My dad has had the same job since he was in his 20's. Working for the city parks department isn't glamorous work no matter what Amy Poehler says. He is one of the hardest working people I know and he instilled those values in me. You have to have an incredible work ethic and a strong sense of responsibility to be able to last that long doing something that you are not completely passionate about. He also indirectly taught me that I could never do that. If I am going to spend 50-60 hours a week doing something, I NEED to love it. In this day and age when jobs are hard to come by, it's that mentality that will enable you to sustain success. It will push you to never give up and make people want to create opportunities for you. Why?... Because when you find something you are passionate about, it becomes your life, you immerse yourself in it and you end up with something more attainable right now than a job... a career.
I have sat beside several people that were leaps and bounds more talented than I. Initially jealousy set in but they pushed me to where I am now because I had to do more with less. That meant long hours… Yes - "I'm talkin bout practice". I have worked with "Allen Iverson" and guess what? That extra time on the court helped me grow so I'm still able to do this and he is out of the game. Without that desire, opportunities won't be there and the ones that may come up will be short lived. It's just too competitive.
Talent is like money – when you have it, life is easier. You obviously need to have some, but having more than the guy next to you isn't the be all to end all. Talent will open doors and create opportunities but passion and dedication will shape them. A little talent and a lot of passion and dedication can go a long way - because talent can be nurtured, work ethic can't.
Some tips for those just starting out:
- We understand that you are green and learning — that's expected. But if you want to be remembered (in a good way) what you lack in talent now you need to make up for in passion and desire.
- A degree is just one part of the equation — and it's the one piece that almost everyone else you are competing against will have as well, so it is almost a non-factor. You need to seek out situations that will enable you to separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
- Practice talking about your work. The more you do it the more comfortable you will get doing it. No job interview is a waste of time, they are your audience and those 3 that you don't really want may help you land the one you do.
- While it is nice to see the flyer you designed for your mom's gardening business and all your class projects, what I am really interested in is the work you have done on your own because you just love doing it.
- It is never a bad thing to ask questions, but learn to be more resourceful, I mean your generation has always had all the answers, it's called Google.
- Internships aren't just about credits, they are real world experience. I interned for 3 years and our best interns are ones that come in because they want to not because they have to in order to graduate.
- This ain't no 9-5, it's a lifestyle. If you can't accept that then you may want to explore a new path.