I probably should have written something about this right when I got home, but I think I only really got about 5 hours of sleep last night, and the bed was inviting.
I spoke with my Drawing teacher today, who told me that all kinds of organizations need good writers, for both internal and external communications. Plus, having a degree in Creative Writing speaks to creativity and the ability to persuade. The point to be stressed, is to let people know you have skills; and to be able to communicate the benefits they’ll gain if they hire you. Which means, in effect, it’s a really good thing that I’m in this Communications class. Which, you know, I’m not really hating as much as I thought I would.
It sounds like, basically, Art is one of these things like Creative Writing, where it’s hard to make a living doing solely and exactly that. She said teaching positions were not common.
At this point, she very much encouraged me in my idea of using skills gained in a Business certificate to help out a nonprofit. Plus, she agreed with my counselor, who said that the next step was to investigate places where I might be hired and find out their staffing levels, what positions they have, etc. I also let her know that I’d like to work in some way on the back end of a nonprofit, like with bookkeeping or helping with grant writing, and I wouldn’t want to be the person who greets everyone as they come in the door (as I have to do at my present job).
There is also a class which she encouraged me to take next semester, about using art skills to help out a nonprofit. This is not just because I’d expressed interest in doing so (or did I?), but because the teacher of that class is really well-connected among a lot of local nonprofits, and so it would be a good place to network. In addition, not only should I look at local nonprofits within my general region, but looking at larger cities and smaller communities would be of use as well.
I feel like I should have taken more notes, but the takeaway is that if one only develops Art skills, it’s going to be difficult to make a living. I do have other skills as evinced by my Creative Writing BA and my work in the Business track at my current college; and I shouldn’t lock myself in to depending on Art. She also encouraged me to volunteer and see if I liked the work, as it would be a way to become seen and known by the people who run the nonprofit; which could eventually lead to a paying job, and ongoing development which would enable me to use more and more of my skills within that setting. I’d also be able to see if I even liked the work, and if I didn’t, I could move on to another interest.
She also said that I came off as very confident (really? must be age) and that it sounded like I knew what I was interested in — particularly, helping out people in minority gender communities. Which…was surprising, because to me it feels very much more like I have a lot of varied interests and varied skills…so I have a hard time focusing in and choosing a few to pursue initially. I mean, I’d even mentioned the possibility of becoming a Professor of Eastern Philosophy, which indicated that I was interested in teaching, which if extended meant that I could help with education around gender issues.
I think it’s likely that my interests, abstracted, create a kind of constellation of my views and values and interests, and the goal is to integrate as many of these into my working life as I can. Or, this is the vision my awesomely-creative teacher saw in what I told her. After I spoke with her, she said that I could talk to her again later if I wanted or needed to.
I’m very glad I reached out to her. I think it was qualitatively different than what would have happened if I’d gone to see a career counselor after I got out of class, which I was kind of on the fence about. I will try and do so next time I get to school…but I think my choice of a source for help was right on, this time.