• Harry Long

LIFE: It's Not What You Know...

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

It's the question almost every child is asked at some point in their young life. You work your butt off learning everything you can about the world and accepting the philosophies that are drilled into you via your educational system. Flash forward as a teenager, you 'feel out' what your best at and pursue it as a career to enjoy. For the lucky few that go on to higher education (College, University etc), you are told by your tutors to 'challenge' everything you were ever taught in school. When all your hard work seems to have paid off, sipping that cheap Prosecco from a plastic wine glass at your graduation party, there is only 1 priority: 'Get a Job'.

Now, for some lucky people, before leaving the graduation ceremony they already have contracts signed and a guaranteed start in their chosen profession but for the majority, you have one hell of a road block coming around the corner. The question is, do you try to find another way to your favoured destination, or do you give up on your dream job? Do you choose a new destination with fewer road blocks? And what exactly is this metaphorical road block? Experience, or a lack thereof.

For Creative people such as Actors, Directors, Composers, Painters etc, employers are looking for 2 major ingredients: A good Reputation and real experience working in the specific field of which you have studied. Chances are you might not have any of that coming out of higher education, so you ask yourself "Was my Degree worth studying for?".

I believe the answer is 'yes'. Understanding that it will help you get the job BUT not straight away or on its own. Sacrifices must be made and it's no blood ritual.

1. Work for FREE

Hold your horses! Don't click off yet, hear me out. If you can't get a paid job in your chosen profession then why not get actual working experience in it (seeing as that is what employers rarely see on a graduates CV). A lot of us have bills to pay and massive student loans so a normal job on the side will most likely be necessary.

2. Build Your PORTFOLIO

Every week, you have the opportunity to do something new, say something new. Make sure you mean everything that comes from your mind. This way, you'll have a better time understanding your rational in the future. Remember, your creative output must match that of your creative input. Employers want to see someone who thinks different but is clever and creative and can bring something new to the table.

3. Make The EFFORT

It doesn't matter who you are, if you don't have a good portfolio and a good reputation through real work you have done in the past in your specific field, employers are not going to hire you. Weighing out the risks are important and JUST having a degree won't cut it.

So make the effort, take the opportunities and don't be afraid to make opportunities for yourself. If your profession requires niche job titles that are hard to get without experience then you will most likely have to be persistent and go to them for some work experience.

Being a creative person requires a creative way of thinking and that sometimes means problem solving is quite a long and drawn out process. The easiest thing to do is to sit around worrying about where you are now... Just remember you are truly in control of your future so start problem solving, get creative and don't play the victim.

Harry Long

July 20th 2019


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