About the Author: Tara Jackson is an education and career prep enthusiast. When she’s not writing about or researching colleges and careers for EduTrek, she enjoys reading classic literature, hiking in the mountains, and traveling. Connect with Tara on Twitter at @tjatedutrek
It can be an elusive endeavor for many people—to merge your vocation and avocation, achieving a career that involves the one activity you love most. It takes hard work and perseverance to secure a dream job, but success is not out of the realm of possibility. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of any profession before you pursue it. Consider these six creative careers:
Have a passion for fashion? A career as a stylist could be a tailor-made fit. Stylists do more than simply dress and accessorize their clients; they also meet regularly with PR firms, manufacturers, and retailers, create fashion concepts and design solutions, and keep up with ever-changing fashion trends. Many opportunities exist for clothing stylists, such as:
- Merchandising / store window design
- Working on photo shoots for print advertisements and magazines
- Designing fashions for actors in TV commercials, movies, and music videos
- Outfitting runway models and celebrities
- Becoming a personal shopper / stylist
Fashion stylists start at the bottom and work their way up. A two- or four-year program in fashion design or visual merchandising will provide the knowledge and skills to succeed in the fashion industry. Most stylists complete internships and compile fashion portfolios. Given the competitive nature of the industry, which depends greatly on referrals, networking is an important strategy for building a client base. Stylists can make $32,700 to $127,820 a year.
What could be better than designing toys for a living? If you have an engineer’s mind, a wealth of creativity, and a penchant for play, this could be your niche. Those with degrees in graphic arts, mechanical engineering, architecture, and primary education can make excellent toy designers. A toy designer must be able to:
- Understand children, often conducting research through focus groups
- Sketch or design concepts by hand or on a computer
- Work with computers, electronics, plastics, metals, and fabrics
- Make models to present ideas to investors and manufacturers
- Possess knowledge of cost analysis, production, purchasing, marketing, and other business skills
As long as there are children, there will always be a market for toy designers. Toy/industrial designers earn $34,520 to $95,710 a year. Although the profession might require a long and costly education, the rewards can be ten-fold.
Bed & Breakfast Owner
As an innkeeper, you would be your own boss with no one to answer to other than your guests. You’d meet people from all over the world, prepare delicious meals, recommend fun activities, and provide a relaxing environment. It would also be gratifying to showcase your beautiful home, especially if you’ve taken great pains to restore it.
However, you can forget the 9-5 work week; B&B owners work 12-18 hour days every day of the week and never leave the office behind. B&B owners must be organized because they have endless bookkeeping and banking paperwork. They must also market their establishment, schedule reservations, be present for check-in and check-out, shop for groceries, cook, clean, and do piles of laundry every day.
If you choose to open a B&B, ensure its success by approaching the business with the highest level of commitment and professionalism. Lodging managers earn $29,540 to $89,330 annually.
Like an innkeeper, an interior designer is generally her own boss who sets her hours and can pick and choose her jobs. Interior designers create indoor—and sometimes outdoor—spaces for residential and/or commercial properties, such as hotels and restaurants. Interior designers organize floor plans, select and arrange furniture, design lighting solutions, and coordinate colors, patterns, and fabrics. Although not required, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can provide Martha Stewart wannabes with the design certification and business contacts they need to succeed. In addition, interior designers must be adept at negotiating, marketing, advertising, and bookkeeping.
Interior designers make $25,720 to $86,430 a year. Success depends heavily on the economy, so the ability of an interior designer to secure new clients during a recession may be more difficult. Many interior designers are employed by architectural firms, design centers, and furniture stores.
A wedding planner—also known as a wedding or bridal consultant—can help a bride and groom achieve the wedding of their dreams. Since organizing such an important event can be stressful, a wedding planner must be patient, personable, and poised. In addition, she must possess the following skills and traits:
- A keen fashion sense, including knowledge of the latest trends in weddings
- Connections with caterers, florists, bands, and photographers
- Familiarity with the matrimonial customs and traditions of various religions
- The ability to negotiate and stay within budget
Event planners—including wedding planners—earn between $27,410 and $78,530 annually. Most wedding planners earn degrees in hospitality or event planning, but a formal education is not required.
If you’re a fan of the cinema and enjoy sharing your opinion of blockbusters and indie flicks, you may consider a career as a movie critic, but don’t expect to rub elbows with celebrities and Hollywood directors. It takes time to become a reputable critic. Some critics earn degrees in film studies, broadcasting, or journalism. They may start out by writing reviews of movies, plays, and concerts for a local newspaper. A good movie critic:
- Understands the film industry
- Appreciates the science and art of cinematography
- Writes well and with authority
- Educates readers so they’ll know where to spend their money
- Is willing to see hundreds of movies each year, most likely at his/her own expense
- Is not afraid to write negative reviews and can handle the backlash
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not list the income for movie critics, but writers earn $28,180 to $115,740 a year. Simplyhired.com lists the average salary of a film critic as a meager $24,000. So unless you work your way up to reviewing films for a major publication or entertainment program, you probably won’t be able to support yourself on a critic’s wages alone. Some movie critics serve as news reporters, teach college, or work in radio to supplement their income.