[Honest Friday] I’m a junior in a creative industry! What should I do? I’m scared!

After a really short brainstorming sesh, we’ve decided that it’s time to showcase one of our strongest values: honesty.

This is how we created the concept of Honest Friday, written from a creative’s professional perspective, in a witty way, in the form of a brutally honest storm, hoping that someone out there will feel the same and get inspired. 

This blog section will cover various areas, but the main idea is to inspire other creatives (either junior or senior) and tbh, make them feel understood. So it’s like a therapy session, only in blog form, it’s free and you get a couple of AHA moments while you’re browsing 2 other social media platforms and probably sitting on the toilet or at the bus station. That’s okay, though! 

Today we’ll be talking about frustration. I mean, the struggles of being a junior creative in an ever-growing creative industry. The addressability of this exact article? And what industry are we talking about? Let’s face it. If you’re working with your brain and a bunch of creative tools of choice, you’re working in one.
It’s 2019, and everything is hard.
Design, Photography, Videography, Social Media, Copywriting, Drawing, 3D modelling, Advertising, Architecture, Technology, and other such joys of creativity are constantly growing and revamping themselves because we’ve got the Internet, AI and everything is straight out of a Jetsons cartoon. 

Jetsons GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Now, if you’re just starting in one of the above mentioned industries, or something similar, we’re not gonna sugarcoat it for you: you’re gonna get frustrated. A lot. And it’s basically your fault.
Before you freak out and – GUESS WHAT – get frustrated, this should be one of those AHA moments right here. Let’s analyze it from your POV atm.
Jumping into your new career is really exciting if you’re a junior.  Firstly, because you haven’t grasped the amount of workload there needs to be done and secondly, you haven’t faced rejection yet. You have no idea what having your ideas rejected or modified feels like. You’re basically a creative baby and I feel for you, I really do. Another important aspect is that anything goes with you right now. Or that’s how it should be. You have to be that yes man sort of individual. Always accepting all on-going projects. All the freaking time. Working your ass off on that portofolio and just continuously growing.

Grow, baby! You can do anything. 

Let’s break these down into important categories. Let’s give you a sense of importance because you’re the baby of the family. Here is all of our attention, help, guidance and some mashed baby food of your choice. 

 

You have no idea how much work you have to do right now or how to structure it 

Most creatives struggle with organisational skills. That’s why they hope that anywhere they land, workplace, hub, start-up or whatever creative den, there’s a person who usually does that for them. Sorry to break it to you, but sometimes you have to do that all by yourself.
What does that mean?
Baby steps, baby! Remember?

People are gonna bombard you with tasks. Some are for today, some are for tomorrow, next week, next month even, but it doesn’t really matter. The first thing you do is jot them all down, prioritize them by importance and urgency, not by personal opinion. Don’t start with the cool ones because missing a deadline might mean your pay gets cut and somebody’s gotta pay that electric bill and that cat food, right? 

Another possible outcome is that all of your tasks are going to be urgent. You might hear this a lot. They’re due yesterday. Mind the gap between your needs and your tasks. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone! You don’t live at the office, but you don’t go there to make witty remarks by the water dispenser either. Find balance! Choose the tasks you can do, talk with other members of the team, or look up tutorials online on how to be more organised. The Internet is a vast space, it has answers. Just ask Google assistant or Siri. 

Put in the extra work. We know that if you have no idea what you’re doing it’s just better to keep doing it until you understand your trade. That’s why if you’re a junior, try to work more than the next person, but find balance. After you learn how to prioritize, the next step is working an extra 30 minutes or an hour once in a while. Ask questions, do research at home, look up the latest trends and be informed. And for God’s sake, memes aren’t everything! Unless they’re in brief. Then you just have to look at memes all day, don’t you?

 

Getting ideas that you’re excited about rejected is really hard and you’ll want to die 

Obviously an over exaggeration, but still. Imagine thinking you’re the bee’s knees, working on your project for a lot of hours, to the point of losing sleep and obsessing over this genius idea you have, that you’re convinced is gonna win a prize or two. Then someone comes along, your boss, or a client, or even your whole team and tells you it’s bad or worse, changes it completely to the point that you don’t even recognise it anymore. You can’t take credit for that! You’ve wasted all those hours for nothing, right? Wrong, baby!
Your ideas aren’t you. It’s not you that got rejected. Learning to let go of your ideas comes with experience, so for now you need to get frustrated on a daily basis to build that hard shell.
You’ll be fine, just try not to get pissed off so easily. Ideas come and go. The main thing is to understand your client better because you’re promoting their brand, you’re shaping their ideas, not yours. Once you really get to the core of what you just read, you’ll be fine. 

 

As a junior you should accept any projects, no matter how lame, hard or time consuming 

When you grow from a baby into a full-time creative wizard, you’ll see that the best thing to do for yourself is quite the opposite of this title. You don’t accept every project because you know your worth. But babies can’t even talk, can they? You just nod your head whenever a project flies in your direction and hope for the best. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, junior!
You’re going to be stuck doing some routine stuff at first, maybe not that creative as you’d like. But you’ll see that in every boring task there’s some wisdom to be learned and used in a future creative task. Just wait for it and stop being so damn frustrated, geez! 

Start growing, start showing! 

There’s nothing left to do now but doing things. I know, this is pretty basic, but Nike really has it figured out, man. Be proactive, productive, but never consumed to the point of burnout by your work!
Let’s go over the steps again, junior! Get to organising, prioritising, get used to rejection and accept any projects! Work work work work work, baby!

It’s going to be a really fun emotional roller-coaster, but we’re right here with you, buddy! Honest Friday is here to help. Keep reading our articles for that monthly dose of guidance, love and a little bit of harsh truths. 

 

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