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what new career can an ex artist get?
July 17, 2012 7:39 PM   Subscribe

I followed my dream- now I want insurance. For the first time in my life I could work anywhere. I have no idea where to start.

A few years ago, my art career was going so well that I was able to quit my administrative job at a large firm and for a few years had a reasonable amount of success freelancing. A combination of diminishing opportunity and life goals shifting has made me decide to look for opportunities elsewhere.
I’m in my early 30s and have been completely dedicated to my arts career for my entire adult life. I have worked in offices in different industries, in very low-stress positions and always passed on promotions in order to “keep focused” on my personal work. Now I can try to look for work anywhere. I have no idea where to start – and I have never thought I would have this kind of freedom- I’ve always envied people who didn’t have “a calling” since they were nine years old. I am excited to be able to dedicate my full attention on a new goal.
So…what kind of industries should I be looking at?
I am a type A person, have very good interpersonal skills (especially with new, large groups of people). Years of working with …difficult artist types have trained me to be particularly good at enforcing boundaries without losing empathy or patience. I don’t mind physical labor, I am proficient on Macs and PCs, and I can answer phones and run calendars well and without fear. I’ve been I’ve actually been toying around with trying to get a job at Con Ed or the MTA, if only for the joy of unions.
What I wouldn’t be interested in:
1. Sales
2. Some “other” form of art. I want something a little more stable and I can’t stand graphic design firms.
3. Anything freelance.
4. Anything that requires more schooling before I can begin (continuing education for advancement is fine)

What I would like to hear about
1. Industries where you can still work your way up.
2. Industries that are doing well in general (I’m tried of being on a sinking ship)
I’m not worried about artistic fulfillment- I don’t feel bad about downgrading my art to a fulfilling hobby- and I have always been able to find joy in whatever tasks I’ve been given. I’m in the New York City area if that helps.

Annon because I am still freelancing and have no wish to freak out my clients. I'll be finishing up all the contracts I have and don't need to worry them.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could work in sales and project management (often the same thing) in a creative agency. The position you would be looking for is "account executive" or "account coordinator".
posted by KokuRyu at 7:52 PM on July 17, 2012


Gah, I see that you said "no sales", but relationship-based selling is a little different than the hard grind of selling widgits.

If you can focus on being entrepreneurial making money for your employers - a skill I think you have - you will do fine.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:53 PM on July 17, 2012


If you have good computer skills and are willing to start small, office admin/customer service positions should be reasonably lenticular in NY...
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:08 PM on July 17, 2012


You should work for Apple. Just saying. Memail me if you want to talk about it.
posted by araisingirl at 9:33 PM on July 17, 2012


You could look at insurance companies, to be hired as an underwriter. Some companies still train their employees - Wawanesa if you're in Canada.
posted by meringue at 11:22 PM on July 17, 2012


i would suggest production/production management, etc...MUCH more money in it than anything mentioned so far and it seems to fit your skill set/disposition perfectly...it'll prob be (sort of) freelance at first (by 'sort of' i mean (TV) seasonal, and movies take around three months to shoot (tho producers/prod mgrs tend to work longer)...but if you're at all concious you can be working full-time in no time) check mandy.com for job listings...you'll of course see a lot more listings in NYC/LA/ETC, but they have listings for everywhere...good luck!
posted by sexyrobot at 11:52 PM on July 17, 2012


You can work at NYU. They have union positions and administrative jobs galore. I think they are doing well.

Good luck!
posted by commitment at 6:38 AM on July 18, 2012


GEICO has an office in Woodberry NY, and a culture of training/promoting from within. You don't have to do sales (although there's no cold-calling fwiw) they do claims, underwriting, adjusting. The people I've known who work for the company were all able to move up from the floor within a year or two and training/guidance was provided.

I have family members who have had similar experiences with Nationwide (Investing arm and Insurance Arm).
posted by dadici at 9:56 AM on July 18, 2012


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