Dancing to this 2020 Funk and Finding Work in the Arts As a Recent Graduate

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By Mona Afshari, Marketing & Communications Manager at WorkInCulture

Given the state of affairs with the COVID-19 crisis, many arts workers, including students are unsure of where their future lie, especially in regards to finding work. Fear not! Though we are in the midst of the chaos, this feeling of uncertainty will pass and we will all be back to a normal routine – even if it’s a new normal. What is important during times of crisis is to work towards positive/healthy outcomes, examine what your goals and desires are and plan for them – whether it’s working as a professional artist, starting your own creative business, or working as an art administrator for an arts organization. Whatever your professional goals are – take this time to reflect on your skills, improve upon them and even learn new ones. There are many free online courses and webinars  and, at a time when you can’t pursue your normal activities, perhaps you can, instead invest in yourself.

Photo credit: Mona Afshari #dancingtothis2020funk

Many are feeling the pressures of a falling economy and though we are in uncertain times there are supports available – for a list of COVID-19 resources that may help to get you through this challenging time visit workinculture.ca/FYI.

To ensure your well-being and satisfaction in the work that you will do in the future, I recommend taking this time to carefully plan and reflect on what it is that will make you happy in the next two to five years and beyond. Also keep in mind that, through the years, people change, your likes and dislikes change, as will the economy and the environment. By picking up new skills (like managing personal finances) and working towards becoming a well-rounded person, you will be better prepared to adapt to new environments and, unexpected situations… 

Let’s be honest here, it’s 2020 and the way that things were – from work (including how we used to find work), to social life, to how we communicate, etc. may no longer be relevant and that’s okay. We need to be progressive and plan for many future possibilities.  Now, more than ever, we need to think outside the box. Be inventive and take initiative in figuring out how you would like to apply your skills and how you can learn about potential opportunities, even ones that you wouldn’t naturally think about or gravitate to. Ask yourself difficult questions, do your research in this downtime, create an online support network of peers and professionals, call up a friend or family member and have a brainstorming session or do a personal SWOT analysis together, be informed about the arts and culture sector and other industries by signing up to newsletters, read blogs, stay up-to-date by reading the news, and follow the organizations and people that interest you on social media. And, once we’re able to physically be together again, go to industry events and festivals, volunteer, attend workshops and conferences, and meet up with a mentor or people that you want to learn from. Take advantage of this time and look for opportunities that excite you. For example, consider getting up from the couch every now and then to dance or do something else positive or creative, and then maybe even connect with others by posting your ideas, art projects, and or dance on social media #dancingtothis2020funk. Even though we are social distancing and unsure of what the new normal will be, one thing will remain the same – our human connection. Together we will get through this, and with the support of others you will find the work that makes you happy.


WorkInCulture JobBoard – the #1 job board in Ontario for artists, creatives and cultural workers.

WorkInCulture DiscoveryBoard – connecting arts and culture workers with skills training and career development opportunities across Canada.

WorkInCulture Success Stores podcast – where employment stories and advice from people working in the arts and culture sector are shared.

Hustle and Thrive podcast – will engage you in discussions around equity, accessibility, inclusion, value and impact of cultural products, learning opportunities and more.

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