How Portfolio Creative helped me transitioned out of my 9-5 and into my digital design career
So I made a declaration on 12/1/16 after shamelessly binge watching Shameless Maya videos that I will to be shameless for 365 days. I’m a functioning introvert so I already know this will be challenging BUT the amount of positive energy in her videos inspired me!
Literally as soon as I said that maybe about a hour or two later I get an email from my creative agency and they were interested in having me leave a review of their services on their Facebook page. I told them I’d write a Facebook post AND a full blog on my experience with them !
It’s. about. to go. down.
Queue your potentially amazing opportunity with Portfolio Creative, a creative staffing agency in Ohio for job opportunities!
But first! Just so you know, this isn't affiliate branding or anything like that. I just want to share the knowledge with you because we're homies and I want you to find what your looking for like I did!
So for some context, this is how I came across these lovely people:
I was at a call center for a large healthcare system in downtown Pittsburgh (*cough UPMC*) and I was trying to focus on my next career move which was to get into the creative industry. I tried to go about things the traditional way: job boards, networking, job fairs, applying to any and everything. I probably sent out 60 resumes.
I started considering doing freelance work through an agency and was referred by a friend to join one, but it didn’t work out.
I was hesitant to try another staffing agency like that until I read a post about how getting a temp job can lead you to the full time employment that you wanted. I came across Portfolio Creative and decided that I would give them a shot. I read that I could try reaching out to the right people instead of aimlessly applying to job boards so I opted into Linkedin's premium account and messaged people that could get help me go in the right direction.
From there I got in contact with Derrick and Katie from Portfolio Creative and they have been the best! I had a telephone interview with Portfolio Creative in March 2016 and by May of the same year I was on my way to my first digital design job. The experience I had with Portfolio was literally life changing for me and I get the sense that they actually care about my situation as a person.
I haven’t been this excited to go to work since I worked at a craft store so it was an amazing moment for me. Portfolio Creative took the time to really curate positions that they thought would be the best fit for me. Out of all the staffing agencies I tried I can honestly say that Portfolio Creative wins hands down. They really went the extra mile to try and find something that fit me.
How does a staffing agency work?
A staffing agency basically provides already pre-screened staff members for a company in need of, well more staff. Portfolio Creative specializes in providing stellar creative staff for creative things like Illustrators, Digital Designers (like me), Image retouchers, the list goes on. They have entry level to senior positions available as well.
What happens when a contract ends?
I’m going to answer this question in the form of a story. You know I love telling stories guys. Okay so set the scene:
I was working at Rue21 HQ (my first ever contract) and my contract ended slightly earlier than the original time. Portfolio Creative immediately started searching for a new contract for me and keeping me posted on new opportunities. During the time off I searched for new jobs, I took time to work on new skills and took illustration commissions like the Style Challenge.
I even took a mini vacation to the beach so that I could feel refreshed. By July I had interviewed with several potential clients that previously hadn’t even acknowledge my resume because I didn’t have the right experience. Sadly that $40,000+ piece of paper that says I went to college isn't quite enough.
The first contract I had from Portfolio Creative for Digital Design was opening doors for me that were previously closed off. It was great to have 3 - 4 options for employment and being able to pick the best on that was suited for me instead of just picking anything.
By August I was back on track and worked for Rue21 again and then transitioned smoothly into Dick’s Sporting Goods HQ where I reside currently!
So super long answer but basically I’m saying that Portfolio Creative will immediately help you transition into the next contract although during that transition you may need to some funds.
I totally suggest having a mini emergency fund BUT if you’re like me and didn’t actually have a emergency fund you can apply for help (as in unemployment) via your state for the duration of your new-contract-hunt. And only for that short time because taking funds from the government when you don't need to anymore is not cool. Don't be that guy, please.
If you are in the same position I was (as in stuck at a unrelated day job) here are a few tips that helped me transition into what I actually wanted to do and maybe it'll work for you too.
If you feel stuck in your day job you can…
Find a problem that annoys you at work and create a project to fix it. For me, my annoying-thing was not having a FAQ for our new and seasoned hires during my call center days. I designed FAQ directory for our team to use and asked for time from my management to work on it.
Read or learn a new skill that would help you transition. I started reading a lot of blogs on networking, better self-promotion and other unconventional ways to find creative work. The outcome is that it paid off! I was creating my own opportunities by reaching out to the RIGHT people.
Take a personal day off (or several) to work on you. If you feel that you need more time to plan your next move then set up a day off to work on it.
There are so many more tips I could give you on this but maybe that should be a separate blog post altogether. Or possibly the next Art Hustlers + Weekly Notes email.
If this is something you would like to get more info on, let me know in the comments below and I’ll make that happen!
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