The ultimate ménage à trois: combining creative passion with career progression

Photography: Ihor Malytskyi

Photography: Ihor Malytskyi

Written by Jessie Castle

The realities of a desk job can be a little jarring for the creative creatures of the world. The energetic zap of an email chain, constant scheduling and Monday-morning meetings can seriously dampen any flickers of innovation and, more importantly, leave you feeling lopsided and uninspired.

As a result, so many of us believe that our careers are on a linear path. You start with a passion, study until that passion becomes a skill and then package yourself neatly into its corresponding job title, right? Nah-huh, Honey.

As Queens, we’re calling bullshit on the idea that you can’t have it all in your career. Don’t be fooled into thinking workplace balance is some sort of millennial-centric, avocado-loving privilege.  The reality is that allowing yourself the flexibility to feel creatively satisfied while pursuing a 9-5 job allows you to burn bright with balance, positivity and flow. However, it can take a little tweaking to get the balance right. So, here are some tips & tricks on keeping that creative hunger satisfied while climbing the corporate ladder.


Be a ‘Yes’ Queen (literally).

You’ve probably heard this one before, but for good reason. Saying ‘yes’ to favours is an absolute life-saver when it comes to setting your future-self up for success. Tbh, none of us are riveted by grabbing the boss lunch or volunteering at some dusty event that is aggressively understaffed, but these menial tasks are the beginnings of something larger (and make you no less of a Queen). Take these favours as an opportunity to let your skills shine and to prove to those around you that if they need an artist, writer or presenter one day, you’re going to smash it… just like you smashed getting that ribbon that one time.


Say it Loud & Proud.

We’ve all heard beautifully creative individuals talk about how their passion is ‘not that great’ or ‘just a hobby’. Not only are these words hurtful to your craft, but god forbid someone actually listened to them! Especially someone who may one day be a creative director or editor. Self-deprecating comments are a big no-no if you’re planning on bringing some of that creative shine into your work, whether it’s now or in the future. There is absolutely no reason to be shy about telling your 9-5 colleagues about your side-hustle! As someone who used to regularly refer to themselves as an ‘occasional writer, but just for fun,’ I can safely say that the day I changed my vocab to call myself a freelance writer, was the day I started getting paid work.


Keep it Casual.

I’ll be the first to admit that a creative fire can be a little hard to pin down sometimes. You know you like styling, but what kind; Fashion, interior or homewares? Or maybe you just like creating aesthetics? Does that mean you should work in shoot production? The truth is that you can’t contain a creative spark, although with all those degrees and career boxes in our past, it’s easy to see why we try to. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the mindset of what you’ve decided to be. If an opportunity comes up at work to help the design team, even though you’ve always fancied yourself more of a classic artist-type, take the opportunity and allow yourself the freedom to learn a whole new passion, it may just lead you to exactly where you need to be!

Sarah Fritz