In the creative industry, where things change in the blink of an eye, a single idea can give rise to a million-dollar campaign, it is extremely important to ensure your skills keep up with the latest technologies, trends, and standards.
I am sharing 11 career development tips to help you keep ahead excel in this tricky yet brilliant industry.
1. Expand your Network
In this digital era, strengthen your network by socializing actively on social media platforms like Linked In, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Attend industry conferences regularly. Also, joining a professional association in your field of choice is a great way to tap into a career network. Meeting people who work in your prospective field can give you valuable insight into what life is like in that career. Gather information by gathering contacts. The more strong you are at networking, the better are your chances of hearing about any new opportunities that might arise.
2. Figure out your weakness
If you have a professional weak point, fix it. Take it upon yourself to identify your skill gaps and work to fill them day in and day out. As a creative professional, you must always be willing to improve your skillset, or else it will be hard for you to survive. It takes dedication and passion to succeed in the creative industry and if you don’t have it from the first day, your weaknesses become more apparent as the days wear on.
3. Learn something new every day
In addition to getting better at what you know, it’s important to understand the things you don’t. Be ready to learn. Always. For instance, if you are into influencer marketing, and one day your photographer fails to show up, learn how to click self-portraits. You must learn the perfect aperture triangle required for your photo or what colours in the photo will complement your product. Brands won’t wait for you. Many influencers can do the job. In the creative industry, the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none” is a misnomer. Learn and master every new thing that comes in your way, if you want to be successful.
4. Become indispensable
When you can do something that no one else on the team can, like coding or optimizing for the Web, Web designing, you have an undeniable advantage, which helps to keep your position intact as well as ahead of your team. The more of these “added benefits” you can master, the more indispensable you become as an employee. The bottom line is if you want to get ahead in your career, you have to be willing to continually learn, adapt, and improve.
5. Engage those around you
When you engage with other creative professionals, you open yourself up to new ways of thinking, a new horizon of creativity. They could share some advice that could completely redefine your process or alter your method of delivery. And you never know when the opportunity for collaboration may arise. If the person, whose idea you admire, admires your idea too, magic is bound to happen.
6. Read more
Whether it’s picking up a new novel from your favourite author or reading the daily newspaper on the go, we can all benefit from reading more. Don’t limit yourself to a niche field or you’ll fall back in this age of information. Keep reading different types of blogs, from finance and healthcare to politics and advertising. You never know when an old piece of information might click, that’ll help you create a brilliant campaign.
7. Believe in Yourself
As your skills increase, you gain more experience and a clearer understanding of your significance to your organization. Believing in yourself, your skills, and your ability to succeed are critical success factors for your career development. And never forget the people who have helped you along the way. And on your worst days, when nothing seems to fall in its place, don’t sulk. These are the days you need to believe in yourself the most.
8. Maintain a good work-life balance
This is extremely hard because it’s not always in your control. However, a healthy work-life balance can make all the difference between a good career and a great one. Spend time with your family. A frustrated mind will degrade the quality of your professional as well as personal life.
Traveling is the best medicine for a creative soul. The famous Indian advertiser, Piyush Pandey, in his book Pandemonium has shared how his experiences during traveling have helped him create the wonderful campaigns. We now live in a very interconnected world and it’s important to understand as many cultures as possible. In fact, this knowledge could mean the difference between producing a campaign that resonates with or offends a certain part of your audience.
10. Take out time for yourself
A tired, overworked mind hinders the process of creativity. Too many of us have come to believe that “the brass” favor workaholics. However, some managers prefer individuals who keep work in check because employees who enjoy a life outside the office are often happier and more creative. Spend time brushing up your hobbies, or writing on any topic. You never know when you get “The Big Idea”.
11. Be yourself, always
No matter what field you work in or what job title you have, you should always be yourself. The minute you start pretending to be something you’re not is when you will start losing everything. In most cases, a company hires you because they like your work and enjoy your personality. So, under pressure don’t be someone you’re not. A strong work ethic and a good personality and eagerness to learn will often transcend any shortcomings you may have. If the company fails to acknowledge you as you are, never succumb to the pressure. Leave right away. Better opportunities are waiting for you.
Amity University, Kolkata