I was jobless and homeless.
And a mistake from a waiter drained my bank account to under $10.
But what seemed like a lifetime low led to a complete transformation.
Teaching me valuable lessons that would stick with me throughout the rest of my creative career.
Here’s 4 ways to keep yourself in demand, creating work, and loving the company you’re in (all without being jobless or homeless like me):
1. Trust > Contracts
If you don’t trust the person you’re working for on a handshake…then chances are you shouldn’t be working for them in the first place.
By doing business with people you trust you allow room for great work to blossom as a second step.
Have the contract, but don’t rely on it to get you out of a bad situation after the fact.
2. Crawl, Walk, Run
It can be near impossible to know how a working relationship will develop before facing any sort of difficulties.
And that’s why starting with a small project can help you to feel out potential pain points before it turns into something bigger.
Build the working relationship without the stress of a looming deadline or huge deliverable. And by the time you need to cross that bridge you will have already gotten all the tools you need to cross it effectively.
3. Always Take the Meeting
New opportunities show up all the time.
But if you only ever say “NO” to the initial meeting you’re stopping these opportunities dead in their tracks.
Instead, say yes and get the whole scoop. Even if it leads to a “no” later you’ve now built a connection that can be beneficial in the future.
The best, and most tenured, creative careers are built off of unbreakable networks.
4. Don’t Fall for the Carrot Dangle
When’s the last time you heard “HUGE opportunity for growth” in an interview or online job app?
Probably just the other day.
And what sucks about these sort of gigs is that 1 in 100 may lead to that growth trajectory. While the rest are big stinking turds.
Take the opportunities that are willing to pay you what you’re worth right now. And pass on the ones promising something later that will most likely never come.
How this is relevant for a:
Freelancer — You’re constantly on the hunt for new work. But don’t let someone elses over promising and under delivering keep you from the making the money you need to survive.
Full-timer — With how many layoffs we’ve seen over the last few years your job could be gone in a heartbeat. But having trust in your network and taking meetings can help to show you the path forward should this become a reality.
Dabbler — Maybe you haven’t gotten into a larger creative role yet or maybe you have a few smaller ones under your belt. Often times tiering up into the next level of work can illuminate difficulties you never knew you’d face. Here’s how to steer clear of them and keep yourself on the creative path!
By focusing on building a better foundation of creative relationships you can:
- Find more like-minded clients
- Weed out the projects doomed to failure
- Allow room for better work to show up
All while becoming more in demand along the way. And did I mention not being jobless or homeless like me?