Tips for Young Creatives
New and don’t know where to start?
Are you a creative who’s looking for a career doing what you love, but aren’t sure exactly how to get there? I’m Kurtis, Pier5’s Junior Designer and Social Media Strategist, and I’m going to share some of my own journey and give you a few tips to offer some direction toward finding a job you truly love.
A little about me:
Currently, I’m a full-time student working towards a degree in Art and Visual Technology. I have a few side jobs, including working for Pier5. My goal after graduation is to pursue a full-time career in web design or graphic design.
My creative employment journey started a few years ago, when during my senior year of high school, I decided to get an Audio Engineer Certification. I had a few jobs and internships doing audio engineering while in school, but those slowed down in 2020 because of the pandemic. Because those jobs involved events and performances, like a lot of other people, I was basically out of a job. I decided I could either sit around and feel bad about myself, or I could email some companies and ask if they were interested in interns. Pier5 replied to my email and I interned with them for about a month before being asked if I wanted to plug in as their social media strategist.
If you are young, don’t feel intimidated about stepping out and sending some emails, like I did. Don’t worry that you may not have as much experience as someone else. The only way to get experience is to knock on doors and see which ones open. I personally think that work experience and the ability to learn should be factors that qualify someone for a job, much more than their age.
I know that work experience can be hard to find sometimes; unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. That said, here are three tips that have helped me personally find opportunities to gain work experience in the real world:
Tip 1: Set a Goal
Tip number 1 is simple, but important: set a goal. As it turns out, this also happens to be the first item on Pier5’s Small Business Checklist! (Free at https://pier5.co/small-business-checklist/, be sure to download it!) Richard Branson says,“If you aim higher than you expect, you could reach higher than you dreamed.” After setting a goal, ask yourself this question: “How do I get there?” Having a goal is great, but steps need to be taken to reach that goal. Enjoy these steps! Just because you may be in a place that’s not your final destination certainly doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time there!
Tip 2: Go for it!
Tip number 2: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and see what happens! Just like in sports, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” (Wayne Gretzky). Send an email to multiple companies and ask if they’re hiring. Chances are, many of these companies won’t reply to you, and that’s ok! Don’t stop. It might take a while, but eventually someone will respond with interest! Once the door opens, walk through it with confidence and learn all you can. Sometimes a situation may come up where you feel like a company or job just isn’t the right fit for you, and that’s ok, too! Both good and bad experiences are still experience; learn from them and don’t give up!
Tip 3: Be Yourself
Tip number 3: Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Just be yourself. Be professional and do your job, of course, but don’t be afraid to show your personality. Let me explain. If a company expects a job to be done perfectly, I think they should have hired a robot, but they didn’t. They hired you. They hired you because they thought you had what it takes to do the job, so do it to the best of your ability. Show up, be respectful, and give 100%. But give 100% of yourself! Every person and employee will bring their own skillset and value to the company. This is what makes each person and employee special. Again, be professional, but don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Show up, be respectful, and give 100%. But give 100% of yourself!
These three tips have helped me get to where I am now. We are all different, so your journey will be unique to you. Like me sending emails about job opportunities, the little things you do every day that seem insignificant, can actually affect the direction of your life. If you’re looking for a job or internship, just go for it! You might be surprised to see that people are happy and willing to provide you with opportunities to get some great work experience!
My goal is to always learn more and to sharpen and expand my skill set. Right now I’m in my second year of college studying visual art and web design, and hope to be a graphic designer or web designer after graduation. I’m super thankful to be a part of this company to help in any way I can!
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