The Calculated Creative

4 Ways to Act Without Permission

Wait for someone to give you a title before you do the work…

And you might never get to do the work at all.

Luckily, though, the first step begins with a simple choice.

Here’s 4 ways to go about doing the work you love without waiting to be handed the opportunity from someone else:

1. Ask a Question

Every journey begins with a single step.

And more often than not you can boil that step down to a specific question.

“What if I tried to make clothing designs better than this?”

Is what I first asked myself when I saw other apparel in the wild.

And the process took me to where I am today.

2. Join a Meeting

Getting access to higher level thinking from those who’ve been in the industry longer can sometimes be difficult.

But good news…all you have to do is politely insert yourself into the convo.

Is a different department having a meeting you’d enjoy sitting in on and learning about?

Ask if you can join!

Being a fly on the wall can lead to new understandings and completely different career paths.

All it takes is showing up.

3. Job Shadow

Is a person or business in your area doing really cool work?

Ask to tag along for a day for free.

Often times in creative pursuits it’s the behind-the-scenes workings that can either make you fall in love with the work…

or hate it with every fiber of your being.

By getting to watch the process first hand you expose yourself to more than just surface level output.

The coolest part? Shadowing doesn’t even have to be a in-person process.

You can “follow” someone around the internet and pretty quickly get a feel for how they function and where they put their focus.

4. Take a Course

You can only get so far with free content.

And that’s where courses come into play.

Often times the most experienced individuals in any field have an incredible amount of nuanced information that never makes it way to the broader public.

But by paying for their time you gain access to everything they’ve learned on a given topic.

Sometimes the price can prevent you from getting access but the leaps in knowledge you gain from the experience can save you years worth of headaches.

How this is relevant for a:

Freelancer — Client needs bleed into different categories all the time. By digging into other knowledge bases you can become highly competent in several fields at the same time. Leading to higher rates and better work!

Full-timer — There’s gaps in every organization big and small. By politely inserting yourself as a “fly on the wall” in different meetings you can gain a better understanding of the broader picture. All while allowing your work to solve more than one problem.

Dabbler — Creative work is fluid. And putting a label on the specific kind of work you do can prevent career growth over time. Keep the dabbler’s mindset and soak up anything you find interesting, regardless of where it comes from.

Stop sitting back and waiting for someone else to take a bet on you, and do it yourself!

What else are you interested in?

What other work sets your heart on fire?

By starting to dig in to these answers you can set yourself up for a fulfilling future without sacrificing the present.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

The Calculated Creative

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