Having a DIY job is like a more terrifying and admin filled version of an Indiana Jones movie. It's fast paced, high tension, but instead of running away from a giant boulder chasing you down the corridor of an Ancient Ruin, you're running away from the countless deadlines/invoices/projects chasing you down the callendar year.
I've been thinking about the pro's and con's of having a creative job you've hacked together after my friend Laura wrote a post on her main source of income imploding overnight. It was a scarily relatable read, because 5 years ago I literally had the same thing happen to me, and ever since then I've been terrified about a repeat occurrance.
There are many great things about my (main) job. I pretty much get to choose my own hours, I get to teach the thing I'm most passionate about to tiny impressionable minds knowing I could very well create another human that wants to follow in my footsteps and I get to associate with other humans who are equally as passionate about spreading the gift of music.
Unfortunately it doesn't change the fact that my whole livelihood is based upon the whims of children and the job/location stability of their parents and each particular schools willingness to cooperate with the various educational structures I teach under. My job is about as stable as mid game Jenga.
Whilst there's no perfect solution to job stability there is a massive thing one can do to increase the chance that one day you too will have a job made of bricks. That thing is diversifying your income, which I am well and truely working on. For me this includes: trying to get myself out there as a composer, Working on many music projects with different bands, putting together a covers duo, improving my photography/videography/production skills so I can be hired as any of those things/an assistant to any of those things, staying on top of social media/creating a growth stratagey so I can find an audience and finally, trying not to burn out so I can maintain a diverse income.
The other thing I've found super useful in the search for stability is learning from other peoples mistakes. I've been listening to a few podcasts recently (Break the Twitch and The Ground up Show) made by people who are older than me in creative jobs. They often talk about things they did wrong, and what they would do differently. I've made sure to keep a mental note of this and use it in my own life. I've also been lucky enough to be able to talk to older friends and colleges about their lives in a similar manner, and I hope one day when I'm older and (hopefully) in their positions I too will be able to do the same!
Before I finish this post, I just want to have a super quick chat about my outfit ;P. I've started sewing again :D (yay!) For me, sewing is my creative outlet for my creative outlets :P This particular piece is a convertible pinafore/skirt (and long term I plan on *possibly* perfecting the pattern/process and putting them up for sale) It's really nice being in a mental place where sewing is not an overwhelming extra. I'm hoping soon to get back into painting in a similar fashion.
Till next time - Jen.
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