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Parallel Careers for Creatives

I tend to work with a lot of people who I would classify as “creative entrepreneurs“. These are people who tend to develop things and work on a more project based process. I would include in this field not only novelists, screenwriters, filmmakers, actors, musicians and the like, but also ministers, yoga teachers, and others whose work tends to be in the more consultancy tradition of having many projects to do that starts and end.

As these type of careers tends to need to have a solid track record in order to succeed, it usually takes creative entrepreneurs a while to develop their portfolios of work, and they will need done other means of supporting themselves in the interim. I like to say that they need to have their creative career, and also “their career that supports their creative career”. This parallel career is different than a day job.

When you say the phrase “day job”, you are sending out two messages:

  • First, you are stating that you don’t care about this work and don’t plan any advancement in this role, and
  • Second, you’re implying that your creative work is not important enough for anyone else to value.

I say that a “career that supports your creative career” is one that you also enjoy and can see some upward mobility in, but that also gives you the money, time and energy to do your creative work. If you have a job that is paying the bills but makes you exhausted at the end of the day, it’s not supporting your creative career.

You could also say that if you have s life outside of work, you need to have a career that supports that.

So, how is your career supporting you?

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