Let me start by saying, balancing photography with a full-time job is not always easy. There are times when you’ll have to make tough decisions in order to give your employer, as well as your clients, the respect and attention they deserve. However, if done properly, there can be a lot of reward amidst the risk!
Whether you’re dreaming of going full-time with photography, loving where you’re at, or just struggling to stay afloat in the balancing act, here are a few tips on how to balance photography alongside your full-time job!
1. KNOW YOUR END GOAL
I can’t stress this one enough. Know your end goal! Do you ultimately see yourself going full-time with photography within the next few years? Do you want to retire from your full-time corporate job at the end of your career? Are you looking to shoot more weddings and less engagements and families week-to-week? Once you’ve identified where you want to be, you can start setting goals to get there. This is an important step in order to begin communication with your employer about the long term!
2. BE TRANSPARENT
Respect your employer. This one is huge for me. Your full-time position outside of photography is not a stepping stone until something better presents itself. Love where you’re at! If you don’t, let’s change that. Quit! Take a risk! You’re never as “stuck” as you think you are, and you never know what could happen if you jump into what you’re truly passionate about. Transparency is key in order to respect the people that are investing in you and your career. Let your employer know what you’re passionate about outside of the workplace, and your needs to fulfill those passions without compromising your time, work ethic, and focus on the job.
3. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIMITS
Make sure you understand your limits. Recognize when it’s time to put down the laptop after editing night after night for much needed time with your spouse or friends. When your time starts to become dictated by all of your to-dos, it’s probably time to reevaluate what’s important. Even though it’s hard, this may mean saying no to more things than you think.
4. NO, CAN BE THE ANSWER
When you’re passionate about multiple things, its very easy to get trapped in the “yes” box. This is the box you choose to sit in while excitedly saying yes to everything that comes your way, while ultimately not going in any intentional direction. This is a dangerous place to be when you’re looking to grow and invest! Don’t be afraid to say no to clients that may not be a good fit, or job opportunities where you know you wouldn’t be giving it your all.
5. STAY ORGANIZED
This one is a biggie!! If you don’t have an organizational bone in your body, it’s time to invest in a physical planner or even consider hiring an assistant. There is no way to balance a flourishing photography business with a full-time job if you don’t have your ish together friends! Make sure you have all of your shoot dates set and solidified so if something comes up at work you know how to respond. Organization will go a long way in your performance at a shoot as well as on the job… your other job. 🙂
It’s not always simple to balance both, but it is possible with the right goals and communication! Follow what you’re passionate about, because those passions were given to you for a reason. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and don’t be afraid to have those tough conversations with your employer.
At the end of the day, the goal is to respect the people that invest in you and that you are investing in.
If you can do both, adventures await!! If you can’t, it’s time to dive into what you’re really passionate about!