Real jobs

is fashion blogging a real job

‘Get a real job.’

Four words than can horrifically undermine efforts, struggles, self-belief. 

Four words that are thrown about in a bid to one-up and simultaneously destroy. 

In 2018, riding the wave that is the internet age, where globalisation, innovation, and technology are making ardent strides into the unknown, where political tensions are exacerbated by the fact Twitter exists, and people get their news via facebook rather than at 6 o’clock; yet somehow there is still the notion that there are, in fact, real jobs and not real jobs

Those imaginary jobs. 

You know, the ones where people think that exposure, or the chance to be entered into a competition to maybe win something, where there is no mutual benefit, really, but a heavy skew towards one party, is acceptable payment. 

Yet people still want art in their lives and entertainment at their fingertips. 

People still want movies and TV and things to watch on the internet. 

They want new ideas and new products and new things to consume. 

Get a real job. 

A job, a well paying job. 

A job that also, now, requires a minimum of two years experience in a related field but is advertised as ‘entry level’ or ‘graduate’. A job where the experience has to be at another workplace, maybe an internship (unpaid) that somehow miraculously wasn’t only a month, but was also close to your uni and didn’t require you to miss any classes. 

A job that only just covers your rent, after all the deductions, and doesn’t leave much for hobbies or travel. 

A job, a ‘this is a stop-gap job to help me follow my dreams’ job. 

That comes with questions every day of whether or not this is your career. That comes with arsey customers if it’s retail, and exhaustion even if it’s not. A job that gives enough free time to go to classes and castings and studios, or stay at home and work on that dream of yours, but a job that also comes with hidden pity and mildly masked concern. 

That makes you wince when you need to up your hours, or ask for help, or push through another night to do the thing you want to do. A job that enables but also disables. 

A job, a ‘job that is a career but is also exhausting’ job.

That comes with the money, but not the time to enjoy the money that you’re earning. That comes with high levels of stress but so much familial pride that you’re doing something  with your life. You’re making a professional name for yourself in a sector that is held in high regard. But the hours are long and it’s a constant balance of scales. But it’s a ‘good job’ job.

Breathe.

It baffles me how the mindset of ‘real’ jobs is still so prevalent. We all know that when someone says a ‘real job’ they’re talking about some traditional form of employment. A ‘you work for someone or something else’ arrangement, or something that is visible or tangible, or a position that is high-powered and well paid. It baffles me, because so many companies that are deemed even mildly successful today, started in that not so ‘real’ category, or as an escape route from the founders own ‘real’ job. 

But I guess that these companies go into more ‘real job’ fields. Law firms, private doctors surgeries, retail, hospitality, so they perpetuate the cycle and create more of these perceived ‘real jobs’. But even then, historically, all of these ‘traditional’ jobs have had to go through phases where even they weren’t considered true professions. But that was when it was a breakaway from farming and woodcutting and electricity wasn’t around. 

What I don’t understand, however, is the backlash that comes when someone says that they’re a blogger or that they make videos on youtube for a job. Part of the reason all of these slightly sickly terms that essentially all mean ‘someone who puts stuff on the internet’ exist is because trying to find a socially acceptable way to say ‘I’m someone who puts stuff on the internet for a living’ is  nigh on impossible. 

There is always some follow up, or some addition to clarify or justify the job that, for many now, puts food on the table and keeps the bills and taxes paid – way more transparently than a lot of other jobs currently do so. Just because that content isn’t always attached to a larger publication group, or the money isn’t passing through a multitude of hands before it hits the person who made it, doesn’t reduce it as a job. 

Though I guess that until we, as a society, stop snubbing children who say they want to be an actor, or a dancer, or a musician, or a model, or now a blogger or youtuber, when they grow up, we’re not going to get very far on the whole acceptance thing. 

I’d love to hear what you think constitutes a ‘real’ job. Or how long it will take for the blogger to become a socially accepted career? Or is it doomed to stay in the ‘hobby’ realm forever? 

