In control of your creative career?

Leading Lines
Jan 16, 2017 · 3 min read

In school when you first saw the sum ‘2 + 2=’ you had no idea how to get the answer. It was only until someone taught you that you were able to do it yourself and know the answer.

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We all will feel overwhelmed and clueless about our careers at some point.

For homework, the teacher would give you the sum ‘2 + 3=’. Not because it’s more difficult, but to test you. They want to know if you understood the process of getting to the answer. Most don’t as they want to be spoon-fed.

This is the same when it comes to life. Once you learn the order of the process so you can use them to your advantage in all situations, so worry no more as we have distilled it down to 6 actionable steps to get you feeling in control again.

1. Your claim to the top

You know what you want to do, and you’re more than confident you’re good at it — turn it into your primary focus. You’ll be able to present yourself and have no reason not to get started at being the best at your profession.

- Set yourself deadlines.

- Share your work to the world.

- Do a post-project analysis.

- Then get started on the next project.

This practice gives you the distance from the praise and critics. You’ll be updating your workflow, learning from mistakes and building an ecosystem.

The successful ones are the fearless ones.

Not releasing your work to the public will stunt your professional and personal growth. Learning to let go and accept the result is part of being a creator. The most vital element of this exercise is to build upon your skills through action.

2. Build your portfolio

Your portfolio is your way to communicate your style and skill to potential clients. To maximise your portfolio content, you should look through and think of a few keywords that sum of your work. This practice will help you create an elevator pitch.

- Organise your portfolio with the most recent and most substantial pieces at the front.

- Have a theme. Put pieces together that are complementary and create a mood. This form of storytelling will add an edge.

3. Show your target

Show your work to whoever you want to help get you to the next level. This can be a gatekeeper of an industry, fellow creator etc. Now you’ve got to figure out how you can meet them. Is it by attending an industry event (trade show, film festival, performance, etc.) Getting press by a leading industry magazine? Figure it out and create a strategy that works for you to get there. Is it by tapping into your network to find a natural connection? Or making a cold call?

4. Keep it consistent

Keep going. You mustn’t sit around and wait for people to contact you. Create a way for you to keep going without relying on the momentum or jobs given to you by others.

Out of the 100 people doing what you’re doing now, only one will make it. Make that one you.

5. Make yourself approachable

Let people know what work you’re interested in doing. Include contact information on social media channels. Send new work to contacts. People respond well to those always working, and that know what they want. Spend time deciding on a concise way to describe your job and interest in your bio.

6. Don’t be desperate

You put time and work into the work you want to do, not have to do. Saying yes to any job can hurt the energy you’ve built for your work and could lead to a dip moral. Your energy is vital to your mental wellbeing, and using it just for money can be damaging.

Knowing what career you want and the way you want to do things help you make your own set of rules. Spend time to breakdown where you want to be in 10 years so you can start figuring out how you can get there in 6 months.

Article by Shaneika Johnson-Simms

Photography by Raphael Boamah-Asare

Sharing business education and creative inspiration.

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