When you’re out to start a new career, you learn quickly that hope is not a strategy. Regardless if it’s the first job, a new job, or the shake-up from the economy, these are great inflection points to take steps toward the things that fulfill us in life.
Meet Yiwen Wong, he’s a recent graduate from the Boston University School of Communication. He’s originally from Singapore and he and his family lived in New Zealand. Now he’s here in the US to learn. Yiwen’s got some questions for us about what to do next now that his four years in school are done. This sparks a lot of ideas we all benefit from diving into, so am excited to share it here.
Put Your Dreams Out There
Speaking to Yiwen brings up one of the most important notes we’ll start with.
We’re here to put our dreams out in the world.
Maybe it’s not something the educators or society explains well enough. We’re released into reality with all the next steps to take, but not necessarily a road map. We’re faced with high needs (like the cost of living and basic needs) and limitations in understanding how to get into the workforce.
We may find ourselves looking at all the traditional channels, something like Craigslist, where we look for companies that might be hiring. The opportunities are very limited. They’re narrowed by the constraints of what’s posted at any given time.
Instead, it’s better to be bold with our dreams. They exist to be out into the world. If our dreams stay secret, people can’t help us. Getting the word out to family and friends brings life to our dreams. We speak them into creation. We begin to develop our network which creates opportunities we never knew existed.
Listen to the Podcast
Young creatives, new creatives. There’s a desire to go from couch to career. Not going to happen. The reality is you’ve got to be out tasting a lot of things. Make as much stuff across your interests for other people and you narrow it down.
When we’re in transition or starting out we owe it to ourselves to F around until we find what truly fits. In practice, this means saying yes to a lot of stuff. In this stage of the professional journey, we’ve got to get really good at saying yes. It might sound like something easy for someone without kids and a mortgage, but even when it’s hard it’s a must.
When I was doing this I committed to the idea of getting out there constantly and developing. I had my girlfriend (at the time), Katie, who’s now my wife, handling a lot of the living expenses. I used as much flexibility as I could. But, let’s say you’re in a situation where you don’t have help. You make it work. Get the base job. Create a simple way to pay the bills that leaves space to get out there and explore your creativity. Jobs that don’t require a huge emotional investment are great for this.
We’ve got to create the time to taste as much as we can. This exploration happens before we choose and master anything specific.
The Power of Personal Projects
The power of personal projects comes back to the importance of doing the work. Your dream life requires your energy. How much do you want this? Personal projects play an important role in your creative career development.
We can create a playground of ideas, curiosities, and even opportunities to fail. Our personal projects serve as content for a portfolio that reflects the specific work we want. It helps us build community and expand our creative mindset. All essentials for getting noticed.
We’ve got to be players. Participating in the community, I speak to this in the fourth part of Creative Calling. This is how we amplify who we are, and what we want to do and we put it out there. It’s about staking our claim in this world, the way we want it.
Take action, say yes, and a world of opportunities open up.
Deconstruct the Job You Want
We can deconstruct or reverse engineer the job that we want. This is where you get to imagine and recognize the path to your dream job. I talked with Yiwen about a hypothetical approach to his dream job at Nike.
We’ve got to ask the good questions, like:
– What would it take to work long-term for _____?
– What are the different ways I could work for _____? (Internal, External, Contractors, Agency…)
– What agency works for _____?
– Who are the different creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and people who work with______?
Good questions bring the greats closer and help us expand. When you listen in on this episode I workshop this with Yiwen. It’s a fun way to visualize the steps that take us closer to our dream jobs.
Hope is not a strategy. We’ve got to get out from behind our computers and get into the world. Being active is how a single opportunity evolves into our creative success story.
I really enjoyed this episode and chatting with Yiwen. He’s a new grad in the Boston area who shared his enthusiasm for new projects. Find out more about Yiwen at ywvisions.com.
Now, imagine where you want to be and how you will get there.