(p.s: there’s a new video over on my youtube channel if you want to check it out, in the spirit of internet real job-ness)

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3 Comments

  1. Kelly Lund
    January 23, 2018 / 8:59 pm

    I have a full-time job working in Public Relations & fundraising for a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities. That's definitely a 'real job' and 'career'. But, I also have a side business of creating web content on my personal website (I hate the word blog). The web side of things I'm guilty of not really validating as a real job myself when talking to my 9-to-5 job folks about it….even though it takes lots of hard work and skill. In large part, I guess I downplay it because most people just don't understand the evolution of the internet and digital marketing. It's such a NEW field that it's not something the masses qualify as a true profession, yet. That will change in time.Just keep doing your thing. Never let some outsider's opinion affect your own goals and ambition.On gaining professional experience while trying to enter the workforce, that's a situation that's unavoidable. The baby boomers had so many kids that the playing field is crowded and employers are in a position that they can easily hire someone with proven experience rather than taking a chance on someone fresh out of school without professional experience and proven results. Even to level up and get another job, it's all about showing your proven results and you unfortunately can't do that if you don't have the work experience.If you're looking for work experience in a professional setting, I would look at finding a mentor to help you find a paid position or chase down pro-bono opportunities. Joining professional groups for your field will also be helpful. When I graduated in PR, to get work experience I did free press work and marketing for an animal rescue that was close to my heart…that turned into my first 'real job' marketing for a vet's office. It was a great way to build my portfolio, while making contacts and getting the proven results hiring managers are looking for. No it's not ideal because I had to work another job to pay my bills, but to follow my passion and build my professional resume it was necessary.Anywho…LONG comment. Sorry to ramble. Keep doing what you're doing. Hard work can't ever be ignored!xoxo – Kellywww.dreaminlace.com

    • Fii Cridland
      January 24, 2018 / 9:17 am

      I LOVE LONG COMMENTS AND I LOVE TGE ADVICE IN HERE! I was lucky enough that my degree has given me opportunity to have more of a 'career' job that also allows me to do the creative things I want to do, but it's hard to know about opportunities like that unless you're 'in the know'. Competition is inevitable, and i super agree that experience is definitely important, but a lot of tge jobs that i was looking at and applying for before i got mine wouldn't even offer interviews for graduates because they wouldn't have enough experience despite tge job description outlining that training would be provided and it was a graduate scelheme. 🤔 hard work definitely pays off!! I just wish people were more open to helping people achieve dreams rather than saying 'you can chase them after x, y, or z' Xo

  2. Hibi
    January 24, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    Interesting post and I enjoyed reading it a lot. I myself fortunately don't have to struggle with this Problem – I got a "real" job – but my boyfriend must feel kind of the same. He is a musician. He's clearly not David Bowie, but also no metro station musician, that comes home with twenty bucks after a good day. No. He earns as much as I do with what he is doing.His work day is different from mine. I have a schedule, I need to estimate around one hour a day for getting to my work place and back home, I work 8 hours and that's it. After that I can be home and relax. My boyfriend can do his "paper work" at home, so there is no need to have a stressy way to any office or other work place. He writes songs and tunes also at home whenever the muse is kissing him (so he has no schedule – he works, when work needs to be done). On the weekends he is on the road to play concerts so there are basically two days a week where he works 24 hours a day.Yet, people say he needs to get a job.Because they think: During the week he just stays at home – THAT's no work (even in the age of home office, it is not accepted that my boyfriend is managing his tours etc from his home computer)! At the weekend he is on concerts – People think: how cool! He has tons of parties! BUT that's no job!It is a job. Loading the van, driving, unloading, building up all instruments, sound check, building off all instruments, building up the merch, later on build up the instruments again, playing, building off everything, loading the van, driving to the hotel to sleep enough to be able to drive to the next city. Not much time for party. I think it is unfair to not call it a real job. People enjoy the music of my boyfriend, they pay to listen to his records and concerts. So why it is not considered a real job? Because his band is not called Metallica?Another thing I had to think of is the German Youtuber Gronkh. He shows Let's Plays in an insane amount of videos. I wonder how many hours a day he actually records and edits his videos. There are so so so many videos and still people say: get a real job (while watching his content as alternative to classic television). I also saw an interesting post like this on one of my favourite blogs (Dainty Squid). She also wrote that she was usually misunderstood when saying to YOUNG persons, that she earns her money blogging. So sometimes she even says she is a photographer (which is slightly true). Why is the one thing a real job and the other thing not?

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