I am a firm believer in the fact that every job in any field will present its own set of challenges. It’s not that some careers are harder than others, it’s that some people are better equipped and naturally suited to handle some better than others.
That said, a job and a life in a creative field can be wildly fulfilling. But because it’s not “common,” it seems almost unrealistic; reserved for a select, fortunate, privileged few. I believe that making a life for yourself as an “artist,” is less about chance and more about work ethic, walking the fine line between creating for yourself and creating for consumption and your threshold for rejection and perseverance regardless.
Of course, there are a few other tricks of the trade to be shared as well. Here, Victoria Smith of SFGIRLBYBAY interviewed and compiled a few lessons from successful women who abandoned their 9-5 jobs in pursuit of their passions.
Jen Gotch, on moving to a full-time job in the arts:
1. Ask yourself: what is your reason for changing? Emotional? Financial? Make sure you are taking this leap for the right reasons.
2. At least one thing will go horribly wrong. Do you have a support system in place?
3. Plan out strategic and financial goals for at least the first 6 months.
Miranda Jones, on taking a risk on small business:
4. Make reversible decisions quickly, and move on.
5. Never make an unprofitable transaction, no matter how tempting.
6. Keep your overhead as low as possible.
7. Practice top-down planning. Every month feels like a razor’s edge, but it’s important to think big from the beginning, even if you aren’t able to act that way just yet.
8. Be okay with a level of uncertainty.
Maia McDonald, on family and life outside office and career:
9. Taxes — get a good accountant. Insurance — be sure you and your family are covered.
10. Consider what sort of work environment you think you’d thrive in, which is related to who you want to work with.
11. Making a big career change is very similar to starting a family. You can plan and never feel ready. When it comes down to it, you just have to take the leap and make it work.
12. … And when it comes to mixing work with babies, you just have to be really flexible.