So, I am currently aboard a train en route to Tokyo where, give or take a 12 hour wait, I will be boarding the plane that takes me home to Perth. I must admit, I am looking forward to being released from the grips of delicious temptation…that call out to me in the form of perfect tempura, udon noodles and squid balls. Despite this, there is an element of anxiousness that I feel about my return.
Now the real job hunting begins. Up until this point, you see, I’ve delayed really putting myself out there until the end of my vacation. I wasn’t about to have an awkward conversation about needing 2 weeks off for a vacation, just a few shifts into a new job. So here we are. No excuses now. But where to start? The education system was so much simpler. You end your studies, put your name into the bowl and a school reaps from the pool of tributes (go on, try and guess which novel I was reading throughout my flights).
Now, it seems I’m at multiple forks in the road (do I attempt to freelance, do I seek out an agency?). Oh, but it’s dark. I know the paths are there, but I’ll need to feel around for them. Yesterday, I created a LinkedIn account, so that, at least, has the potential to act like a flashlight. It was actually quite difficult for me to list my skills. On one hand, I compare myself to designers with years of experience and a wealth of projects under their belts. “Jeez, I can’t do that!” (Yet). On the other hand, I know I am underestimating my knowledge.
It’s hard to gain a realistic evaluation of my abilities, so that is something I will have to seek out. I hear there are people who can do this for you and point you in the right direction, give you a realistic hourly rate etc. Asking for critique can leave you very vulnerable. How will you react when you are told your work is not up to scratch, or that someone doesn’t highly rate your “style”. As the teacher, I’ve been responsible for giving the feedback- and here I now am, at the other end, trying to take it in and applying it to my own self improvement.
Allow me to share an anecdote which made me appreciate what skills I have to offer a business. Before I left my school, I demonstrated to the person who will be taking on the task of producing the school’s Annual. They had recently completed a three day course on InDesign… I’ll let you question the preparedness to produce a document for the first time with only hours of explanation on how to work the program, on your own. Anyway, I digress. I demonstrated how to do a few things such as re-size an image… it really made me think about how people underestimate the skill level involved and, as I have found on many occasions, the time it takes to produce a document or image.
Self doubt has always been a downfall of mine. Now I need to be able to shout out, “I’m here! I can do it!” Years of down playing what I could do, has me wondering, well what CAN I do? What are my selling points? Well, it appears that next weeks mission is to get the feelers out there. Write some emails and advertise myself. Have I underestimated or overestimated my ability to be a employee of this industry? We will find out! How did you decide? Or did the universe decide for you?
Be prepared to put yourself out there. It is important to receive critique, but don't focus the spotlight solely on the bad. Take the compliments and use it to push yourself further.