We’re seeing a shift in the economy. Gas prices have skyrocketed, the price of food is going up, and the real estate market is going haywire. All signs point to a looming recession and according to economists everywhere, we really can’t avoid it.
Many of us came of age during the '08 recession and can remember the anxiety and uncertainties of not knowing what to expect next. The main difference between now and then is that we have already been through this, and we kind of know what to expect. The creative field is one that can be subject to job cuts, so creatives need to be prepared for the possible future, now. We aren't telling you to 'get scared' but take this article as a nudge to start building a safety net so that you don't have to worry.
What can we do as creatives to make sure that we stay ‘recession-proof’? Here are three easy tips.
1. Create a plan ahead of time.
We’re not trying to sound like doomsayers, but you really should start crafting a worst-case scenario plan right now. Write out your next steps, prep your resume, and start planning your finances. Too many of us live by the seat of our pants, but if you want to stay recession proof, you're going to need to weave a financial safety net.
A great way to do this is to set a savings goal (and stick to it).
This will ensure that you aren’t caught off guard if your current job makes cuts. Having a savings plan in place will also give you peace of mind so that you can focus on the day-to-day of doing your job instead of constantly worrying that you’ll be called into the boss’s office at any minute.
Here’s a great resource for strategizing your savings goals.
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2. Start freelancing.
If you’re in the creative field, then it’s very likely that you have freelanced before. While the thought of diving back into the trenches might send a shiver down your back, there’s a reason why we’re mentioning it.
When revenue drops, cuts need to be made, and oftentimes those cuts are in creative departments. The thing is, the work doesn’t really dry up the way people might think it does.The company's creative needs haven't changed, they're just going to explore other, less permanent avenues. This may be a very lucrative time for creatives who get into the freelancing game early.
Why, you ask? Well, companies do not want to pay in-house salaries, benefits, and training when they’re losing money. It’s cheaper for them to outsource their creative work to freelancers for one-off projects.
3. Build your portfolio.
When you’re an in-house creative, it’s easy to neglect your portfolio and let it collect virtual cobwebs. At the onset of a recession, it becomes vital that you jump back in there, update it, and revamp it to help you stand out.
We’re not just talking about standing out as a freelancer, but other opportunities that might be in the pipeline. Larger companies are always looking for new talent, even if they don’t have a job listing on their website.
Consider this your cue to spend some extra time updating and polishing your portfolio so that when an opportunity comes knocking, you don’t have to scramble for recent samples or stress over adding all of those projects you’ve done in the last year.
Embrace being uncomfortable.
Part of being in the creative industry is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Every day is different, and there is nothing monotonous about our jobs…even when we’re doing admin. Instead of resisting the changes that are coming, let’s embrace being uncomfortable.
Want to learn more about a company that helps you build your portfolio, save extra money, and can also give you real-world experience? Check out our careers page to learn more.