Careers Focused On Creativity

I'm back at work after almost two weeks paid time off (courtesy of Hurricane Irma). After much rest and relaxation, I figured I would be nice and rested to get back into the swing of things.

Instead, it's barely past Tuesday and I'm all stressed out and lacking in energy/tired. You could probably chalk that up to my body needing to get used to performing in "working mode" again, but I also know that I'm affected by the same anxious thoughts that have been hitting me often since I started this job: this isn't what I want to do with my life.

Unfortunately, I'm still far from deciding what I do want to do with a long-term career. I've posted thread about it...over and over again. But I think the problem with my previous inquiries is that I've been too narrow-minded, when I could probably compress everything down to the basic things I would want out of a potential long-term job.

And I'm pretty much convinced that the one thing I want more than anything is to be creative. I want to be imaginative, I want to dream, and I want to leave my mark in history. I want other people to see my input and....well, not even like it necessarily, but to acknowledge it. This was a thing that only I could do....a stark opposite to my current job, which I honestly feel that anyone with a high-school degree and a clean record could be doing.

I've dabbled in lots of personal stuff during my off-time: videogame reviews, short stories, podcasting, blog articles, video editing, cooking, even looking to draw soon (or at least learn the basic elements). I've never stayed with something long enough to "perfect" it, but these elements all have the same thing in common: creativity.

So what's holding me back? Frankly, the one thing I appreciate the most about my current job: security. They coined the term "starving artist" for a reason, and I've heard plenty of horror stories that have kept me from wanting to pursue certain careers, such as the crunch time that videogame developers have to suffer through, or how a part-time college professor is 99% where most filmmaking majors end up, or how you can forget about ever raising a family when you need to be sleeping in your office desk most of the time, or how you live and die through commision, etc.

I'm sure some of you will say that such remarks are overexaggerating, or that times have changed. Well, that's why I want to know what kind of creative-focused jobs are out there and can be accomplished by human beings without metaphorically whipping them in the back. If I could mention the ideal of a dream job, it would be something that let's me be creative (not even the lead, just someone who gets to think up and contribute to something, whether a massive project or a small independant creation), but also has stable hours and job security. If I can even work some or all of the time at home, that would be even better (I hate driving and I especially hate the morning commute, no matter what I'm doing or where I'm living. I do it if I have to, but I just wanted to mention that).

I have a bad habit of dreaming big, such as a director or head writer, when there are probably lots of realistic careers that are small in scope but also slipping through my fingers unbeknowst. For the purpose of educating myself, and hopefully even motivate me, I would just like to know what's out there. Doesn't have to be a specific field, but I love videogames, movies, animation and comics like the next person. The more I know, the better.

Posts

  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. i did meet some of the most insufferable people but, they also met meRegistered User regular
    Well you could write erotic ebooks from your home

    UUgbyO3.png
    DarkewolfeThroSCREECH OF THE FARG
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Being a content creator with stability requires years and years in a field with a massive portfolio and a huge following in whatever you create. It's the endgame. Most folks who do artistic professions (especially creating media, books, film, podcasts, art, content, etc.) have a day job until they get enough fame and money to support their quality of life.

    Speaking for myself, my maps stuff are only now starting to pay me any sort of funding on the regular (I bring in about $40 a month through patreon and about $100 every other month through commissions) and that is after about 5 years of doing this 20+ hours a week. Maybe in another 5 years I'll be able to support myself without my day job but that's really an after thought for me. I want that to happen, but i'm more focused upon the fulfillment I get from creating things.

    If you are just looking for jobs that have some sort of creative element as part of them, hop on over to onetonline (https://www.onetonline.org) and search something like "creative" and see what pops up. My own search found a good dozen or so positions that could be useful.

    Technicality
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Well you could write erotic ebooks from your home

    Yeah, or porn. Porn pays quick and quality usually doesn't matter all that much.

    But the stigma will follow you forevah

  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. i did meet some of the most insufferable people but, they also met meRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Well you could write erotic ebooks from your home

    Yeah, or porn. Porn pays quick and quality usually doesn't matter all that much.

    But the stigma will follow you forevah

    Well it depends on who you're talking with. There's no shortage of people in your field who'll be like "Fuckin yeah, get paid however you can man, some months are dry as fuck for work". They generally get less understanding the further removed they are from your business.

