Some of the most common questions I receive revolve around career path…
How did you figure out what you wanted to do after school?
How did you get to where you are today?
What are your best tips for growing and developing a brand?
I’ve found that most of the time these questions aren’t coming from people who went to school to be a doctor, lawyer, or accountant. They’re from people who don’t have such a direct path that leads them to their career. A lot of these emails tell a similar story: interested in fashion, enjoys writing, passionate about design, loves keeping up with trends, has a knack for styling, enjoys creating things, passionate about storytelling, interested in marketing, etc.
Does this sound like you?
Maybe you’re about to graduate, or you’ve been at your job for a few years now and you’re looking for something more creatively stimulating. The cool thing about the creative industry is that there are SO MANY avenues to explore and even more you can create yourself. There’s an endless list of ways you can use the left side of your brain to make an income.
I wrote this similar post a few years ago with some of the cool creative jobs my friends were doing, and you guys responded so well I decided to do an updated version! Hoping this helps plant the seed and give you career ideas to start thinking about for your future. Let me know on Instagram tonight if you read this & if it helped!
(these are my favorite platform heels – almost sold out in red but I just ordered them in tan suede too)
What I want to do when I grow up 😉Interior designers plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. I loved working for Alice Lane Home as an interior stylist and learning from some of the best interior designers in the country!
A creative director formulates design concepts and presentations for print, broadcasting, and advertising media. Creative directors ensure the quality of all creative department projects, managing the creative process from beginning to end. These creative pros need a lot of experience and the ability to create clear creative objectives from marketing goals.
My little sister is very witty and so good with words (caption queen of IG) and I always tell her she needs to go into copywriting. Copywriters write copy for the promotion of products in publications and broadcast media. Can you write captivating content that inspires people into action? You have to be clever and constantly able to generate new ideas and engage people through words. Copywriters create slogans, write radio jingles, craft social media ads, etc.
Makeup artist / Hairstylist
There are so many successful hair and makeup artists I’ve worked with in NYC who have an amazing client list and are working on really cool projects. @JustineMarjan who’s known for doing the Kardashian’s hair did most of my hairstyling while I worked with Tresemme last year. She’s done such an incredible job of using her hair skills to create a very successful business and name for herself in the industry.
A graphic designer designs and creates materials for a company’s brands. This could be anything from websites to posters or t-shirts. They’re experts at using visual media to communicate a specific idea or message. Many graphic designers work for advertising agencies, PR firms, or as freelancers.
A set designer is in charge of designing and creating the sets that appear in movies, theaters, television shows, and special exhibits. Lately, I’ve been noticing brands doing more interactive set experiences more than ever. As a set designer, your job is to devise the backdrop, furniture, and props that are involved in the production. The role involves working and communicating with directors, producers, costume designers and other members of staff.
When I go on brand trips, a lot of the time the brand will host bloggers as well as fashion editors for the trip. We are both responsible for sharing and promoting the company through different media outlets, so this is a great way for us to experience the brand first hand. One of the primary tasks of an editor is to shape and polish a piece of written content for fashion-specific magazines, photo shoots, websites, newspaper sections, or television shows. Creativity and an eye for detail are essential in this job. You could work for publishing houses or news organizations, or on your own as a freelancer.
Professionals in advertising positions often work in agencies to organize campaigns for clients. They may also be responsible for selling advertising space or time for media firms. They work with sales staff to develop concepts for campaigns, partner with creative teams to produce layouts, negotiate contracts and prepare overall campaign budgets.
Director of PR
One of my best friends, Dru, is the director of PR for West Elm, which I think is one of the coolest jobs. Public relations directors develop and execute strategies that are intended to create and uphold a positive public image for clients. They do this by working and forming relationships with various members of the media, government, and public.
After being in gymnastics and cheerleading for most of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with some of the most talented choreographers in the world who are using their passion to make a living. Travis Wall is a new friend of mine I’ve made since moving to NYC who’s doing amazing things in the dance world, and Blake Johnson is still killing it in the cheer industry.
My brother Austin is working in house at Grainger as their head videographer and is doing such a great job of using his artistic eye and video knowledge to create compelling content for his company. On the side, he also films and edits several projects (including my videos and some of my friends’!) working as a freelancer. Most of the time, videographers handle everything from interviewing to editing film.
Photographers are visual storytellers who use images to record events, convey ideas, and capture emotions. Some produce original artistic creations that are sold in galleries and studios; others specialize in portraits, weddings, commercial photography, photojournalism, etc. Alicia is killing this game, obviously.
Two different friends in my industry recently published books about their passions that are so well written: Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley and Instastyle by Tezza. Writers and authors develop written content for advertisements, books, magazines, movie and television scripts, songs, and online publications. An increasing number of writers are freelance writers—meaning they’re self-employed and earn their living by selling their written content to book and magazine publishers; news organizations; advertising agencies; and movie, theater, and television producers.
A good friend of mine from my hometown, Missy, is the owner and designer of Otherwise Topless – a collection of basics and bodysuits designed with a modern take on timeless silhouettes. The job description of fashion designers varies significantly depending on the designer, but typically they create designs for everything from clothing and costumes to accessories and footwear. You need an eye for color and a good understanding of the functions and uses of different fabrics.
I always thought it would be such an awesome job to do the visual merchandising for a company like Anthropologie. Visual merchandisers are in charge of creating attractive visual displays in retail outlets. They use their creativity to enhance the aesthetic appeal of window displays, walkways, counters and in-store displays.
Public Relations Associate
Public relations specialists act as liaisons between their clients and the public. People who work in PR are responsible for controlling the public image of a brand or company. In an age of social media and 24-hour news, public relations specialists who can think creatively are in high demand. PR specialists maintain cooperative relationships with the news media, influencers, local communities and other public-interest groups.
I loved working for a bridal boutique as my first job out of college. My boss, Ty, is the owner of Twirl Boutique in Lexington. As a boutique owner, you are an entrepreneur owning and running a retail store. Job functions include managing daily operations, recruiting and training staff, supervising managers, ensuring customer service, trend forecasting, buying, taking measures to ensure the financial success of the store, etc.
This is a job that can be done on or offline. Trunk Club and Stitch Fix changed the game by creating an industry of online styling. A fashion stylist can work for individual clients, fashion houses or clothing brands. Their main responsibilities include providing fashion advice; choosing and co-ordinating outfits for models in photo shoots or actors in television and film or their individual clients.
A retail buyer is responsible for planning, selecting and purchasing quantities of goods and merchandise that are sold in retail stores. They source new and review existing goods to ensure their products remain competitive.
Bloggers write, edit, create, post, and promote the content on their web pages or websites. They generate and pitch ideas, compose and edit posts, market posts to readers, and conduct research.