So You Majored In Something Creative? Here's How To Not End Up Broke And Hungry

Land a job and prove everyone wrong. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

"So...what do you plan to do with that?"

Anyone who majored in something creative has heard this question more times than they'd like to count. Still, despite all the jokes made at your expense, you can actually land a job after majoring in something creative like art or writing; you just have to be strategic in your actions. Read on for five tips to help you land a job and prove everyone wrong, once and for all.

1. Remember: Day jobs don't have to kill your creative career..

The thing is...unless you're going into a highly specialized field, majors don't have to matter that much. You are probably qualified to nab hundreds of jobs in many sectors with a creative degree. But, would you be cool being an administrative assistant in a doctor's office, even if you have a writing degree? Or do you want to get started 100% writing out the gate? If you don't already know what you'd like to do, now's the time to start brainstorming and researching. List five jobs and side projects you'd be happy doing, and research what it takes to get there. Remember you can still have a day job and build your creative career. If your dream is to be creative, don't let it die. You have to make room for it, or it will. (Also, day jobs always make for excellent fodder.)

2. . Freelance, freelance, intern, intern.

Extracurricular activities, work experience, and internships matter, hugely. Whether you're trying to land a job in your field, or looking to work outside of it, you need to show that you're a self-starter who already has some kind of experience under their belt. Creative types should start doing freelance work as soon as possible to build your skills, so that when the time comes, you'll be an impressive applicant. Even if you didn't make the best use of your time while you were still in school, it's not too late; many internships accept post-grad applicants, and volunteering at organizations relevant to your field is also a possibile gateway in.

3. . Be open-minded.

You can't start a job hunt thinking that there's only one path to success; you have to be open to new and different opportunities. When you're first starting out, it's a good idea to apply for jobs in fields that are adjacent to your preferred one - for example, public relations isn't too far off from working in journalism, and they're both within the realm of possibility for English majors.

4. . Know how to sell yourself.

So you've got solid work experience, you've been building your skill set, and you've applied for a variety of jobs. Once you finally land an interview, the only thing left to do now is sell yourself. You look well enough on paper, but now it's time to really explain how everything you've done up to this point makes you the best candidate for the job. Be sure to mention the specific skills that you picked up, specific work situations during which you used those skills, and how that all applies to the job you're interviewing for now.

5. . Don't give up, even when all hope seems lost.

The job market is tough for everyone these days, not just for you. It's not uncommon to spend six months or more looking for your first job, so keep your head up and keep chugging along.

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