Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Career Goals

I am, first and foremost, a caricature artist by trade.  This means that I travel from corporate event to wedding to after prom to college event drawing funny faces for the masses.  This, by its nature, makes me a small business owner.  I work for five different agencies, but I don't receive pay stubs and have to manage my taxes on my own.  For those of you playing the home game, that means I fill out a 1040 and Schedule C along with my usual taxes and pay quarterly taxes instead of having a base amount subtracted from each paycheck.  It's crazy being on that end of the business game, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

In 2014, I saw my caricaturing business grow.  Before August 2014, I supplemented my caricaturing income with some character design work on the side.  After August 2014, I saw no need to continue character design as it was stressful to juggle both jobs.  My husband and I made the decision to quit character design so I could focus on caricaturing full time!

While I love my job and would consider myself a fairly adept artist, there's a lot I could work on.  Here's where my chart comes in:

According to the career portion of my chart, I need four attainable goals for 2015 to become happier with my work.

According to my 2014 pentacle chart, I had several goals I wanted to work on, including caricature studies, researching retirement options, creating a daily schedule, making a certain income, building a savings and organizing my computer.  There are a few here I'll need to toss.  Because I no longer character design, I cannot just "take a certain amount of commissions to make up the difference" each month.  I'll be relying on agencies and my website this year.  This goal is no longer attainable.  A daily schedule sounds more personal and building a savings and retirement options are definitely more financial.  That now leaves me with caricature studies and organizing my computer.

Caricature Studies

Practice is essential for any tradesperson.  However, I find that I do most of my "practice" when I'm already at an event producing for my contract holder.  When not at work, I do not work.  Now that sounds exactly how it should be for my mental health, but I also think I could make practice from home work for me in the marketing department.

I do have a Facebook page for my business with a modest amount of likes, but I rarely ever post on it.  In fact, look at that first post's date - November 6th.  How ridiculous is that?

I also got into a painterly style with one of my favorite programs, Paint Tool SAI.  My Robin Williams post was one of my more popular posts on the page.  With this in mind, I think I could continue working on this painterly style and pushing my exaggeration while boosting my Facebook page and my portfolio.  This is also where my love for certain TV shows comes into play.  TV faces are easily recognizable and might draw in some more followers.

In order to not overwhelm myself, I'm thinking of just one face a week.  So sometime in December, I sat down and thought of my favorite TV shows and characters, creating the following list:

Updating My Website

Thinking about creating caricatures and marketing my Facebook page reminded me that I need to update my website now that I'm not doing character design.  Knowing that I only have two goals that are attainable from my worksheet, updating my website seemed like a no-brainer.  However, I don't have a lot to update it with, so I'd like to take it slowly.  I also wanted to add in many opportunities to update my portfolio.  Here's my month-by-month plan for my website!

Organizing My Computer

Despite the above list with TV show characters, I don't watch much TV.  It's no secret that I honestly spend most of my time online.  My computer is my primary work and leisure vessel, and thus it gets cluttered and crowded quite often.  Because I use it for my business, it's imperative that I keep it well organized, but I noticed that things were a little out of hand towards the end of 2014.  I could just take a day or two, sit down and clean it out.  However, with the immense number of goals I'll have for 2015, I'd feel much more relaxed by having just one folder to clear per month.  Perhaps this is something you've been needed to do too?  If so, feel free to steal my schedule!

Keeping Better Records

While I do my own taxes and keep sufficient records, I know there's so much room for improvement.  The thing about being a contracted sole proprietor with a set market and agencies you work for is that there's very little that applies to you in small business classes, typically aimed for someone in the start up phase.  I don't need to take out a loan - my business was built when I stepped into it.  I don't need to rent an office - I work on site.  Things get tricky when trying to separate what information I need from what I don't.  So I've mostly ran my business off of what I was taught when I first entered the market and what other caricaturists have told me they do.  At 26, it's time for me to strike out and research it myself.

I already do the necessary things - keeping a ledger, saving receipts, paying quarterly taxes and doing my major paperwork.  That being said, I know there's room for improvement.  For starters, I've never really needed a business checking account because I don't have much money going out for my business.  However, this year, I have equipment I want to buy and banners I want to make.  With that in mind, it's time I opened one.  I've also never looked deeply into deducting home office expenses from taxes because my office is also my husband's office and my desk is super tiny.  Plus I don't always use it for business.  But it's time I looked into that.  Many of my plans came from skimming three books I purchased in December.  Those same three books are going to top my to-do list for 2015.

I know there's some of you out there that are shaking your head at me for not doing this sooner.  Trust me, as an OCD Virgo II ISTJ, I'm shaking my head at myself!  What matters is that I'm getting on top of it now and that I'll be better prepared for 2016.

Tracking Career Goals

In order to keep track of my goals, I will be posting up a list of them with some details about my progress and percentages of where I'm at from time to time.  Every month, I'll look at my progress for that month.  On the side column of my blog, I'll be keeping a yearly track of them.  The percentages will be based on the concise plan I develop at the beginning of the month to complete the goal.  Here is the template for my Career goals!

Career Goals - 0% Complete for the month.
(Pictures and some notes on this month's progress)

Keep better records. – 0% complete
Organize computer. – 0% complete.
Update website. – 0% complete.
One caricature per week. – 0% complete.

Coming up:
2015 Financial Goals

To my audience:
What are your career goals for 2015?


  1. oh my god you are so organized and amibitous!!! i really have to start setting goals and making lists and calendars like you!

    1. Thank you so much! Feel free to steal all of this for your use. I don't know where I'd be without it, and I'm more than happy to share!

  2. As a nurse coordinator, I want to read at least 2 books in the field of my speciality (geriatrics) ! I may loose my job also as my boyfriend may renew his contract in a new region and we'll have to move. I truly don't want that option but if I have to start a job all over again, my career goal will be to adapt myself to my new job :)!

    1. Hopefully you won't have to move but, if you do, make the best of it! I've never moved out of my home city - born and raised here - so I can't imagine the obstacles that could entail. But it sounds like an adventure to me!

  3. Managing a business can be difficult at times. You have organize everything; from planning, to formulating good strategies that can help you boost your sales and popularity. But once you overcome all of these, success will be on your side. And looking at your goals and plans, there’s no doubt that you’ll achieve it, since you’re going to use your social media account now as your portfolio and a form of marketing. Keep it up!

    Jane Osborne @ Customer Finder Marketing

  4. This is just a fantastic list! I would like to steal some of these ideas. Actually now I need to be organized as I have to host a grand event in the next month. I haven’t started planning yet. First of all I will find the best event space San Francisco and will start other things after that.

  5. I am impressed with how organized you are. I am not sure I could do it as well! You laid out all of your ideas and plans and stated how you are putting them into action. If your organizational skills are any indication of your actual work, you are going to do amazing things!

    Charles Campbell @ EVM Digital