This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the usual stuff: my family, my friends, the roof over my head and a day without a hairball offering from my cat. I don’t trust myself to write about my favorite holiday without getting too sappy, so instead, here is a short list of practical things that creative professionals can be grateful for, and interestingly, they’re borne out of our financial crisis.
Online classes – I know so many people who’ve been laid off in the past couple of years. A number of those folks returned to school, stating they were going to wait out the recession as well as add to their skill sets and make themselves more marketable. And that’s great. But fees are on the rise at universities and community colleges, and it’s questionable for some people to commit to a degree program if they are seeking full-time work. That’s why online classes such as those offered by lynda.com are a great option. I know colleagues who were quickly and cheaply able to add technical proficiency in Dreamweaver and Photoshop to their resumes through online training. Optimistic stories about print – With magazines and newspapers closing or at least laying off employees in droves, it’s been pretty easy to declare that print is a dying medium. But I simply can’t imagine morning commuters giving up their daily newspapers. And it seems I’m not the only optimistic one. These stories are all from the past several months:
- “Printed Newspapers Still Holding Audiences”
- “Not the Last Newspaper”
- “Ultra-Niche Magazines Show Print’s Not Dead”
- “The Psychics Are Wrong: Newspapers Are Not Dead”
- “Media: Magazines Aren’t Dead Yet”
- “A Portuguese Success Story: Could ‘i’ Be the Future of Newspapers?”
Most of those articles are cautiously positive about the print industry. At least if print does die, it won’t be going down without a fight. Freelancing cred – I’ve known plenty of people who mostly work from home and take jobs as they come. Most of those friends are hard workers who hustle to make a comfortable living. But they’ve endured a reputation that paints them as antisocials who survive on Cheetos and emerge from their hovels only to engage in live-action role playing. Now don’t get me wrong – I know those people, too. But the reality is this: In order for most freelancers to enjoy a thriving career, they must be personable enough to be retained for project after project. In this recession, a lot of creative professionals have been forced to – rather than choose to – enter the freelancing field. Because of that, freelancing websites and blogs have popped up. I check out FreelanceSwitch and FreelanceFolder practically every day for news and tips about being a freelancer. With this recession, going freelance has actually gained credibility.