly the full time gig you were hoping for, but depending on your skill and level of knowledge, you can offer your skills and expertise for a fee. 

BLOG - Start your own blog! Yes, it can be a lot of work but with planning and some initial dirty work - it can possibly provide some job leads because your always promoting and connecting with people. Where do you start? Do some research - there is tons of information out there on where to begin with plenty of start up sites that make the process easy. Stay updated with your industry's news and see if you can bring something new to the table. You want to stand out in this saturated medium.

GRAD SCHOOL - This is your best bet if your looking for an increase in salary or your looking to make a change in your career. 

Your entitled to a day or two of being lazy, but your goal is to stay fresh on peoples minds. Choose whatever path is to your most benefit and get out there! 

NEXT: Staying Relevant - As a Musican 

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