Many people (myself included) struggle from the idea that we have not yet found our passion in our working lives. We know what we are good at, generally speaking, but not how that would make any money.
Well here are the facts. Whatever you decide to pursue and however fun it sounds, you will have to do a butt-tonne of research and hard work before you can call it your job, or even your part-time job. So you better like it enough.
It’s not a case of saying “oh I like fashion and I can draw, so I should be a clothes designer.” That is a fantastic starting point. You’ve identified your interests, paired them with a skill and come out with a job title. Brilliant! I’m not being sarcastic- you have already got further than most people who have settled for boring 9-5 drudgery simply because they have not identified what skills can be paired with their interests to make a job.
However, the harder bit comes next. You see, you have to come up with a plan of action to take you from here to there and then (wait for it) actually do the hard work. Maybe the term ‘hard work’ is a little vague but without knowing what you want to do it’s hard to be incredibly specific.
Basically it involves several steps that you repeat with varying degrees of success until you are making money from your dream career, whether than means applying to positions or starting your own business.
- Decide specifically what you want to do. You want to be a fashion designer, but in what kind of company? What are you bringing to the table? Who would be interested in your output?
- Research. Who is doing this at the moment. What are they doing to be successful? Gather ideas. What do you like, what don’t you like?
- Preparation. Build a little portfolio of your research to show off what market intelligence you have gathered. Update and streamline your CV. Make sure you are completely focused on your aim- do not stay general or vague in the hope that you’ll at least get something related. You likely will not get anything. You can always try another angle later if this one does not work.
- Contacts. Who are the people to know in this business? How can you meet them and pick their brains? What could you bring with you to show them that you are answering all the questions that they haven’t even asked you yet? (I told you the research stage was hard). If they cannot offer you a job, can you impress them enough to recommend you elsewhere?
- Put yourself out there. This step takes many forms. It could be contacting a potential employer to arrange a meeting (see Step 2- this does not mean emailing a company in general with your CV attached). It may be creating a product of your own that you can start marketing.
The important thing to remember is that you will not succeed overnight, so do not compare yourself to people who have been doing this a lot longer than you. They had to start at the bottom too.
Also, you may find it helps not to discuss it too much with people who are not in a position to offer you guidance or further your prospects. Talking about something you are trying to do gives you a sense of pride that should really only come when the job is done and detracts from your determination and drive because, on a subconscious level, you feel you’ve already got somewhere, just by talking about it. Have you ever mentioned proudly to a friend that you are doing regular work outs then find they peter off?
I hope this helps or at least gets your brain churning. I know mine is. Now, that elusive skill set + interests question…