Written by Jennifer Ku
Edited by Cornelius Suen
Photography by Jenkin Au
I often hear young entrepreneurs and creative types say that they wish there were more jobs available for them in their field of choice or that they wish they could be offered that specific dream job they have been yearning for. I definitely have expressed these same sentiments. Gradually, however, I have come to realize that complaining about a lack of opportunity is oftentimes an exercise in futility. Instead of waiting for opportunities to be given to us, we should create our own opportunities and realize our dreams for ourselves. Personally, I aspire to be a creative artistic director, just like Don Draper from Mad Men. I know is far-fetched for me, an unemployed and recently graduated individual, to be expecting to have my job of choice right now, but it’s important to dream. There are a lot of opportunities out there and dreaming allows us to visualize our goals and to keep them in sight. It’s not all about replying to job postings and waiting for someone to offer you an opportunity. Sometimes, we need to create opportunities for ourselves. The young entrepreneurs and creative types who are out there doing what they love and creating their futures based on their own merits are perfect examples of the mindset I am talking about.
Those young entrepreneurs and creative types who get noticed in their respective fields of expertise have the ambition and courage to do something for themselves that they believe in and try to make great, even at the risk of rejection or disappointment. They create opportunities for themselves and if they are lucky to be handed an opportunity, they seize it and make the most of it. Of course, there are going to be people out there who try to downplay the accomplishments of those who forge their own creative paths. There will be those who look at the achievements of others and say, “Oh I could’ve done that,” or, “What’s so hard about that? I could do that better!” Such statements simply show the ignorance and envy of the speaker. It doesn’t matter if you can do something better and talking about it certainly doesn’t prove anything. In short, you never took the chance to try and create something innovative or intriguing. You never put your work or yourself out into the public eye to be criticized. You never took a chance on your dreams and will never know whether or not you could have made it. Do not be bitter because you did not create your own opportunities.
A post secondary education is not a predicate to an amazing career in your desired field. Yes, a degree or a diploma, or as I like to call it, piece of paper, certainly has the potential to help you achieve your the career of your dreams, but it by no means guarantees it. A couple years at college can mature you and change you as a person for the better or sometimes, for the worse. If anything, a post secondary education is a time for thinking, for evaluation, and for the planning of the next years of your life. A post secondary education can have different effects on everyone. Some people may gain knowledge, others may change their interests, and still others may only take away from their post secondary education strengthened relationships with their family and friends. When you’re stepping out of that zone, you have to re-evaluate yourself, your learning and what you got out of it. It doesn’t matter what background or degree you have and it doesn’t matter whether you know what you want to be or what you want to do. Living your life is all about following your passions and making opportunities happen for yourself, or if you are lucky enough, to encounter opportunities that are given to you and seizing them to make the best of it. You don’t have to live a life being told what to do and doing what others expect of you. Create your own expectations for yourself and blaze your own trail into the future, regardless of the opinions of others. Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but they key to failure is trying to please everybody.” It’s true. I’ve been there and I’m sure you’ve been there too.