There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Modeling & Job Security

I touched on this subject in one of my recent posts but I felt that it deserved its own post because I believe strongly in smart planning, especially when it comes to your future. To get things started, let me just say that it isn’t realistic to expect to do modeling forever. As obvious as that statement may seem, you’d be surprised at how many people still fail to heed the warning.

It is extremely difficult to make modeling a full-time career in the real world. Modeling has a short life span and if you weren’t blessed with great genetics and/or haven’t been taking good care of your skin and body, your career could dwindle as the years go by.

Because the majority of models start out young, usually within the preteen or teenage group, I find that it is essential that these young girls and guys understand the reality of the industry and not just living for the moment, but preparing for what will happen when their modeling career eventually slows down or stops altogether.

There are many aspiring and already established models who have other interests in addition to modeling, who go to school/college and/or hold down regular jobs…and that’s wonderful. However, not all of those model hopefuls out there have planned that far ahead or they are still very inexperienced or naïve when it comes to life situations and I feel that this post will help serve them the best.

When you decide to pursue modeling and manage to sign with an agency—even a top one—you are working as an independent contractor. That means that you are working with your agency on an “as needed” basis. Being with a modeling agency does not mean you are a working “employee” of any kind. Your agency is not technically your “boss” or “supervisor.”

So what is the difference between being a working employee of a business and being an independent contractor? A couple things… the first being that as an independent contractor you are on your own and do not have a company to back you up in terms of benefits.

What’s the big deal about that? Let’s see…

1) you aren’t entitled to healthcare, vision, dental or even vacation time

2) you aren’t enrolled in or entitled to a 401(k) plan (for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a savings plan that allows you to put away a small percentage of your earnings into an account for when you retire

3) there is no job security. If you are still living with your parents and aren’t of legal age, then most of this won’t be a concern for you right now but if you continue to model until you are of age and are no longer allowed to be under your parents in terms of healthcare, you will have to deal with these issues.

Even if you are too young to worry about stuff like retirement, it is pretty obvious that modeling isn’t a surefire career path, nor should you come to rely on it as one. Many models make a steady living off their earnings as a model in addition to other forms of income but I would suggest you avoid putting all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to chasing the model dream.

Even if you do make it and become a working model, always have a backup plan, job or other career goal. As great as modeling is, the skills you learn are not needed anywhere else except within the modeling industry itself. This means that a model who knows nothing but being a model will enter the real world ill equipped and unprepared for the future, unless they find a job within the modeling industry, which may be a possibility. Do not let yourself be one of those people.

No one should be naïve enough to believe that being a model will last forever or be responsible for getting them through life. I definitely believe in pursuing your dreams but do so in a realistic and smart way. As I like to say, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” Always be prepared.

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