2020 has been a year of change for me (as well as many others). This year, I decided to put my career as a creative first. I wanted to turn my love and passion into a business. Unfortunately, I decided to pivot and grow in a year where chaos and uncertainty started to dictate the rules. But this year shown me what I’m really capable of.
For me, I pivoted before the pandemic. Working a dead-end nine-to-five was killing my creativity as I tried carving out my career. I needed a change. The change was necessary as my workplace became toxic to me – physically, mentally, and emotionally. When you feel like the only adult in the room, and you’re not management – it’s a problem.
My change started taking shape in 2019, as I gained more and more traction in freelance writing. My moment came when I became an assistant professor. I found my way out of the retail rat race. I could finally breathe and be my person away from the public.
I do admit I struggled for a few months as the economy took a downturn. But eventually, things started to fall in place as contract work started to pick up and my business became official. At this point, I have found a sense of happiness.
I have to admit that sometimes it can be overwhelming and daunting being a self-employed artist. While the work is varied, I feel from time to time that my personal life is suffering as my workaholic ways take over. As I gain more and more traction in my career, my time has become more precious. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
With so much work ahead of me, I feel like Christmas break will be the perfect time to do some personal work. As 2020 draws to a close, I hope to find more time for me. There are many things I want to write.
When it comes to my position as a professor, the finish line for Fall 2020 is just days away. But it will be more of the same as Spring 2020; I’m teaching online once more. Like every school year, there were the usual ups and downs before the pandemic took it to another level. Here’s to hoping 2021 is a better year for everyone all around!
As evident by the images above, I put my future career first and decided to participate in SCAD’s Out to Launch.
It was definitely an out-of-body experience for me as I has step out of my introvert mindset and put on my extrovert mask. All those years of retail customer service paid off in a major way. I was able to network and connect with companies I would have never thought (along with a company or two I had looked up online). Keeping contact with some individuals from the event has started building some relationships as my career goes into full swing.
I did learn that having a printed materials on-hand was a great idea, and LinkedIn is your best friend when business cards are non-existent.
Besides all the great things, there were a few things that could have been a little better. Being a time-conscience person, the dis-concern for people’s time was a somewhat off-putting. But considering the institution I mentioned beforehand, it’s really no surprise.
Then, there was the lack of space for the participants. All that preparation – business cards, resumes, portfolios, etc – had to be crammed into this plastic bin. Any overflow had to be placed in a small gray box (mind you that came in hand as the event commenced). From undergrad, I can remember each participant getting their own booth where they could spread out. But given the space and location we had, that would have been impossible to accomplish.
Speaking of the location, I feel the layout didn’t work for what the school was trying to accomplish. Having the split between different floors and the placement of the classrooms made for a flow problem. Being in a back corner room doesn’t exactly entice prospective employers to visit your station. I felt a little shafted as some employers I wanted to see never came to my floor (despite asking for some help from the staff).
Ulterior motives was another problem I felt undermined the purpose of a reverse career fair. I don’t let certain companies and organizations come in trying to mine for prospective employees for their low-wage jobs.
Other than those gripes, I found the event to be very rewarding (along with tiresome and mind-numbing at times). Hopefully, this event has pushed my career in the right direction.
Come back next week for more on my life as a creative.