Finding your confidence in the careers maze

Having attended a recent event about working in the creative and performing arts sectors, I wanted to share with you some of the positive messages I received. No matter what degree you are studying or job you are in, we all have unique strengths and talents that can be harnessed in a career. Here are a few suggestions on how you can start out, develop career confidence and ride the storms of rejection from employers.

· Do whatever you want to do, be whoever you want to be. Decide what this looks like, sounds like and feels like to you. Pursue earnestly until you reach your career goal.

· Be open to varied opportunities, don’t box yourself in.

· Describe yourself as a person. Describe what you do. They can be the same or different, it doesn’t matter. But understand how each influences the other.

· If you fall over, stand up, brush yourself down and carry on – persevere and develop an inner resilience.

· Believe in yourself, being turned down for a job is not personal!

· There is more than one way to achieve your aspirations and objectives. Find out the alternatives.

· Surround yourself with positive influencers – find the people who enthuse, encourage and “can do” – expand your support network.

· Be true to yourself. Avoid comparing yourselves to others and don’t compete with yourself.

· Know your own worth. There is only one of you in the world. You are unique.

· Grow in your career by seeking constructive, fair and balanced feedback. Be clear about specific aspects you wish to change.

· Research the area you want to go into: key players, trends, current issues, opportunities, challenges, environments and values.

· Diversify your network of interesting and useful contacts. Seek out those people who advise and signpost you.

· Build your experience through volunteering and/or self-employment/freelancing. Consider free-exchange of your talents/capabilities with others too.

· Plan small, daily steps/activities and the larger openings will come your way.

· Take your “possible future-self (or artistic self)” out on a date… spend time and space to find out more about them to gain inspiration. Explore, experiment and have fun! You never know where it might lead.

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