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Dear Wendy

Doubts and fears of career and future.

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  • #1062498 Reply
    Abbie
    Guest

    Hi,

    I just turned 25 this past weekend and its really made me stop and think, what am I doing with my life. I’ve always had this plan of, have a job by now that I’m progressing in, be in a stable relationship. Have kids by 27 and be pretty much settled down in my life by 27/30.

    I’ve turned 25 and its like I’ve none of that. My boyfriend just broke up with me about 2 weeks ago and that has kind of turned my world upside down. I want a job that I can be creative in and enjoy. I don’t want to have a 9-5 office job, or work in retail. Some people are happy enough with them jobs but i’d feel like I let myself down if I just settled for that. I wanted to pursue my love of acting, but realising how difficult it is to get into that industry, I give up. I have done a photography course and I would like to make a career out of photography. I have a DSLR camera, just the basic kit lens (if anyone understands, or does photography reading this) but its the doubts and fears in my head stopping me from progressing with photography. I don’t know how to advertise my work, how to bring in clients. And if I do manage to advertise and get a client, what if it all goes wrong and the client hates the photos, what if I can’t do the job I’m suppose to. And thinking like that just makes me feel like I should just settle for a 9-5 regular job.

    I just need some advice on life, I just feel lost and directionless. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

    #1062619 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    I can’t tell if you have significant training and a plan, or if you are just engaged in wishful thinking because you are unwilling to work a regular, 9-5 job. You say acting was difficult to break into. In a pandemic, I think it was impossible, with even established actors unable to work. What experience and training did you have in acting. When did you try to break in and what did you do to try to get a foothold in this profession?

    On photography — how extensive a photography course did you take and from whom? Have you built a portfolio of your work? Have you asked established photographers or editors to critique your work? Have any of your photographs been exhibited? You might want to start working as a photographer for somebody else. If that isn’t possible, I think you should consider a 9-5 job, while developing your photography skills as a side gig/hobby.

    I’m guessing that photography is also a difficult field to break into.

    What is your educational background?

    How are you supporting yourself today?

    #1062639 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    You are so young that you have plenty of time to make anything you like into a hobby or career if you put time and effort into it. Yeah, it’s hard to start your own acting or photography career. It won’t be easy. Not many things are super easy, unless you’re rich or really, really talented. You could fail! You might fail multiple times. But you might not! And you might be lucky enough to make a life doing something that you enjoy and can be great at. Please don’t give up at the first sign of hardship or failure. Things get hard in life, but you need to find the strength to power through and make it another day. Everyone has to find their own way, and unless you’re insanely wealthy, it’s going to be hard, often maybe.

    Please don’t look down at people working 9-5, retail, customer service or whatever jobs you think are boring or beneath you. A lot of photographers and artists have second or even third jobs, often in retail. Many, many people work to afford to live and use their free time for their passions. I’ve also seen a lot of people try to make a life off their passion, and find aspects of that very exhausting, and they don’t find that fulfillment anymore. You don’t know what lies in store for you, so don’t judge others.

    #1062724 Reply
    Hazel
    Participant

    When you turn your passion into your profession you may end up working way more hours than 9-5, just to make ends meet. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing, but taking something like photography, to make a living you would typically be doing many weddings etc – just as if you are a painter you might end up painting people’s pets, or the walls of their houses, etc, and there’s a line where you have to decide whether you want to keep your art true to your aim , and do something else to put the beans on the table, like retail, etc, as many artists do, or allow commercial forces to lead your creativity and hope that the experience you gain will benefit your practice. The main thing is to keep doing it, paid or not. Good luck whatever you decide.

    #1062728 Reply
    Hazel
    Participant

    BTW if I was a photographer, I’d get a job with a framer to stay solvent and learn skills which will serve you well as you progress, and may give you access to exhibition opportunities.

    #1062737 Reply
    Abbie
    Guest

    I was trying to get into acting before the pandemic. I took workshops, I done a year of theatre in college. But the people in my course made it difficult to learn, and I was in a bad relationship so that didn’t help. I missed a lot of days. Thats why I dropped out after the year. I done a open door play in my town hall (no audition needed, voluntary work)
    With photography I done a one year course in one of the colleges in my area.

    I deffinitly don’t look down on 9-5 basic retail jobs. I applaud them because its something I would find unfullfilling to do. I wish I was like them, so I could have a 9-5 job and be happy. But its just not for me.

    Thank you for all your comments though. I think my downfall is living in wishful thinking.

    #1062741 Reply
    Abbie
    Guest

    And when I say 9-5 job, its just me referring to retail/customer service. Its not me saying I can’t work 9-5 or more hours for a job. Its talking about jobs that have no creativity in it. Like acting/photography.

    #1062749 Reply
    Hazel
    Participant

    I’ve done many 9-5 jobs and no I wasn’t happy, many people doing those jobs are absolutely not happy, it’s just necessity. If you can manage to support yourself without that , that’s brilliant, but don’t think people who do these jobs are happy and satisfied because they don’t want more, and are easily contented, most people absolutely do want something more fulfilling (or at least better paid), just as you do.

    #1062762 Reply
    Hazel
    Participant

    If you do have to take a job, try to get one which has something to do with your photography/acting as that really does help ease the strain, being connected to the things that move you.Like working front of house in a theatre, etc.Opportunities may crop up.

    #1062972 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    For photography, I’d think you’d need photoshop courses too? No? I think a really good photographer would do some clean up.

    Trying to find a job at a studio is probably your best bet.

    Or go back to school and take art classes. My ex fiancé’s sister worked at an art studio in Atlanta, selling high end art.

    I think if you talk to people in different careers, you’d learn that there are so many different directions you can take. Life isn’t just retail. Or acting. Or photography. Or office job.

    #1062977 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    Speaking of working front of house in theater. I’ve been listening to the office ladies podcast and Jenna Fischer worked as an admin before landing The Office. Angela worked at an Improv place. It doesn’t sound like she was necessarily on stage a lot or at all.

    #1063077 Reply
    Abbie
    Guest

    Photoshop was part of the course so I’m well educated on it.

    This advice has been really helpful. I feel like I’m just in a slump at the moment and reading your comments is pulling me out of it that little bit. I just need to push myself and put myself out there.

    Thank you all for the replies.

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