Now, this approach is a valid choice from the start, but it’s also open to you at any time in your career. That’s right, whenever you want, you can switch.
If we consider the first approach as working your way up through the floors inside the building, than this would be the equivalent of climbing up the outside. It’s risky, scary, and somewhat insane, but once you get to the floor you want, just knock on the window (I know, we left the door thing. Same sentiment, though.). Or smash it, there’s always that… And the nice thing? The only things you need to worry about are you, and those who open windows. Which even the latter can be bypassed. You are what’s important here, and that’s that.
This approach is harder to nail down than the first. It’s the “boutique” path. It’s punk rock, and it’s exactly what your parents and friends told you *not* to do. It usually consists of personal projects and a whole lot of networking. On that side of it, we’ve got it easy. Thanks to social networking, we can connect with people we look up to, ask questions, and find an audience, without ever leaving our tiny studio apartments in the middle of bleaksville. We’re incredibly lucky we have all of this, and we should embrace it.
So let me conclude with some important advice:
Make things. Make good things. Open up a window, climb outside that stuffy building, and knock on every other window until you get an answer.
Meet everyone you can, and find meaning in the work you can get. Sometimes, that meaning is just experience or money. But if you keep going, and keep knocking (or sometimes smashing), you’ll find work and experiences that leave you with a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Whether that’s making advertisements in a teeny tiny market that help small businesses thrive, creating art that inspires others, or providing entertainment that empowers young kids, you can truly love this field.
Remember that it’s difficult. Remember that it’s unexpected. Know that it’s about the people you meet and experiences you have, and not which windows (or doors) you enter. And realize that that is the best kind of creative fuel, and what makes life truly worth living.