    UUgbyO3.png
    Enc
  • -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    do a podcast

    PNk1Ml4.png
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Throughout history, "creativity" has been a hobby for most people. It's OK to have a day job for security and a hobby for fulfillment. It helps to have something to look forward to after work.

    There's no guarantee that a creative job wouldn't become stale after a while. For instance, "Video Game Designer" sounds awesome, but in terms of day-to-day, there's a lot of gruntwork, like filling damage numbers in a spreadsheet or scripting the things that the characters do when they are just standing around. Or even designing the 100th clone of Candy Crush (must be dog food themed.) Jobs that are BOTH stable and creative are particularly bad for this. A web designer is both stable and creative, but after designing the 100th Indian restaurant website, surely it gets old.

    If you ever stay with something long enough to "perfect" it, you will know that this is the creative job for you. But if you dabble and it gets old in your free time, imagine how it would be after 20 years day-in-day-out. Keep pottering until you find something. If you never do, well, at least you had fun and had an interesting life.

    ThroGreat ScottTechnicality
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    You are listing a whole bunch of criteria that fit together like two puzzle pieces from different puzzles that are different sizes made of different materials with a different number of pieces and one of them is three-dimensional.

    You can probably make it happen, but will take a lot of time and a lot of effort and practice and patience to do, and even if you throw your whole being into this it still may never work. You may stumble onto the solution without doing any of those things, but you may also get struck by lightning.

    It's okay to dream big, but you have to start small. You aren't going to be able to quit your job unless whatever you're doing makes it big or you have a very nice portfolio together. The former takes luck and the latter can take years.

    None of that is to say you can't or can't or shouldn't try to have all those things, but you are about as likely to attain them on the kind of impulse you tend toward as I am to ever use my Japanese degree.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Let's be honest. You're probably not going to be a creative who leaves a huge mark on the world, because that takes persistence, dedication, passion, and the luck to be the one out of a thousand with those traits who pulls it off anyway. These are traits you've pretty obviously not exhibited by your repeat threads.

    So instead, you should focus on two things:

    1. Getting a solid, stable life under you. It's ok to be kind of boring if boring means having a job, not worrying about rent and food, etc. Often, once you line this sort of stuff up you have the free time to build a social network and a hobby network around you that you find rich and fulfilling which will then lead to:

    2. Actually do whatever the fuck it is you're interested in. A career is not going to bring passion to you. You bring passion to a career. If you haven't found it yet through work, you might never. But if you take a 9-5 job that pays the bills, you might have the energy to meet those people and do those things that stoke your fire. And then you might find whatever it is that inspires you to do the shit you claim you want to do. And if not, hey, at least you get to eat and do fun shit.

    What is this I don't even.
    CelestialBadgerThromRahmaniGreat ScottTechnicalitySCREECH OF THE FARG
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    Science!

    Job is pretty secure because it's much closer to the standard job model rather than producing art and hoping to find an audience, and honestly the barriers to entry are likely a lot less than you'd think - especially if you're looking to start in a small biotech. You're then going to be working on something that's going to make the world a better place (which as far as marks go, is better than the other kind...) and if it's a small company with the right environment you might be surprised by how involved you can get even without a graduate or post-graduate background (assuming you do your homework). These are usually small companies with most people being genuinely excited by what they do and keen to share it with others - so even if you start off just curious, people will usually be happy to explain what they're trying to do.

    Depends if you find problem solving as being the kind of thing that tickles your creative itch, or if you need to make an actual "thing" that is yours, or if really you just want more purpose to your actions. And probably more importantly if you're at the start of your career and if you've already got some speciality - going back to a non-graduate level job might not be for you, though if you've already specialised (in say IT) then there are a lot of related fields that are usually starving for people; these little companies still need the same support and administration guys that any other business does, but an interest and understanding in what they actually do is pretty much up there as a required field as experience in your own job.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Most creative jobs involve low pay and a lot of grinding out stuff to make a living. Most professional creatives do not have choice of content focus and have to iterate endlessly on things they don't care about. Find a process to fall in love with, not a subject or idea. If you're in love with the process, the grind becomes an endless fountain of enjoyment.
    Security is an illusion. Jobs are only safe until they aren't.

    Ataxrxes
  • SadgasmSadgasm Deluded doodler A cold placeRegistered User regular
    Piece of advice, do NOT attempt to do freelance as your sole source of income, when you do figure out a creative field of work, do it on your free time while sticking to your regular job. I'm not joking, freelance work is a gigantic sack of rancid dicks, people will use any excuse to drag their feet on paying you, and taxes is a nightmare.

