• Working Smarter Guide: Being Professional

You might be a set, costume, lighting or video designer, or a combination of these roles, maybe sometimes, maybe most of the time. You might be working in drama, physical theatre, music theatre, dance, events or other forms of performance, or in screen design or digital production as well as live performance. Whichever one of these is you, you are a creative artist, and you are running your own creative arts business. You want to manage it professionally, so that it is profitable, productive and sustainable, and you want to manage it in a way that works for you. Think about the professional qualities you want to be known for, and make these a reality through your actions and behaviours.

  • Designing with competence, skill and integrity
  • Being organised and efficient
  • Practicing with dedication and self-discipline, and inspiring others with the standard of your own practice
  • Communicating well – respectfully, honestly, promptly, clearly and concisely
  • Reliably and responsibly meeting commitments, deadlines and appointments
  • Being proactive, and prepared ahead of time for the next challenge or commitment
  • Keeping design documentation and business records efficiently 
  • Fulfilling contractual obligations
  • Working ethically, safely and responsibly, for yourself and others
  • Being solution-oriented – proactively offering ideas towards the success of the project.

Key Links

Tips and Tricks

  • ‘Communication is everything!’ 
  • ‘I like to feel I am the boss of my own business, and I try to run it in a way that is right for me and all the people I work with’
  • ‘My sense of myself as a leader is a big part of being professional. And I want to be a good, positive leader’
  • ‘It is really about being a decent person – treating others with integrity’ 
  • ‘So if you’re not acting professionally, that means you’re an amateur…right?’
  • ‘In our business being professional means being a good collaborator’

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