• Sarita Walker

10 Careers You Can Start On Your Own Today!


According to the most recent Census Bureau data available, Black people comprise approximately 14.2% of the U.S. population, but Black businesses comprise only 2.2% of the nation’s 5.7 million employer businesses.


Black-owned businesses are much more likely to be sole proprietorships. According to the 2012 SBO (the last year reported), 4.2% of Black-owned businesses had employees, compared to 20.6% of white-owned businesses. Black adults are much more likely to be unemployed, and Black businesses are much more likely to hire Black workers. This shortage of Black businesses throttles employment and the development of Black communities.


Additionally, the underrepresentation of Black businesses is costing the U.S. economy millions of jobs and billions of dollars in unrealized revenues. Today, I want to discuss 10 careers that you can turn into your very own business and start working for you and empowering people that look like you.


It's very important that in American economy, we start grabbing our own opportunities. We have yet to experience an economy that is inclusive. We can’t predict what would happen if racism was removed from various markets, but if Black businesses posted similar numbers to non-Black businesses, the country would realize significant economic growth. With women making up 46 percent of Black entrepreneurs, this group shows one of the highest percentages of female small business owners in any segment – 53 percent higher than white small business owners.


SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Salary: U.S.: $44,807 - $100,000 per year

Photo Credit: Moving Traffic Media

What They Do: Social Media Managers require communication and technology skills. You may also need some education and certifications depending on what industry you work in. The social media manager role ranks #42 on CNNMoney/PayScale's list of "Top 100 Careers with Big Growth, Great Pay and Satisfying Work." You are responsible for day-to-day ownership of a company or brand's social media content and engagement. This person must stay up-to-date with technology, understanding the evolution of social media, new channels, and new social media management tools. Some social media managers may spend the entire work day in the office or you may be lucky enough to work from home, especially now with today's norm of working from home due to the Covid-19 virus.


Popular Industries:

  • Real estate

  • Legal

  • Retail

  • Restaurant

💡Tip: You may want to try and get certified in these three certifications. It isn't required, but will definitely set you apart from the rest:


Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification

The Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification is ideal for social media managers who use Hootsuite to create and schedule posts across different social media platforms. To earn the certification, you must successfully pass the 60-question exam. The Hootsuite Social Media Certification does not expire.

HubSpot Academy Social Media Certification

The social media certification through HubSpot is ideal for social media managers who use HubSpot in their daily roles. This certification is free and requires the successful completion of eight lesson plans and the exam.

Facebook Blueprint

Facebook Blueprint offers two certifications: the Certified Planning Professional and the Certified Buying Professional certifications. The first certification is ideal for social managers who use Facebook for planning strategy, and the other is a great option for managers who are in charge of buying ads for the company. Each certification requires the completion of two exams and is good for one year.


RELATIONSHIP PHOTOGRAPHER

Salary: U.S.: Range of $1,000 to $10,000 a day


What They Do: Couple and Wedding photography is considered an ideal choice for making a living out of capturing images. It’s meaningful, pays well, and is always in high demand. A lot of couples like to use romantic scenery, so it is a great way to be creative. If you decide to move into weddings, you will start to build professional relationships with businesses such as caterers, venues, and stores. Your best shot is to start by building a powerful portfolio with your very best work. Work as a freelancer and sell your photos to magazines. Other

popular industries in photography:

  • Photojournalist

  • Wildlife Photography

  • Photojournalist

💡Tip: You can start by selling photos that are already in your portfolio on microstock platforms such as iStock, Dreamstime, and Adobe Stock.







Photo Credit: The Pedestal

WRITER/EDITOR

Salary: U.S. Range of $40,000 to $80,000 (depending on industry and popularity you could make significantly more)


What They Do: This is a broad section because there are so many types of writers. Authors, ScreenWriters, Bloggers, Copywriters, etc. and depending on the industry you work in determines on how popular you may or may not be. There’s no guarantee, step-by-step process that will land you the freelance writing career of your dreams. If you ask 10 different writers, you’ll get 10 different stories. However, starting a writing career is pretty easy. Create a great idea, execute it, and make sure you are happy with the results. Next, publish it. As a Blog Writer myself, I have other areas of expertise in writing; screenwriting, copywriting and I am also an author. Networking will be your biggest skill, knowing how to engage and showing people you are worth hiring. You may have to work at a 9 to 5 company for a while just to get your experience and build a portfolio, but once you do, you can market your skills to whoever you want to write for.

