1. Figure it out!
Write down what you want to do. NOOO, not the things you know you would be good at. The jobs you’re passionate about! Maybe it’s owning your own event planning business, or being a make up artist. Photographer? Even something like a lawyer…hey some one has to be passionate about it.
Before you invest money into a business or furthering your education for your dream job, connect with some people in the field you’re interested in. If you find any trade shows or conferences in your area GO TO THEM! Google or Bing search local people. It’s even better if you already are connected through a friend. Once you decide who you would like to meet up with, reach out to them. The professional way to connect would be phone or email. Please don’t send a text! Ask if they would be interested in answering a few of your questions about their career and offer to buy them a coffee (or drink). Make sure if they agree to it that you are on time and thank them for taking time out of their schedule. Have questions ready, you’ll look more professional. Best case scenario the person offers you an internship or job with them. Worst case, you find out you really wouldn’t want to do it.
3. Work it!
So if you’ve met up with a few people and decided that you want to pursue this amazing career of yours, start looking in to places where you could gain experience. Don’t get hostile at the words to follow. You might have to work for free. Painful to the wallet? Probably. Worth it? More than you know. Most interns at Cosmopolitan magazine and upscale fashion boutiques in New York and L.A. don’t pay their interns a dime. Why? Because those interns are spending time with brand names and that connection is worth more than gold. Have another job or two but no matter what get hands on experience in the line of work you’re day dreaming about. Make sure you talk to people (in a professional way!) and keep their business cards for your future career.
4. Keep records of a job well done!
Whether you’re an aspiring photographer, visual merchandiser or event planner; you’ll want to start a portfolio. Portfolios are a great way to keep your best materials together, making it easy for you to show them off. You should try to have an online portfolio and a hardcopy. (blurb.com and carbonmade.com are free web portfolios that make it easier to share your work with future clients and employers).
5. Set Goals!
Start with a year goal. It could look something like this:
- Quit my job
- Make connections with people in the fashion business, photographers and writers.
- Set Goals/ Save up money
- Intern for someone – hands on experience
- Build a portfolio
- Start Dream Career
- Have a webpage
Move to Monthly goals:
- Connect with 15 new people and reconnect with 5 people. Network. (Connecting means building relationships with people…so keep in touch with people you reach out to. OR who reach out to you!). It’s best to do this in person but it’s also very important to use social media as well.
- Save $200 every month. ($50 a week!)
- Have 15 new photos or articles or designs
- Maintain webpage
Weekly goals and Daily goals help break down those pesky monthly goals even further. I need daily goals… turns out I lack self-discipline. I love jumping from thing to thing. When I can visualize where I’m at by glancing at my to do list it helps keep me focused. Do what whatever works for you though.
7. Save up money.
Starting a business means investing in something first before you can make a profit from selling it. For example: With my photographs I have to pay to have them put on canvas or metal plates (looks amazing). It’s costs me about $84 for the size and style I like. Not cheap but to me it’s worth the quality. Most businesses don’t earn a profit there first year of business, if they’re lucky they break even. Be ready for the worst but hope for the best.
8. Educate yourself.
Look online to find if there’s any free education or resources, even certificates that relate to the job. *Double check the worth or value of certificates, licenses or degrees from online sites. (Meaning they may not be legit). Set aside an hour or two a week to learn about the latest developments in that industry.
9. Hey every body, come see what amazing things I’m doing!
Tell your friends and family that you’re going to start pursuing this crazy, amazing, dream job. Show them your plan. The more people you tell the better your odds are at succeeding. How so? Because we have this crazy thing called pride. You’ll hold yourself more accountable to achieve the dream because you’re telling an embarrassing amount of people about it. Bonus! The people who really care about you will cheer you on. Having a great support system can help speed the process along.
10. Fake it til you make it!
Want to be a fashion reporter? Dress like it carry around a camera and notebook. A writer? Dress like it. Carry around a leather shoulder bag, lap top or heck a type writer. Impersonating can lead to believing.
So go. Right now. Run to your closet or maybe the mall and put on your outfit, pick up the phone and start taking the baby steps towards the career you’ve only dared to dream of.