By Kristen Harris
Can you believe that another year has almost passed?! I. Can’t.
But, here we are in October, officially the fourth quarter of 2022, and staring hard at the beginning of 2023. Are you ready?
As the year comes to a close, here are four things creative people should do to wrap up the current year and prepare for the new one coming.
Put together your holiday plans. While we love pumpkin pie and holiday shopping lists, right now we’re talking about putting together your work plans. A lot of holidays fall in the next couple of months, so you need a plan. How much time off will you take? Which days or weeks specifically? Will you be available at all during your time off, or 100% checked out and unavailable? Are there projects coming up that might hit during that time? Do you have a backup person who can cover your work while you’re out? If you work on a freelance or contract basis, how much money do you need to save to cover the time you won’t be working? Whether you are a full-time employee, contractor, or freelancer, once you know these details it’s never too soon to start communicating your plans with your supervisor and/or clients. Get your days off on the calendar and let them know how everything will be covered smoothly while you’re out!
Prepare year-end paperwork. Yes, it’s never too soon to start preparing for taxes and year-end filings. If you are a W2 employee of either a company or a placement firm like Portfolio Creative, this should be pretty simple. You may be asked to confirm items like your current address and other details, and then your employer will send your W2 and anything else required for tax filings at the appropriate time. If you run your own business or do freelance work, even as a side hustle, then you are the employer and will need to provide most of this information for yourself. Be sure your clients have your current W9 form so they can send your 1099 form early next year. Then pay any 2022 estimated taxes by year-end or the due date. Not sure if you need to pay estimated taxes on your freelance work? It’s worth checking with your tax advisor to avoid penalties. Finally, those quiet holiday weeks are a great time to snuggle up in front of the fire with a hot beverage and your file folder of receipts. Pull out anything you need for tax preparation and you’ll be a step ahead when it’s time to file next year.
Update your resume and portfolio. Always have a current resume and portfolio ready to go–you never know when that dream opportunity will come your way! Set aside time this quarter to update yours, and include anything new from this year. Exactly the format you use depends on what type of creative work you do, who you typically work with, whether you prefer full-time work or freelance projects, and more. But the basics are to have a well-designed and easy-to-read resume or CV saved in a system-friendly format (saved with live text), and a portfolio or work samples that demonstrate your skills and the projects you’re most proud of. For more info on both of these topics, check out the Illumination Bureau podcast episodes 1-10 and past blog posts.
Think about what you want from the next year. Are you ready to find your dream job or take the next step in your career? Do you want to build a certain skill set or pursue specific types of projects? How many hours do you want to dedicate to work, and where do you want to be working? A new year is a traditional time for self-reflection and planning. But if you start thinking about these things now, you can spend some of the quiet holiday weeks preparing, making connections, doing research, or putting together materials. You’ll be able to hit the new year already running instead of just getting started!
The end of a year can be really busy for some people, and very quiet for others. Enjoy the hubbub and the downtime, and take time, even just a little, to wrap up this year and get ready for the next one. When you’re ready to talk about that resume, portfolio, or job search, we’re here to help!