• Working Smarter Guide

A resource from the APDG Live Performance Committee

When we work smarter it makes it easy to be professional, productive and profitable, and it makes our work more sustainable and enjoyable.

Working smarter takes the uncertainty out of insurance, super and tax, and makes protecting ourselves straightforward. It takes the grind out of the ‘business’ of designing – leaving more time for creativity. 

Working Smarter is an ongoing APDG Live Performance web resource. We will keep adding and updating it – in response to new information and members’ feedback. We also want to include your working smarter tips.
Please get in touch with questions, tips and feedback: admin@apdg.org.au

What you’ll find…

Being Professional 

  1. What being professional means 

Being in Work

  1. Who are you, what can you offer, where do you want to go? (Business Planning) (TSF link)
  2. Networking
  3. Choosing the right work
  4. How to negotiate an offer 
  5. Contracts, deal memos and invoicing
  6. Agents
  7. Working underpaid/unpaid (PM)
  8. Being out of work.

Staying Financial


  1. How to evaluate your time/work/labour (fee appraisal); benchmarking 
  2. Fees
  3. Salary
  4. Royalties
  5. Profit Share
  6. Payment in kind

Other income sources

  1. Grants
  2. Tenders
  3. Scholarships and residencies
  4. Supplementing your income 

Play the long game. 

Outgoing Costs


  1. Workers Compensation
  2. Death and Disability (Life Assurance)
  3. Income Protection
  4. Professional Indemnity 
  5. Public Liability
  6. Trauma insurance

Tax. Be Prepared.

  1. Deductions
  2. Income averaging 
  3. How to find an industry-friendly accountant

Career Development
(a.k.a. Strategy)

  1. Where you want to work – career path 
  2. Mentoring 
  3. Entrepreneurship
  4. Identifying your value proposition

Project Management

  1. Strategies 
  2. Anticipate Challenges 
  3. Time Management
  4. Communication




The APDG makes its best efforts to make sure all information we post is correct, however Members use this information at their own risk. It is up to each individual to research the validity of resources they use. The APDG accepts no responsibility for information given in external links. Tips and services listed in this resource have been recommended by APDG designers, however their listing in this resource should not be construed as an endorsement by the APDG. 

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