Ask an Expert GRADUATES / DEC. 27, 2016
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I have just graduated from university with a degree in fine art. Now what?

artist paint brushes and oil paint tubes
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Dilemma

I just finished university and have no idea what to do. I am also a bit freaked out because everyone keeps asking me when am I going to find a job. The truth is that I don’t know if I am ready for this yet. Honestly, I feel that despite finishing university and getting a degree, I know nothing about the industry I want to work in. My degree is in Fine Art, and being an artist is the only thing I love and imagine myself doing as a career. Despite that, I can’t help but wonder, is there a specific way to make a start? Would I be able to find a job quick or at all?

Kyriaki says:

I am sure that many recent graduates can relate to this - and I am not just referring to those with an art degree. Making the first step into the world of work can be scary, stressful and intimidating. It’s quite common to feel like you are not ready to work yet. But to be honest, who is?

I get the fact that it’s a huge thing for someone who has spent the last three or so years studying at university to jump into employment. Obviously, it’s a lot easier to be in school as opposed to facing real work, but hey, at some point you will need to start getting paid right? No matter the case, you should know that any situation is only as complicated as we make it, and there is no reason to worry about it too much.

First of all, nobody wants you to be a grown-up. The only difference in transitioning from student to worker is that you need to be willing to take on more responsibilities. Also, you will need to have the confidence to go after what you want, try out different things until you find out what you enjoy and challenge yourself. If you don’t know how to start, perhaps you can get more information about your field.

Find out what it takes to become a paid artist, and decide where, when and how you want to work. Most artists choose to go freelance and sell their work directly to the public or through galleries and agents or go straight into teaching and running art classes. Others choose to carry out their art practice along with other full-time or part-time activities and they often get involve in paid community projects or find a job in another field.

Whatever you choose to do, be aware that you may need to accept that your career is not going to turn out exactly the way you want it. That’s because your career isn’t linear and there may be many ups and downs until you realise what you really want to do in your life. Also, don’t forget that as you grow up your interests and needs will change and you are likely to adjust a couple of times before you find what you are looking for.

From this point of view, there is no wrong or right decision, or one way to start out. At this point, it might be a good idea to create a CV and start working on your portfolio! If you are struggling, you can always ask for the help of a careers adviser. In the meantime I suggest that you take a look at the following articles to give you some ideas:

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