After 15 years in the creative industry, i still can’t answer ‘what do you do’?
As a creative person, I’ve always been drawn to the field of design and art. In my early twenties, I began working in the creative industry, and it was a great way for me to get my foot in the door and branch off into something different than what I had been doing before. Now, at 37 years old with over 15 years of experience under my belt, I still can’t quite answer the question “what do you do?” when people ask.
Why is it that I have such a hard time answering this question?
I believe that it’s not just me who struggles with describing their career in the creative field. It’s a common problem that is also linked to how we define jobs as a culture at large. I think part of this is due to the commoditization of jobs and our tendency to oversimplify job titles. But there are other reasons as well.
Creativity is not just about how well you express yourself; there are many different ways to create things that require different types of creativity. Some people are better at communicating their ideas than others, some people have more talent than others, and some people just have access to more tools or opportunities than others.
For me, I can’t quite put into a concise sentence what I do. I am a jack of all trades, a generalist and specialist. I can be whatever it takes to get the job done. I might not have a title or position that says “I do this,” but over the years, through different projects around different parts of the world, I’ve picked up various skills to do everything from writing copy and designing websites, to managing social media accounts and helping clients with marketing strategies. I specialize in creating content with graphic design, video shoot and edit, and using that content to generate interest online and on social media through website creation, landing pages, blogs, and analyzing that data using CRMs like Hubspot. This complete and well-rounded process allows me to have a holistic approach in creating and executing marketing strategies for my clients. I am an entrepreneur who works as many hours as I want.
One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that no matter where my career path leads, it will always require flexibility in order for me to successfully accomplish what needs to be done.
I remember meeting with a friend last year that I hadn’t seen since high school. He asked me what I did for a living and I found myself struggling to give a clear answer. After some thought, I simply replied, “I’m a creative.” My friend, who wasn’t familiar with the term, seemed a little confused.
The term “creative” can be a little nebulous. It’s like saying “I’m a writer,” or “I’m a designer.” It doesn’t fully encompass all of the different skills and abilities that I possess. But at the same time, it’s the best way for me to describe what I do. I don’t fit into one specific job title, and that’s okay.
Being a creative is not just about being an artist. There are many different types of creatives, from programmers and designers to copywriters and marketers.
In the end, I’ve come to realize that it’s not about having one specific job title or being able to explain my career in a concise sentence. It’s about the skills, experiences, and passions that I bring to the table. So, the next time someone asks me “what do you do?” I’ll simply say, “I create something from nothing.”