    SwashbucklerXX
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    These comments feel a lot more sobering considering I posted this same topic in another forum, with the unanimous responses leaning toward Graphic Design.

    You're all saying the things that I regard as true, but have also held me back: I absolutely would not want to go the freelance route, or anything that didn't determine a guaranteed source of income on a regular basis. I know that kind of scenario would stress me even more than I already am. If I had to choose boring-yet-stable, I absolutely would stick with that.

    I was just wondering if there existed the kind of career that was stable, but didn't make you feel like you could be easily replaced/barely contribute either. But that could be a personal issue I'm dealing with, the fear of doing the same boring thing for the rest of my life.

    I just haven't found that one thing, hobby or otherwise, that makes me want to drop everything I'm doing and make that my full-time passion. Sometimes I worry that will never happen.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Every career will make you feel replaceable until you make yourself specialized enough to be essential. That takes time and motivation within your chosen profession. In my day job I 100% am in a position where I can say I am the best choice for the posting and losing me would be hurtful to the organization. I could be replaced, but not easily and not without using value. That took me working my ass off at positions where I was replaceable to gain the skills and portfolio in order to become where I am.

    Any job has those opportunities. Look to see what skills your company needs, your bosses use everyday, and think of how to advance. Then make a plan and take action to acquire those skills and take initiative where you have agency to do so.

    Re: Hobbies. I go sometimes weeks not wanting to make another map. That happens. Creativity and interest is never 100% on point. You go through cycles of productivity and interest and down time of lack of productivity and avoidance.

    DarkewolfeDaenrisOatsAtaxrxes
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I do some Graphic Design as part of my toolkit. Its a good skill to have, but a difficult one to make a full time job without running into the freelancer issues.

    Ataxrxes
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    there's massive scope for creativity in high-school teaching! it will also set you right in terms of generalised anxiety / existential handwringing pretty quick. the challenges are diverse and require both ingenuity and hard work to conquer. it's stable work if you can hack it, and while it could seem like a terrifying prospect, facing your fears and coming out unscathed is a massive part of growing into a settled adult.

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
  • SadgasmSadgasm Deluded doodler A cold placeRegistered User regular
    These comments feel a lot more sobering considering I posted this same topic in another forum, with the unanimous responses leaning toward Graphic Design.

    You're all saying the things that I regard as true, but have also held me back: I absolutely would not want to go the freelance route, or anything that didn't determine a guaranteed source of income on a regular basis. I know that kind of scenario would stress me even more than I already am. If I had to choose boring-yet-stable, I absolutely would stick with that.

    I was just wondering if there existed the kind of career that was stable, but didn't make you feel like you could be easily replaced/barely contribute either. But that could be a personal issue I'm dealing with, the fear of doing the same boring thing for the rest of my life.

    I just haven't found that one thing, hobby or otherwise, that makes me want to drop everything I'm doing and make that my full-time passion. Sometimes I worry that will never happen.

    Dude, no offense, but we dont live in a High School Musical sequel, you're never going to find that one magical thing that will make everything amazing forever. If you have a stable job that gives you a decent income, you grab onto that like a drowning man and never let go. Sure, you hear about content creators like the Nostalgia Critic, or Eastman and Laird, or, obviously, our own Penny Arcade guys, but they're by far the minority. And even with them, you dont think that after a few years, cranking out another edition of the same damn thing is a job? EVERYTHING becomes a job, no matter how exciting it is initially. If you do something creative for a living, you have to do it even when you dont feel like it.

    dispatch.oceresEncDidgeridooDarkewolfeschussKyouguHahnsoo1RainfallSCREECH OF THE FARGElvenshae
  • l_gl_g Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    I've never stayed with something long enough to "perfect" it,

    What a lot of people who say they want "creativity" want is not "creativity" but the combination of "novelty", "expression", and "growth". Learning something new and feeling yourself getting better at it and the thing you are doing and the results of that thing being a fairly direct expression of your efforts FEELS GOOD. And that's how a lot of things feel when you are at the beginning stages of learning something. Consider that you say that the common thread of all these disparate activities that are stereotypically considered creative is that they are "creative" activities. If you want to really create things that are really substantial, it takes many hours of work that is often very not "fun". There are people out there who are really good at things that would stereotypically be considered "creative", but the development of those skills was not easy, and the application of those skills will make it sound like a much less "creative" exercise in iterative problem-solving.

