Do You Need a Good Survival Job?
Most dedicated performers focus on landing the job of their dreams, whether this involves the stage, film, or commercial work. In contrast, a survival job that pays the bills may be a low priority—until you suddenly have to cover rent, food, and other living expenses. If you can’t make ends meet, finding a good survival job can support your performance goals. It may also prepare you for a career transition in the next stage of your life. The key is to find the right match for you.
Do a Personal Inventory
Interests, along with abilities and personality, are the ingredients that create a fit between you and a survival job. While performing takes first dibs, people are multi-faceted. Do you like to cook, take photos, massage sore muscles, or do aerobics classes? The first step is to notice what you enjoy doing, because interests are most likely to lead to job satisfaction. Your ability to develop these into credentials, along with knowing what meets your inner needs, form the basis of long-term success.
Once you know which interests motivate you, the next step is to acquire credible abilities in the same area. These range from home-study programs such as ACE (the American Council on Exercise), to certificate courses, educational programs, or college classes that focus on your interest. Obviously, it’s important that this training does not interfere with performing. Try to do it during breaks or downtime.
Match Your Personality
Some performers feel fulfilled by relying on their own efforts for goal achievement. Then there are those who find satisfaction by seeing their work performed by others. Finally, there are people who like to teach and contribute to the accomplishments of their students. Knowing whether you’re outgoing, introverted, assertive, or accommodating also plays a role in finding a comfortable niche. When in doubt, vocational counseling through The Actors Fund or Career Transition for Dancers can help. Don’t forget that survival jobs can also lead to another rewarding career!