Often the conversation for creatives centers around “breaking free” and striking out on your own. But that narrative just isn’t representative of the whole community. Actually, the majority of creatives we work with have day jobs. And many of them are hopeful that content creation can become their sole form of income… but what about the people who are just as happy to keep their creative endeavors as a side hustle?
We wanted to get some perspectives to understand why creatives keep their day jobs. Here’s a little insight:
Because I love My Job
If you follow this site, you’ve heard from Karen Lao before. Besides her street cred as a killer lifestyle content creator-- working with the likes of Visa, Squarespace, and Dove chocolate -- she’s also a Senior Software developer and she has no plans of quitting. We asked her why.
Karen touched on her sentiments in a post we syndicated from her blog earlier this year “Why I Create Sponsored Content.”
She says there are three main reasons: “1) I love my day job, 2) I don't see blogging as a sustainable revenue (for my future lifestyle) and 3) I like being able to say yes or no to campaigns rather than thinking I need them or depend on them for income.”
All smiles because... I just got promoted to Senior Developer at work!! 🎉 Some people think I'm a full-time blogger (Instagrammer?), but I would never consider quitting my day job. I love programming, logic, and problem-solving, and I'm very fulfilled in my career path. It's something I knew I wanted to do ever since I was 12 years old. Ahh life is so amazing!! #bestmondayever 📷: @visualsbymichelle
Because My Job is Stable
Sean Bauer is an amazing photographer and lifestyle content creator, but he is also a social media pro for world-renown brands. He has found that the experience of being both an influential creative and a brand-side professional have melded together pretty seamlessly.
"A number of reasons, but my top two are multiple revenue streams and job stability. I've been able to leverage my personal social media experience to help with career opportunities in social strategy."
More thoughts on the day job conundrum…
Creativity for profit can become a burden
Keeping your creative gig as a side hustle means that it’s always a mistress and never a wife-- which is a terribly old school and sexist way to say that you probably won’t get bored with it or feel overly burdened by the pressure to create even when you are uninspired. It can just be for fun and creative expression.
Freedom to Be Selective
Karen alludes to this a few times, but once creative work is your full time gig it can be really difficult to turn down a branded deal. If financial gain isn’t crucial-- because you’re making your bread and butter elsewhere-- you can be super selective about the brands you chose to partner with at the outset. We advocate for every creative to only do branded deals that they are passionate about, but saying no to money is much harder when you’re starting out on your own.
None of the Entrepreneurial Struggles
It is hard to freelance. It is hard to start a business. You’ve got to market yourself and drum up clients and constantly grind to make ends meet. If you have your steady stream of income, you don’t have to schlep quite as much to work on your creative side hustle.
We took the pulse on some of the creative Facebook groups we belong to. Here are some of the artful day job- side hustle combos we found:
- Full time lawyer, ceramicist on the side.
- Full time defense paralegal, part time waitress, event planner on the side.
- Full time urban planner, illustrator and artist on the side.
- Full time university professor, brand strategist on the side.
- Full time social worker, nonprofit consultant and grant writer on the side.
- Full time in-house creative director, illustrator and designer on the side.
- Full time dentist, blogger on the side.
Got a day job and a side hustle? Want to keep it that way? Tell me why! Email me at Ami (at) Snapfluence (dot) com
Photo Cred: Death to the Stock Photo
Creative Community Director at Snapfluence.
There is often a pen stuck in my hair.