On Wednesday June 28 I attended an event titled: Goodbye University, Hello Unemployment. There were many notable persons there who made presentations for young graduates to do more than just look for a job, but to create an industry. Many suggestions were thrown out to the large audience on how to innovate and earn significant salaries through conventional and unconventional means. I stood there and listened but no one mentioned passion. So I did.
When the questions for the panel came I asked them “What about pursuing passion and looking for your life’s fulfillment there”. Of course many people retorted: “well you need money to survive and passion won’t pay the bills,” but I don’t see why the two cannot be intertwined.
One of my former colleagues from CARIMAC came to the mic and challenged my statements, I listened and took her comments, I saw her point of view and after the function I approached her to further discuss the topic. She explained that after finishing University she has been struggling to find paying work in her chosen field of Public Relations and how frustrating it is to have to work in other areas where her dreams are not being actualised.
I understand her position, I have been there myself and surely it was not easy for me either. However, through hard work I have put myself in a position where people now know me for my interest in my industry and automatically associate me with photography and videography. This is because I constantly talk about, practice and offer assistance and advice in these areas to anyone who will listen.
I have been in the same institution with this young lady for three years and I am sad to say I do not know her as a “PR Guru” as I know some of the other students in her class to be. To be known in your industry you have to be seen, maybe not by those at the top of your industry but by whomever will look your way. Get out there and talk to people, listen to advice interact, spark conversation about your passion and surely enough your name will reach the ears of those in the right positions. Most of the jobs I have received have been referrals. Why? I follow my passion not money an people see that.
The smart man does not blindly jump into their passion without a plan however, but I am sure that Mark Zuckerberg had a passion for programming first before the created Facebook, Henry Ford had a passion for cars before he built some of the best in the world. Without this passion their work would not be as fulfilling and probably not as good.
Many of the world’s wealthiest and most successful business people are in that very position because they pursued their passion for something, this does not mean that it came easily however. A fair amount of sacrifice and clever thinking is required for any amount of success, as my readings of authors such as Napoleon Hill has reinforced.
So as artist we must remember that I will not always be easy to follow our passion, we may be broke sometimes but we must never allow our spirit to be broken. It may seem as if there is little or no money in our industry at the time, it may be hard to find a job in our chosen field, but that is where we must get creative and find ways to earn from our talents.
Here are a few tips to help you to follow your passion.
1) Research your industry; see who is making money and how they are doing it.
2) Find ways to get close to the earners in your industry and learn from them, this may include doing volunteer work for a while.
3) Make a plan, don’t just go in blindly have an idea of how you will get what you want. Your plan may include working in a job outside your industry for a while before making the leap of faith, this is smart thinking.
4) Believe in yourself and in your talents, Marcus Garvey said this “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” No truer words have been uttered on this planet. You must first believe you can do what you set out to do before you can actually do it. (that was a mouthful)
5) Re-evaluate your situation continuously. If one plan is not working out make another, look at what isn’t working and change it, keep what is.
Don’t get discourage because things are not working out at the moment, hold fast to your dreams and work towards them. Your greatest achievements are yet to come.