I’ve been having the same conversation a lot recently. It always seems to be with people who feel struck or trapped or frustrated and centres around them waiting on an opportunity for their situation to improve. My stance remains the same: what are you waiting for?! Create your own opportunity! Listen people, we really need to get our heads around the fact that times have changed and we don’t need to wait for anything any more. So let’s get cracking, shall we?
I’m always stunned when I go and give talks at universities to young people studying social media or PR or any number of new age-y, awesome things and when I ask who has a blog, I’m lucky if two hands go up. These are people who are hoping to work in the industry and they’re not even creating their own work within it. They believe the narrative should be: study, graduate, apply for job, employers fall over themselves to hire you. I’m just trying to ease you in to the inevitably pretty nasty wake up call you’re gonna get.
There are 15 year old kids who, right now, know they’ll never be able to afford to go to university, so they’re starting their own media empires in their bedrooms. By the time they’re 22, they’ll have websites with investors and multi-million pound deals and you’ll be waving your degree around saying ‘look at me!’ That 15 year old just got a 7 year head start on you because you thought an education would save your bacon – and I’m not saying it won’t, there’s clearly a value in education – but you know what employers look for? Initiative. Use some and start your own thing. Now. Yes, right now – go buy a domain name, set up a site and just get cracking.
Carve your own path
You don’t have to wait for an opportunity to present itself to you. Want to get into PR or graphic design or styling or whatever the hell else? Start a website and get talking about it. ‘Oh but I don’t have anything to blog about’ I hear you cry. Bollocks. If you can talk my ear off for 20 minutes about what you want to do, you have your first five blog posts right there.
There is no use waiting until you have all your ducks in a row. Very rarely is there ever a perfect storm. Just start putting in the work on whatever your future plan is now. In most cases, that involves you having a platform on which you can spread the word. That platform will most likely be on this wonderful thing we call The Internet.
If you’re gonna wait for your dream job to come up, wouldn’t it make sense to fill that time creating a body of work that makes people stop in their tracks when they Google your name?
So let’s get to it people. Stop waiting, start doing. The sooner you get started, the sooner you hone your craft into something other people want to be a part of. Get it? Got it? Good. Now, let’s do this.