Best dayjob for introverted, creative people person
April 11, 2010 9:50 AM Subscribe
How do I balance my need for financial stability with my desire to spend a good deal of time and energy on creative pursuits?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking for suggestions for specific ways of making a living that are compatible with my creativity.
I'm a singer/songwriter, poet, visual artist and fiction writer. I can live comfortably on a minimum of about $30K per year. Right now I'm in a contract job as a trainer that will end in July. It pays enough and I'm decent at it, but not looking forward to unemployment.
I need a long-term, secure job that doesn't suck all my energy or creativity, so journalism, which I've done for years freelance, is now out. (Not only is the field all but dead, I am an introvert and found it very draining). I need a job that is flexible with time off but that offers more structure than total self-employment.
I'm at my best when working one on one with other people, or in small groups teaching, training, or helping them. Jobs that have worked out well for me have involved tutoring (though not classroom teaching), administering aptitude tests, and helping amateur writers make their work more professional (with me that turns out to be a combination of editing, revising, and coaching).
I'm not so great at "pounding the pavement" looking for clients, and prefer a more structured schedule, so having my own writing business for a while resulted in alternating periods of laziness and burnout to make up for the laziness. I never liked investing the time needed to prospect for editing clients. Therefore, I'd prefer to work for an organization that allows for flexibility but offers some structure -- not too much though.
I have considered becoming a social worker because I love to help others, and it seems like it's not a 9-5er yet there is a certain structure involved in meeting clients at particular times. Rather than work in a welfare office, I'd prefer to be in direct practice in a clinic and see clients. (Less stress). I also like working as part of a team and I know that social workers liaise with other helping professionals regularly.
I don't mind returning to school for an MSW. But before I make a decision, I need to consider whether it's a good idea for me.
One motivating factor is that even though I'm an introvert, it gets too lonely and solipsistic just doing art/music/writing projects and I never get the feeling I'm making a contribution directly to the well-being of others. That's important to me, as is the security. It's been stressful to be in and out of contract job after contract job., having to live off savings between them and having to constantly be a job-hunter. That just doesn't suit my personality. I'm burnt out on it and the investment of energy no longer seems worth it.
Any suggestions, feedback, or encouragement from the hivemind is most welcome.