Places to Find Careers:

  • nDash: This platform represents what I believe will be the future of freelance writing. Their industry focus is a good match for anyone that’s got a solid feel for their niche. It pays you 20% for all client work you refer to them, so it can pay off even if you don’t end up doing any actual creation for them

  • ProBlogger: A wide range of topics here, and gigs that go beyond blogging. Make sure, like with any job you take, you look out for scams. Always ask questions, protect your personal information, and work with a contract.

  • Upwork’s Writing Team Builder: This is a program for freelancers looking to work more than 30 hours per week. There is a lot of variety work wise. You could be dong content for a website one week and working on a children's book the next. It's also easier to not get scammed on this one.

💡Tips: Working closely with editors and other creatives every day will make you a better writer. If you work for a digital publication (likely), you’re bound to get some SEO training and other know-how in the bargain. The only way to become a freelance writer is to start writing.


FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Salary: U.S. Median $87,850


What They Do: Financial advisors meet with clients and counsel them on their finances. This could mean anything from sitting down and creating budgets, to firming up retirement plans or giving advice about investing. There are a few main ways that financial advisors can earn money. Fee-only advisors and Fee-based charge typical management and planning fees to clients. These charges can come in the form of hourly fees, fixed fees or fees based on overall assets under management (AUM). Now that this career has become pretty popular, there are a range of types of Financial Advisors people may want to go with. For example, they can go the traditional in-person advisor route, providing hands-on guidance for an ongoing fee. Or, they can pick a robo-advisor which is a low-cost, automated portfolio management service, typically best for those who want help managing their investments. Most people would rather have someone they can talk to about their finances and you don't necessarily need to work for a particular bank to do this.

Photo Credit: Black Wallet

A Bachelor’s degree is required for a career as a financial advisor. Majors in finance, economics, business, statistics or similar fields are acceptable. A two-year associate degree offers students basic knowledge about the world of finance, preparing graduates for entry-level roles or for transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.


Industries:

  • Financial advisors can be generalists

  • Retirement

  • Taxes

  • Estate Planning

  • Insurance and Risk Management.

💡Tip: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), finance is the #1 degree that employers want.


ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT

Salary: U.S. $79,818 per year or $38 per hour. Top 10 percent make over $124,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent make under $51,000 per year.


What They Do: This is a pretty lucrative career and can also be turned into a career that you start as your own business. An Organizational Development Consultant provides direct advice, guidance, and oversight to executives, human resources departments, and managers. Sharing strategies to improve efficiency, driving revenue growth, and retaining talented employees through development programs.

You can start on this career path by earning a Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or management. You can pursue additional qualifications, such as a Master’s in business administration (MBA) or a graduate degree in organizational development. If you have analytical thinking skills, personal development skills, research skills, persuasion skills, leadership and communication skills, then this will be a piece of cake position. Although companies do need someone like this on their team, most Organizational Development Consultants work on a freelance or contract basis, so your salary largely depends on your client base and your level of expertise.


💡Tip: To be an Organizational Development Consultant typically requires 4 -7 years of related experience.


ART DIRECTOR/CREATIVE

Salary: U.S. best-paid 25 percent made $130,330, lowest-paid 25 percent made $69,110.


What They Do: Art directors take care of all visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign and coordinate the work of other artistic or design staff, such as graphic designers. In publishing, art directors typically oversee the page layout of catalogs, newspapers, or magazines. You need at least a Bachelor's degree in an art or design subject and previous work experience, but I have seen plenty of Art Directors that have grown their career with just experience alone. You may have worked as a graphic designer, fine artist, editor, photographer, or in another art or design occupation beforehand. Most creative fields have an art director. Art directors create the overall design of a project and direct others who develop the artwork and layouts.

Photo Credit: Degree Query

Popular Industries:

  • Animator

  • Art teacher

  • Cake decorator

  • Fashion designer

  • Graphic designer

  • Illustrator and technical illustrator

  • Industrial designer

  • Makeup artist

💡Tips: Before you decide to move towards a career in art, make sure it’s the right fit for you. There is less design work as an Art Director, so if you love the design working in Photoshop, etc this might not be the right career for you. If you love the strategy side of creative work and are comfortable managing creative projects, art direction is a journey you should try.


Photo Credit: Black Tech Guy

APP BUILDER

Salary: U.S.: $107,000 /yr


What They Do: An app builder designs, builds and/or maintains mobile applications for either Apple's iOS, Windows, or Android platforms. To be a mobile developer, one must possess software development skills and knowledge. You could develop these skills by earning an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar discipline. Specialized training and bootcamps are available for mobile app development, as well as for the broader audience of software developers of all kinds.