    The question you should be asking yourself is why you've never stuck with any of these disparate things that all felt good to do as recreational activities when you are already in a job that provides you with security and by your own account ("anyone with a high-school degree and a clean record could be doing") isn't terribly taxing. What stops you from sinking evenings and weekends into these "creative" activities that felt good at first? Think about what your current work demands of you, and what aspects of your are tired out by it, and look for "creative" outlets that exercise other parts of you. Guess what, after a day spent coding/cooking/writing/painting, a lot of people really don't have the capacity to be doing more of that same thing in their time off.

    There are a lot of things that seem more rewarding immediately. Making games at the outset feels rewarding, until you have to make a game that has significant complexity, and then you will hate your project, yourself, and the fact that other people can do it successfully. Cooking seems great until you go into the business of cooking, and then it's the most stressful thing on earth that doesn't involve actually being shot at. Writing seems like a blast, and then when you actually need to deliver on a deadline or need to make something that isn't a one-off written just when inspiration struck you, it is pure despair.

    Being professionally "creative" is the result of having one or more well-developed skills that you can apply on-demand in a variety of contexts as a result of repeatedly having done so. It is not a stream of endless inspiration, it is a discipline.

    l_g on
    Cole's Law: "Thinly sliced cabbage."
    DarkewolfeSatanIsMyMotorTychoCelchuuu
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Every career will make you feel replaceable until you make yourself specialized enough to be essential. That takes time and motivation within your chosen profession. In my day job I 100% am in a position where I can say I am the best choice for the posting and losing me would be hurtful to the organization. I could be replaced, but not easily and not without using value. That took me working my ass off at positions where I was replaceable to gain the skills and portfolio in order to become where I am.

    Any job has those opportunities. Look to see what skills your company needs, your bosses use everyday, and think of how to advance. Then make a plan and take action to acquire those skills and take initiative where you have agency to do so.

    Re: Hobbies. I go sometimes weeks not wanting to make another map. That happens. Creativity and interest is never 100% on point. You go through cycles of productivity and interest and down time of lack of productivity and avoidance.

    If I was certain I could advance in my current job, I would focus more on that.

    But there is no higher tier to my position...if I wanted to move up, it would have to be done laterally within the department. And being a government job where hiring freezes are the norm, I worry if this is as good as I'll get. The few job openings I've seen are lower paying and more grueling then what I've been doing.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    What do you do at present?

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    What do you do at present?

    Digital Court Reporter, though the job title is misleading. In truth I'm more of a Digital Court Reporter Manager, as my primary job is to survey the contracted reporters, making sure they're doing their jobs, assisting them with any technical issues they have, etc. It's also my job to do a daily check on the courthouse mics, but beyond that the majority of my job is to be reactive instead of proactive, which means I spend the majority of the time sitting in front of a computer and playing with my phone.

    Which is perfectly fine for me. I'll take that over standing on my feet all day (I'm flat-footed), and I always believe the amount of work you put should be equal to your paycheck.

    But again, there is no DCR II position. My boss is the real DCR Manager, and there's only about 15 of them in the whole state, so that's not going to be an opening for me. The salary is enough to cover my current expenses, but I need a lot more if I ever hope to dream of owning my own place as well as other big expenses for a comfortable lifestyle. I'm honestly grateful for what I have, but I know in my heart I can do better.

    I also know I'm being too hopeless with my dreams, especially when I can't pinpoint what I even want to do with a long-term career. I just know that I can shoot for something higher than what I'm doing now.

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    How long have you been doing it?

    Every job you take is a new set of skills and responsibilities to put on your resume. This helps for future jobs. If there's really no way to move up, work hard, build up skills and references and contacts then in a year start looking for a new job.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Kyougu wrote: »
    How long have you been doing it?

    Every job you take is a new set of skills and responsibilities to put on your resume. This helps for future jobs. If there's really no way to move up, work hard, build up skills and references and contacts then in a year start looking for a new job.

    Going by a year and a half, which is the longest I've held a job in the last few years. That alone makes me happy.

    I know I should just browse more job sites (Indeed has been my go-to, though I get frustrated by all the shady ad-sponsored postings...if there's something better, I'd love to know about it), but that adds to my frustration when I fail to find something interesting or within my skill set.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    The real question here is what skills do you like at your current job, and what jobs have those skills beyond your current position?

