We all have a dream job. Maybe you want to work on large advertising campaigns or design album covers for rock bands. Don’t give up on your dream. You’ll get there. In the meantime, though, the bills have to be paid. Here are some job ideas to bring in some cash while you work on making your dreams come true:
I hate to mention this one because it seems like a given. But, doing a couple freelance projects can definitely help pay the bills, and build your portfolio. You can find project-by-project jobs in quite a few places on the internet. Be sure that they are paying projects though, and work out a payment schedule so that you are getting paid as you go. You don’t want to spend a lot of time on a project just to find out that the person you have been working with has stolen your designs and disappeared. Every job should have a contract — no matter how small.
There are contract companies that hire designers (and pay them quite well) to be on-call temps. As long as you have the skill-set to work in different environments, and learn quickly, you can sign up with one of these agencies. They will call you when a company needs a designer for the day, week, month, etc. The beauty of this set-up is that you’ll have the opportunity to work in lots of different companies, and you’ll gain knowledge and experience from each. In addition, you will continue to build your portfolio. And, if a company likes you, they can buy out your contract and hire you full-time. Two that I know of are Artisan and Creative Circle, but there are many more. I suggest that you make appointments and meet with representatives from a few different agencies, then make your decision based on which feels best to you.
There is nothing more rewarding than sharing your skills and knowledge with others. For those of you with a bachelor degree or higher, you may be able to find a job teaching art history, graphic design, design programs, or web coding at a college or design school. If you don’t feel like you have the education or experience to qualify for a job at that level, you can teach a class at a community center or even substitute teach art classes for the public school systems. For those of you who do have an impressive work history and education, you may want to consider teaching at an adult training center where designers and professionals pay to update or upgrade their skills. One of the major perks of teaching is that you have control over your own schedule. You can always teach at night or on weekends if you already have a day job.
Create Stock Photography/Illustration
Almost every designer also has a passion for photography or illustration. You can take your hobby and make some extra cash by selling your photos or drawings to stock photography sites. Sites like iStockPhoto pay artists a percentage of their sales. The more photos or illustrations you sell, the more money you can make. Click here for instructions on how to sell your photos, illustrations, animations, or videos on iStock.
PowerPoint Presentations: As designers, we tend to blow off PowerPoint as a business tool. But, PowerPoint presentations are becoming more and more design-heavy, with animations and interaction between the presenter and the presentation. Most presentation designers make salaries similar to design salaries, and it may be more fun than you thought (just make sure that you learn PowerPoint before you go in for the interview!)
Murals: Restaurants, schools, and even regular people will pay decent money for a mural. Earn extra cash painting a team logo on a basement wall, clouds on a baby’s room ceiling, or a storybook scene in a classroom.
Visual Merchandising: There is an art to window design, but most good designers will have a natural talent for visual merchandising. Setting up store displays can be fun and challenging — and it doesn’t pay bad either.
It’s not always easy to find that perfect design job. But, the beauty of having creative skills is that there is always someplace to use them — even if it’s not exactly what we want. If you other job suggestions for our design friends looking for work, we’d love to hear about them!