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Technically this isn’t what I do for a living yet, but is what I would like to do for a living. Writing.
In pursuit of actually make that come true I have finally published my first children’s book (the first of seven planned volumes in the series, charting the adventures of an eleven year old princess and her friends). The first book, “Olivia and the Family Secret: The Hamington Chronicles Volume1” is available on all the Amazon sites but the big ones are:
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L2BXOJ0
UK – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2BXOJ0
AU - http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00L2BXOJ0
My measure for being successful in my enterprise is when The Lego Group calls me up to ask if they turn my books into a line of figures and sets - A boy can dream can’t he… Actually my daughter was asking if would make custom sets for her, which will probably lead to posts in other threads down the road.
Bit of a plug really, so sorry about that but also a genuine post about how I hope to make a living one day.
The book is not on iTunes and realistically I doubt it will be. As a 'self published' volume I effectively had to chose between Amazon and Apple.
Apple has a lovely IBook creator but it is proprietary and only works on apply PC's, (I don't own one) whereas Amazon's tool is open source and easy to use, but I had to sign exclusively to them for 90 days.
The only way to use both formats is to pay to have and Ipub version of the book made, and sadly my budget doesn't stretch that far. But the kindle reader for iPads is free, which is something.
Four month later and I am mostly past worrying about asking for help, I need every bit I can get. Once I am out of the 90 day exclusivity period I will certainly look at other platforms and providers so the sort of arrangement you are suggesting may well be advantageous.
I also intern at a local toy company's studio, building things from their creativity sets to post on their Facebook page. But I don't get paid for that. I have had absolutely no luck getting a paying job except through family connections, and sometimes that gets me really anxious and depressed.
I was in college to study industrial design in hopes of working for the LEGO Group, but all that resulted in was a year of emotional trauma that I'm still trying to get over. I don't know honestly if I'll ever be able to achieve that dream.
It seems that you are in good company with most recent college/uni grads not having decent jobs several years out. My son graduated four years ago, and many of his friends are still working as waiters, fast food folks, ... It is a dismal scene. The best I can offer is to broaden your search not putting all your apples in one basket. And consider starting up a business on your own or with a partner. Hopefully you are not drowning in student debt as well.
Realistically TLG hires very few designers each year and the competition is just bonkers because there are so many talented and overqualified applicants. If you can find an internship with a company you like, that may be the way to get your foot in the door. My son volunteered with a company the last two years of college and finally got a full time position seven months after graduation. The pay is much lower than five years ago, but at least he has a job.
So please don't give up and do use all of the connections you can because finding a job is a bit like wrestling a bear. You will be surprised at the moves you didn't know you had until you are pushed to the edge by a charging bear. (Fortunately most bears do not charge or I would not be writing this!)
And that's only the sets I can account for (i.e. have the instruction booklets); for insurance purposes, I then added about 33% , to account for all the loose bricks, bulk bin-lots etc that I can't account for by set.
So where does the cash come from - A well paid IT job - data architect.
And lots of bargain hunting. My motto (at least for Lego acquisitions): "Never pay full price". Most toy shops have regular 20% off sales; sometimes up to 30%; and then there's 'keep an eye open for clearance sales'.
As this market has slowed down in the US over the years, we have started designing Display Cases for collectibles. As a collector of various things myself (pez, lego, toys, etc) and having 3 young boys who are LEGO MANIACS I found that while times were slow in this industry, it would be best to put our capabilities to some FUN use!!!
Law / Philosophy graduate, worked kinda like an IT go-between at our National Library. A long while ago.
LEGO is every birthday / Christmas / romantic gesture present from husband for last couple of years. Plus all my pocket money. Maybe getting a paid job would be a really bad idea as then I could buy whatever I wanted. That's not as good as it sounds.
Following on from that I'm now a chartered waste manager (yes should a thing exists), working for a multinational engineering firm on a range of waste and recycling collection and treatment projects across the UK and Australia, (although as a lot of what I do data analysis and modelling, I'm still waiting to actually get a trip out to Oz :-( ).
Auto body parts that is :oP
I'm currently building a 9Volt Train layout for Brickworld Indy in March, next year I'll add my version of Lego City to my train layout.
The best part is the wife really enjoys my hobby and participates whenever she can.
Long version: I am the Global Product Owner for the OSIsoft PI software suite at Shell. My team determines how the software will be deployed across Shell (set standards for architecture, infrastructure, etc.) and then ensures all the various Shell assets follow the standards for deploying it. I also gather Shell's use cases for the software, and then ask the vendor (OSIsoft) to design their software so it meets our needs.
I really enjoy it, and it pays well so I can buy lots of LEGO! Problem is I never have time to play with my LEGO because I'm working all day. Need to make an early retirement plan :)
I am an italian lawyer
I install HVAC systems! Residential.