Recently, I met a young photographer who asked me what advice I would give her now that could help her career. So I have decided to tell her, very honestly, what I would have done differently about my career knowing what I know now:
1. You don’t need to know everything; nobody does. Not knowing answers to all questions is ok. You will learn, keep on learning about yourself and your job for years to come and no one expects you to know everything. It is impossible.
2. Remember that everyone’s path is different so don’t compare too much yourself to others.
3. Don’t waste years trying to please other people, especially those you think you are competing with.
4. Don’t feel ashamed of your work. Take pride in your work and projects you managed to complete. Remember that most people don’t even begin any projects, not to mention finishing them.
5. Don’t the ashamed of doing something else than working in your chosen profession for a while. If others make you feel guilty about it, fuck that, and if they by any chance make you anxious or uncomfortable in any way, cut them out of your life. We all have to pay our bills and eat more than dust bunnies.
6. Don’t be scared of change.
7. Listen to your intuition.
8. Every project is a learning curve, and it will stay this way until you stop working.
9. Sometimes taking a detour is needed to know where you want to go.
10. Work on yourself; not only to develop your professional skills but also to grow as a person. I firmly believe that spirituality can help.
11. Make plans, set your goals, measure them, and adjust if needed.
12. Be kind to people. Karma comes back, often quicker than we want to believe.
13. Have fun, lots of it! Travel, see the world, meet people. Don’t limit yourself to one place and space.
14. If something feels uncomfortable in your soul, don’t do it. Move on and don’t feel guilty about it.
15. Don’t waste time doing anything for people who don’t value you and your work.
16. Don’t try to please everyone. It’s impossible.
17. Don’t dismiss social media as part of your creative career. Building your fan base is what you need to sustain your career over an extended period of time, and social media is the easiest way to connect with your fans directly.
18. Find your way of doing things. You are one of a kind, unique, and no one does things the way you do.
19. Appreciate every day and be grateful for what you have; even if you are not where you would like to be. Otherwise, you will wake up one day and realise that instead of living your life fully and being happy, you were miserable without a good reason, and you lost lots of precious time, which you will never get back.
20. Sometimes it takes time to find out what you want to do and it is good. Cherish the moment when you are looking for your true calling.
21. It is more than ok to change your direction in life, to re-train and go in a different direction you thought you were supposed to go when you were in your twenties.