Every model will eventually need to retire. However, if you are one of the lucky ones, you will have earned enough and invested that money wisely so that you can continue to lavishly support yourself now until the end. Considering very few models make this sort of celebrity status, it is essential that you not only plan but prepare for your post-modeling career. There are so many unique jobs that you can take on afterward that will help you continue to earn money and work in the industry, and an infinite number more available if you want to move on entirely.
The great thing about modeling is that it gives you those options. It is not a 9 to 5 career, and there will be gaps between work. If your career is currently very hot, then ride the wave, but once jobs begin to lull and you have an increasing number of free days, it’s time to invest in further training.
One of the best situations you can put yourself in that offers stability and allows you to continue to work as a model while still making significant strides forward is by selecting a second career that can be done on a day-by-day basis.
You would be surprised at the number of careers available that offer this. You could even be a nurse, for example, and rather than work full-time, work as a travel nurse and pick up shifts as necessary to learn, train, and enjoy that paycheck between modeling gigs. These travel nurses, more often than not, simply fill in positions when staff are sick or need time off for one reason or another.
Continue to study and progress your qualifications as a nurse, and you can get yourself ready for a very high-paying career in an environment that suits you. You could shift from modeling in front of the camera to offering healthcare services behind the camera, for example, or you can work to become a nurse educator and enjoy that great work/life balance.
By continuing to work and further your qualifications outside of modeling, you can transition almost seamlessly. In the nursing example, you model while studying for that BSN. Once you have that BSN, you can work short-term jobs at healthcare facilities while modeling and then go on to earn your MSN.
Once you are truly at the end of your modeling career, you can then dive back into further training, and even earn a PhD or DNP. The answer to the question of DNP vs PhD is entirely up to your goals, but the point still stands – done right, you can not only progress through a second career, but you can prepare yourself to enjoy a high-ranking, fulfilling role after your modeling career.
Nursing is an excellent example because it is one of the industries with a large shortage and with an increasing number of online degree options. As a result, you can study and train and work on short-term jobs to get the necessary experience while supporting yourself with a modeling job.
Being paid well through modeling opens up so many options, particularly if you train in a field that requires licensure, as this allows you to focus on building up your qualifications and then allows you to transition into a role where you are legally certified to be capable.
You may even use your modeling background as a unique platform. Train to become a mental health counselor, for example, and you can specialize and direct your career towards helping models and others who work in the entertainment and fashion industries. You have a unique background, and you can narrow down what you do to build a truly unique career for yourself.
All of these are options, but to direct your own personal post-modeling career, you are going to want to implement these tips:
Understand Your Interests and Develop Your Skillset
The world is your limit. Modeling can be a very lucrative career which means you are actually far more likely to be able to support yourself and your interests than others. For the best post-modeling career benefits, you will want to focus on the skills that can translate directly into a career, but don’t assume that topics such as the arts or the trades are not an option.
You can spend time developing your skills as a painter and work to translate your career from modeling to art. You can also work with your hands.
What you are interested in does not matter, but the skills you build up to. If you want to become an artist or similar, then building up skills in marketing and business, for example, can help you more successfully navigate your post-modeling career. If you are interested in a harder set of skills, like STEM subjects, then earning the right qualifications is going to offer you the biggest benefits.
Volunteer, Study and Expand Your Resume with Part-Time Efforts
If you need a formal qualification or license, then get your second career started by volunteering. If you can work freelance or on a part-time basis, then tackle that simultaneously. Modeling is a fairly flexible career, and so long as your second career option for the moment is also flexible, then you are on the right path.
If you find yourself particularly busy and always on the go, consider education as your primary focus. Today’s online degrees have come such a long way, with both academic institutions and third parties offering advanced educational platforms and better services than ever before.
In short, you can learn while working as a model. However, don’t feel pressured to take on too much at once. If you can only comfortably manage one credit at a time, then do that. So long as you are making progress through your degree, you are well on your way to a thriving post-modeling career.
Of course, not every degree is 100% online. Those nursing degrees do require some in-person training. Be aware of those in-person requirements, if they exist for you, and block out that time with your agent in advance.
How to Build Your Network in This Second Career
Networking is so important, and you know this. While if you are clever, you may be able to combine both your modeling experience and your second career’s experience into a unique role that only you and very few others can do, there is no guarantee. What can help, regardless of where you end up working after your modeling career is over, is building up a network.
Just as your current network is essential to helping you land new modeling jobs, it will also be useful to help you transition to your next career. A great place to start is through your degree. Stay in touch with your peers and faculty and engage with them online. You will also want to look for freelance or other short-term opportunities so that you can once again expand your network and also get work experience in this second career.
Depending on what you do, you could even start your own business. Many models start up a business of their own, and you can go as well. Offer your work through freelance sites, or hire an assistant to help get your brand out there.
Try to Tie in Your Second Career with Your Modeling Career
Your modeling career is not something you finish and forget about. If you can, always try to combine the two. While modeling itself may not require advanced skills, navigating the modeling world certainly does. From offering services to models to representing models, to even using the networking and people skills you have learned throughout your career, there are many ways that your modeling career can bolster your post-modeling career.
Nurses can provide better service to models simply by understanding the issues and mental health concerns that they face. Counselors can also provide better service because they are intimately familiar with the modeling world and its dark side.
You can combine a business management career with your modeling career and either become an agent or start up your own agency. In addition, you can work in policy-making and more.
Take Advantage of Opportunities As They Come
There are so many amazing opportunities on the horizon, and you do need to be ready to take advantage of them. You are not stuck in a career that cannot change or adapt, and though you should absolutely plan for your post-modeling career, you are not stuck in your plans. You can combine them, change them, alter them, and push some plans back to take advantage of a new opportunity that just landed on your back.
The only thing you should not do is avoid retirement. Every model falls out of fashion, and struggling to find your next job when that happens can be stressful and unnecessary. Instead, make plans to do more than modeling, and the world is your oyster. Invest in your education, invest in your networking, and be ready to adapt your career both while you model and afterward.
Images from MMSCENE PORTRAITS: Sam Webb by Colin Dack – See the full story here