    This is the OnetOnline post for Digital Court Reporters:
    https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2091.00

    Median rate is ~53k a year, which is pretty great. You aren't a reporter now, but with your current exposure maybe that is a path you could be looking into? You work closely with a goodly number of them and have a perfect apprenticeship position set up. How could you branch out to gain those skills?

    Or, barring that, you could look at the related occupations listing for ideas and wiki search through the job postings.

    Or, barring that, you could look through the skills/values/styles listings and search other jobs with similar things that you like.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    The real question here is what skills do you like at your current job, and what jobs have those skills beyond your current position?

    This is the OnetOnline post for Digital Court Reporters:
    https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2091.00

    Median rate is ~53k a year, which is pretty great. You aren't a reporter now, but with your current exposure maybe that is a path you could be looking into? You work closely with a goodly number of them and have a perfect apprenticeship position set up. How could you branch out to gain those skills?

    Or, barring that, you could look at the related occupations listing for ideas and wiki search through the job postings.

    Or, barring that, you could look through the skills/values/styles listings and search other jobs with similar things that you like.

    As far as the contracted reporters in my building go, they're entirely on-call. While they technically make more than I do in an hour, I still end up making more with my structured salary.

    Plus I wouldn't like to do their actual job: listening in and typing shorthand what the attorneys/judge/witnesses are saying through cheaply-made headphones must be quite nerve wrecking.

    As for the things I like about my current position, that would be the brief moments of problem-solving I do. I feel good when someone calls about a technical issue they have with their PC, and I immediately determine the problem based on dealing with that same issue prior.

    So yes, I do see an appeal to the help desk aspect of my job, so long as it's not something mind numbingly simple that I wasted the walk over there ("Your PC isn't turned on"...I swear this has happened to me more than once), which is why the IT field is something I'm strongly considering, provided I can break out of this funk of uncertainty.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    ...did you do any searching based off of that?

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    IT help desk is not what you would traditionally think of as "creative."

    You always sound like a natural computer person, Prof Snugglesworth, so try looking into that. You could build up experience in your free time as a freelance "Geek Squad." My parents pay a guy like this to fix their computers. Just a local guy who put a small ad in the local paper. He takes spyware off their computer and figures out driver/internet problems.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    ...did you do any searching based off of that?

    Its the secondhand info I was given while working here.

    This might just apply to contracted DCRs, but again, not exactly a job I would want to do.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    I meant through Onetonline via the aspects of your job that you like.

    You have to take agency here. The tools are free and in front of you. We aren't going to (and shouldn't) do your job/career searching legwork for you.

    Enc on
    schuss
  • NewblarNewblar Registered User regular
    Persistence is a skill both from an employment and life fulfilment perspective. As you've noted this is an area that's challenging for you so you're not wasting your time by staying in your current job and unlikely to succeed in any career without improving this.

    To be blunt from an employer perspective, rapidly shifting jobs is a mark against someone, I don't even consider someone that shows a habit of staying less than two years in a position. Many employers view this similarly.

    I work in government but not for yours so it's possible this is different, but in mine most career progression rarely is moving into the job of your boss. Most advancement requires moving to a different office and often a different department. Even job switching that isn't promotional is very common in mine as a way of improving skills, pursuing interests or just getting out of a rut. Sometimes these jobs fall within the same classification, sometimes they don't and sometimes they fall under a different department or are just temporary. Usually with government the hard part is getting in, not moving around. It's actually the best non-advertised aspect of government jobs. Maybe spend more time looking into this as it's not always a quick process. My own government was laying people off but it didn't stop me from moving around.

    Something that would help is not looking at things as something you have to do forever. Focus instead on skills you want to pick up or improve and take jobs that provide this. You're qualified for entry level work and entry level work generally sucks and would often be horrible to spend your career doing. That's probably part of what's leading to your dissatisfaction with picking a job you're viewing it as an end instead of a beginning.





    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited October 2017
    It's pretty rough finding a mobile/recovery max loadout as hunter. I think the best I've done so far is 7 / 2/ 6. I don't like the 7 much, but the 6 is cool. I guess I just gotta wait for Banshee to sell appropriate mods.

    edit: this is what i get for having multiple tabs open at a time. I'm sorry.

    Lilnoobs on
    ElvenshaeAtaxrxesWassermeloneDerrick
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Go home noobs, you're drunk.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Elvenshaespool32
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