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It is often said that it’s difficult forging a career in the creative industry. This is true, in part. The flip side to the extra effort required to get work in the creative industry is you get to do something inspiring and that you enjoy for the rest of your working life. Today we are looking at how to best position yourself for work in the creative industry.

Using a job search website is all well and good when looking for positions, but more often than not the really good jobs are advertised in less than expected places, if at all.

When entering the job market, there are a few things you can do to increase your likelihood of getting paid work.

Come prepared

As competitive as a full-time role in the creative industries is, there is one key way to make your resume stand out: experience. Internships not only give a great insight into how an industry actually operates and the realities of a job, they show employers you’re dedicated to the craft. Two graduates with great marks can easily be set apart if one has done several internships and the other has done nothing.

As mentioned earlier, many jobs in the creative industries aren’t advertised, and it’s not unusual for these jobs to be offered to interns. Getting your foot in the door via an internship is a great tactic and one that can really pay off.

Beyond internships, get experience delivering your services. Whether it’s videography, graphic design or writing, see what freelance work you can get to build your portfolio before you begin applying for jobs. The more employees can see of a candidate’s skills, the more educated their decision will be – and hopefully it’s a choice in your direction.

Online only

There are many independent job sites and private Facebook groups tailored for artists, photographers, writers and graphic designers and these are often great spots to look for short and long-term work. A simple search on Facebook of your industry should result in some quality private groups you can request to join. Try to keep it local, as the ability to meet in person to build connections is always a bonus.

Another great resource is the creation of virtually sourcing your work. Thanks to websites like Upwork and Fiverr there are ways you can list your services for sale beyond your local networks. Be warned however, these websites are highly competitive and you may end up lowering your price to compete.

Promotional approach

Often seen as the “cold pitch”, the promotional route means spruiking your wares to those who either don’t know they need it yet or just haven’t asked. This process often involves creating a portfolio and a special deal for your services and approaching local businesses to see if they are interested in using your skills. There is no hard and fast rule for how to do this, but it’s best to approach the businesses that look as if they are lacking in your particular expertise.

Networking  

As uncomfortable of an experience it may be at first, networking is a great opportunity to find work. Business networking events are particularly great for creatives, as those in the professional fields are often the last to source creative talent.

Another great thing about networking is the business gets to meet you and see your personality rather than finding you online and hoping for the best. There are some tips on how to network well, and we’ve outlined them over here (link to networking article). 

Freelancing

Perhaps you haven’t had any luck finding a full time position, or maybe you prefer the freelance life. Either way, freelancing gives a freedom a full time position can’t – and it’s particularly suited to those in creative industries.

Before you start freelancing there are a few things you’ll need to get organised. First, register your business and apply as a sole trader to get an ABN. Secondly, create a website, email address and social pages to share what your services are and hopefully broaden your audience. Lastly, get yourself some business cards and get out there and spruik what you do.

You will need to work out a price for your services and exactly what you will offer, this should be something that is decided on as you put together your business plan.

The rest is up to you, so get out there and be confident in what you offer.