Advice On How To Kick Start The Career Of Your Dreams
Let’s be real here. Figuring out what you want to do with your life can be a tad bit horrifying. For me personally, I always had that nagging feeling that I’m not good enough for anything yet at the same time, the other half of me would be replaying every negative voice I’ve ever heard, telling me to hurry up and pick something already before I run out of time. Rushing, or settling, gets you nowhere and when you have a pipe dream (or any kind of dream for that matter) sometimes you need to let it run free and see where it goes.
I’ve tried a lot of different things before I gave in to my wildest dreams of becoming a writer. I couldn’t afford college and knew deep down that another four years in school wasn’t for me. Instead, I applied for some affordable online courses to explore my options a bit. I was interested in the world of Disney so I tried a Hotel & Restaurant Management course with hopes of getting into the hospitality industry and working at Walt Disney World. While I did find a lot of what I learned to be interesting, I wasn’t moved enough. I then tried a course in Travel & Tourism, which ultimately filled me with a heaping disdain that I couldn’t deal with anymore. I even tried a bit of a course in Public Relations that didn’t work out but gave me a ton of insight into what publicists – people I’ve connected with closely within the past four years of being a music writer – deal with on a daily basis. After that, I was at a standstill and it was then that I noticed my music collection staring me in the face.
I was a born a writer. Most of my teachers in school used to marvel about my writing but I never thought I’d be able to make a career out of it. I had one doozy of a business teacher in high school who told me a career in writing was as unattainable as being an actress, despite the fact that he thought my writing was excellent and often asked me to proofread my classmates’ papers. Once I started a Freelance Writing course in late 2011, I was hooked and those days of clinging to something I hated just for a paycheck were over.
I guess you could say I was always a music nerd. I cared more about what album I was going to listen to after school more than homework and growing up MTV was always on; TRL being the catalyst to everything my heart desired. I guess you could call me the female Matt Pinfield as what most people call useless trivia, I view as intense knowledge and important facts. I think I bought a new album practically every weekend, much to my mother’s disdain as she wished I hadn’t “wasted my money” on things other than food or clothing. Looking back, all of that prepared me for what I do now: shining a light on music that deserves to be heard and cherished.
I knew I wanted to write about music but I had no idea where to dip my toes in order to gain a little exposure. Along came my discovery of Buzznet, which at the time I joined in February 2012, was user-generated so anybody could join and create a little platform for themselves. I will forever be grateful for this site as it gave me my first taste of what music journalism is like while giving me the confidence to keep writing by having my posts frequently featured on the homepage. Now, I’m a Buzznet freelancer and I love sharing my discoveries with everyone while I operate my own music site, The Daily Listening. I can’t imagine where I’d be today if I didn’t take a leap of faith and start doing something about what I really wanted out of life instead of worrying about how out of reach it all may be.
Kick starting your career is probably the scariest thing you will ever face, especially if it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time. Think of it this way: the scarier, the more rewarding. Whatever it is you want to do, start small. Make some connections (as an introvert this part has been the hardest for me but it gets easier once you reach out!) Take initiative by starting something cool of your own. Remember that nothing happens overnight and that you don’t have to do everything at once.
Be persistent. It’s going to take a while before people start to take notice but once they do, they’ll be knocking down your door to work with you. Be selective of who you let in, though, as quality is always more important than quantity. Never compromise who you are to advance yourself, no matter how hard you think you have it. Be proud of the work you’ve put in and continue to put in. It will pay off.
Look to people who inspire you and allow them to motivate you to move forward. I recently fell in love with Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso’s book, #GIRLBOSS. In it she shares her journey into the fashion world and how her DIY approach led her to where she is today while sharing her insight on what others tend to overlook. Though Sophia and I lead very different lives, our morals and views on careers and building an empire are very similar.
The one thing that I wish somebody told me when I started writing was that I already have everything I need to succeed within me. I always assumed no one would take me seriously if I didn’t have a college degree or any outside validation. No matter your credentials, your story, your morals or your struggles, there is nothing you cannot do. Effort is the key to it all. Go start something today. You never know where it will take you!