Now that you’ve discovered (or are on the path to discovering) your passion, it’s time to make it happen. This might seem like a daunting task, but try taking things one step at a time. If it’s something you already know a great deal about, you’re already off to a fantastic start. However, if you’re anything like me, you might not know much about the field you’ve decided to pursue. Here a few ideas that will get you headed in the right direction and will send you on the way to becoming a happy (and successful!) professional.
1. Find a mentor. Finding someone in your desired profession, who can teach you everything he or she knows about that field, is perhaps the most valuable step you can take. Maybe you have someone in mind you can talk to, or maybe you have to start from scratch like I did. When I decided that photography was something I was interested in, I simply emailed a wedding photographer and asked whether she might be interested in meeting with me to talk about her profession. It was scary putting myself out there, but I quickly found that people are very willing to help.
2. Get an internship. While internships usually mean unpaid work, the experience you’ll gain in the end will make it well worth your time and energy. This will also give you a chance to “test-run” your possible career. Maybe you find that you aren’t in fact crazy about it, but at least you won’t make the same mistake twice!
3. Teach yourself. We live in a world of YouTube and self-help books, so take advantage! There are so many tools available to us that our parents didn’t necessarily have when they were preparing for their careers. Start by simply “Googling” your career of choice and you’ll find countless websites, articles, and blogs, where professionals in that particular field share their success secrets and stories. Head to the nearest bookstore and pick up a book that talks about your potential career in detail.
4. Make connections. I’ve only been working in the photography industry for a few months now, but already I’m making awesome connections and meeting new people all the time! Each photographer I meet offers new insights and advice for aspiring photographers like myself. So don’t be shy! Get your name out there, shake as many hands as you can, and welcome their advice with open arms!