Concepts and Skills to Master:

  • Mobile user interface design: Learn the intricacies of the interface, it's the core of the app. Being able to code an interface sets a launchpad for your career growth trajectory.

  • Programming­­: Your ability to make logic and translate those algorithms into efficient codes is important and the person who knows how programming works can pick up any language he wants. 1. Classic object-oriented programming language: Java, C++, Objective C. For iOS, Apple’s own programming language. Swift is also being widely accepted by app development companies. 2. Front end: HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript

  • Business expertise: You must know how to monetize an app, how to put fences within an app after which a user has to pay to use the app, and how to make users spend more time on the app.

AUDIO ENGINEER

Salary: U.S.: Average $78,278 per year


What They Do: Audio Engineers record the sound that the artist is making and then manipulate it with the EQ, the compression, and the gates, and all the other instrument to create a final record. Audio Engineers also develop audio technology, set up speakers and microphones at shows and concerts. You can get an Associates or Bachelors Degree in Sound Engineering. After you receive your degree or while earning your degree, you typically start out as an assistant engineer. Being an assistant engineer is a great way to learn the trade, get used to a new line of work, meet people, and make important networking connections.


Studios have been closing because everybody is their own Engineer and Producer, and they do it themselves now. If someone is serious about getting a job, one option is to go to a TV station. After you have a competitive amount of experience under your belt, you can branch off and become your own individual audio engineer contracting with different industries or artist or simply work for a popular Studio.


Career Roles in Audio Engineering:


Studio Audio Engineer: in charge of all the technical aspects of a recording; from picking and placing the right microphone to capturing it into an audio file and then processing it.

The Live Sound Engineer: does a similar job as Studio Engineer but for live events: microphones on stage or at a podium, mixing them into speakers for public address or broadcast

Record Producer: listening to the original musical idea and figuring out how to turn it into a recorded music on a record for commercial purposes, a recording of something that you intend to try and sell.


💡Tips: Nowadays there’s a big need for Audio Engineers because a lot of content is being produced now more than ever. It can be hard finding the right opportunity but with perseverance you can make it happen. Engineers working in the theater industry pull in lower salaries, while those who work in studios and the music industry typically make more per year. Audio Engineers who focus on films are usually on the higher end. Those Audio Engineers who are classified as scientists can bring in even higher sums.


FASHION DESIGNER

Salary: U.S: The salaries for the lowest and highest 10% of fashion designers ranged from $32,320 per year to $130,900 per year. Based on the following factors: location, experience, industry, and education.


What They Do: The fashion industry is one of the largest industries globally offering a range of careers for those who love fashion. A fashion designer uses design principles and creativity to make clothing, shoes and accessories. The design process for Fashion Designers can take months to produce, researching current fashion trends and making predictions of future trends. Freelance fashion designers float and work on a project to project basis and are rarely tied down to just one project or brand. There is no strict educational requirement for becoming a Fashion Designer, however it's pretty necessary to have these skills:

  • Computer skills: The individual must have knowledge of the CAD (computer-aided design) software and also be familiar with other graphic designing software.

  • Sketching: Must be able to prepare at least the first draft of the designs on their own.

  • Decision-making ability: Must have the ability and the strength to make the important decisions as and when needed.

  • Tech Savvy: Must be efficient with the use of all the gadgets and technology which has become an essential part of all the industries in the economy.

💡Tips: Subscribe to a few online fashion magazines to see the latest fashion trends going on in the world. Do your research properly if you specialize in a certain segment of fashion. Use the method of social networking and online marketing to sell yourself and grab more opportunities. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and avoid copying the work of other designers. Be original.

EVENT PLANNER

Salary: U.S.: Annual salaries run as low as $14,000 and as high as $114,000.


What They Do: Event planning is a $500 billion dollar industry. They coordinate all aspects of professional meetings and events, choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate other details. A Bachelor's degree in hospitality, communications, or public relations can set you on the path for a career as an event planner. You can also complete an event planning and management certificate program to transition into this field. Some of these programs allow students to specialize and focus on areas such as wedding, sports or entertainment planning.


💡Tips: When you brand yourself, you're choosing how you want to be seen by others in the work world. Your brand incorporates what you do best and who you are. Create a Facebook page for your business, start a how-to blog, and create a website with your planning skills. Planning a convention for a large corporation will garner a salary on the higher end of the spectrum. Join professional organizations, attend trade shows and take part in continuing education seminars to make connections and to spread the word about your services.

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