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Navigating the Creative Industry as a Fresher

Insights, Tips, And Strategies For Surviving Yourself As A Beginner In The Field

07 Apr '24
5 min read


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Whether you graduated recently or are someone transitioning from a different field,

entering the creative industry as a fresher can be an exciting yet anxious experience. 

Acknowledging that practical learning resources for this field are often scarcer compared to more conventional career paths, in this article, we'll explore some of the aspects that freshers need to consider to help navigate this exciting but often unpredictable terrain.

Define Your Goals and Passion:

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Entering the creative industry requires clarifying goals and passions. Firstly, consider if there's another career path that could provide joy and fulfilment; if so, it might be wiser to pursue it, given the challenges of the creative path, which often involve unemployment and financial strain. 

Only pursue the creative path if it's your sole means of expressing passion and you're comfortable with its uncertainties. Secondly, identify the aspect of the creative field that excites you the most, whether it's graphic design, writing, photography, or filmmaking, as this passion will steer your career journey.

Test Your Goals and Passion:

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To discover your interests in graphic design, writing, photography, filmmaking, or any other creative field, dive in and actively engage in them through practice. 

This could mean participating in hobby projects, industry internships, or both. Reflect on your strengths and aspirations to carve out your niche in the industry based on your self-awareness.

Brace yourself to work for free:

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As a beginner, you may need to accept the reality of starting with low-paying or unpaid gigs to build your portfolio and compete effectively when you lack experience. 

While not ideal, it's a common situation for newcomers and shouldn't be a source of shame. It's prudent to have a secondary source of income rather than relying solely on your initial creative endeavors for financial stability.

Build Your Skills and Portfolio:

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Once you've pinpointed your passion, focus on refining your skills and crafting a robust portfolio. Seize every opportunity for growth, whether through formal education, online courses, workshops, or hands-on experience. 

Embrace any task assigned to you, from menial to challenging, and strive to excel despite any emotional hurdles. Be mindful of balancing helpfulness with avoiding exploitation. 

Engage in projects that highlight your talents and creativity, as your portfolio serves as your key introduction in the industry. Dedicate the necessary time and effort to ensure it shines brightly.

Display Your Work And Be Open To Constructive Criticism:

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As a beginner seeking to make a living through creative work, it's crucial not to keep your work hidden. Start by establishing your presence on platforms like social media, Behance, Vimeo, Dribble, YouTube, or Wix early on. 

This proactive approach means that as you progress in the industry, you'll already have a foundation established. 

By doing so, you'll understand your audience better, increase visibility to potential clients, indirectly market yourself, engage in online networking, and enhance your credibility and visibility.

Network, Network, Network:

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Networking is crucial for newcomers in the creative industry, where connections are as valuable as skills. Offline networking remains significant, so seek advice and mentorship from established professionals who often support enthusiastic newcomers. 

Be aware that some senior creatives may be less available for mentoring due to their commitments or preferences. Explore learning and community engagement through industry events, professional organizations, and platforms like LinkedIn or Behance.

Embrace Creativity and Collaboration:

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Entering the creative industry promises rewards but demands realistic expectations. Expect fierce competition, inevitable rejection, and success coupled with setbacks.

Embrace the journey's fluctuations, staying resolute towards your goals and resilient amidst challenges. Recognize setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning, understanding the dual nature of every experience.

Find Sustainable Ways To Stay True to Yourself:

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Amidst the fast-paced creative industry, it's easy to conform to trends and client expectations, potentially diluting your unique voice. While catering to client needs is crucial, preserving your authenticity is equally vital to producing genuine work. 

Maintain your creative identity by exploring additional outlets like starting a YouTube channel or blogging, ensuring continual exercise of your vision. Stay true to yourself, regardless of output, as the journey matters most. 

Authenticity is your greatest asset; trust your instincts, follow your passions, and let creativity guide your path.

Establish healthy professional boundaries and refuse to work for free.

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Once you've established yourself in your professional journey, setting boundaries around offering free services is vital. By this stage, you've honed your skills, understood your market, and built your network. 

Protecting your rates, particularly as a freelancer, ensures sustainable success in the industry. Stand firm against persistent underpayment unless it aligns with a cause greater than monetary value. 

Evaluate the worth of your work and consider alternative income sources if unpaid gigs don't align with your goals.

Missing Out On Family Friends And Life:

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For creative professionals, the pursuit of artistic fulfilment often entails sacrificing precious moments with loved ones and the simple pleasures of life. 

The demanding nature of the industry, characterized by tight deadlines and erratic schedules, can overshadow our ability to be present for those we cherish. 

Balancing our passion for our craft with the desire for meaningful connections outside work is a constant struggle. Amidst the whirlwind of creativity, we long for moments of joy, love, and shared experiences, recognizing that while our art defines us, it's our relationships and life experiences that truly enrich our existence.

In Conclusion:

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Embarking on a creative career journey as a newcomer is like entering a whirlwind of emotions, where excitement mingles with uncertainty. Amidst chasing dreams and facing setbacks, a burning passion to create and express ignites within. 

Define your dreams clearly, hone your skills diligently, and build connections sincerely. Above all, hold onto your essence, for it empowers your creativity. Let your spirit soar and your journey exemplify the beauty of being human.

Category : Personal Development


Written by Saneki Basundhara

Writer, Assistant Director