In life, we curate our surroundings; we decorate our homes, plan our outfits for big events, throw events and even try to plan for our retirements and our elderly years. What I see, more often than not, is that many people do not curate their careers.
t Instead of having achievable goals and attaching the overall purpose of our careers to everything that we do, we simply find jobs and move as we are told.
t This has to stop. Our careers will potentially take up more time during our functioning adult lives than our families, friends and personal time combined. It’s time that we start curating our careers so that we can accurately curate our lives.
Tip 1: It’s OK to start at the bottom, if you keep your eye on the prize
t At the start of our careers we tend to want to jump in and be at the top right away. However, we are more likely to grow within our careers if we keep people happily surprised instead of disappointed. Start slow, intern, take jobs below what you want to get paid and build your reputation as a person who goes above and beyond the job. Don’t harm your reputation in the early days of your career by biting off more than you can chew. If you are patient great things will happen, but don’t lose sight of your overall goals either. If you aren’t moving forward, it is OK to move on… after you leave your mark.
Tip 2: Offer help and ask for help
t There is not one person in this world that knows everything. If we do not ask for help, we cannot learn. If we are not learning, we are not expanding our minds. Think of your career as an art exhibit; if you don’t know of new art or artists, your show will remain stagnant. Ask other curators for help. It will not make you seem like anything you’re not to ask for advice. It’s OK to be at your level in your career. Take advice from the more seasoned curators and find new art.
t On the other side of the coin, offer help and advice. When you see people in need of help, don’t wait for them to ask, offer it. Having many people that understand the things that you know is not a bad thing. In art, there is no competition, as all artistic pieces exist and are open to interpretation. Be an artist in your career and look to better yourself and others. The truth is, the more powerful the people around you become, the more powerful you will become.
Tip 3: Let others interpret your career, but take advice with caution
t Just as an artist’s art is open to interpretation, some art is bigger than the knowledge of those interpreting it. Listen to advice and welcome advice for your career, however, only take advice from people who are living a life that you wish to have. Every choice we make in life takes us from one place to another; whether it is conscious or subconscious, our choices curate our lives. Find people that live the life you see for yourself and ask their advice on the things that you find most relevant to your own career. Be careful taking the advice of those who live differently than you. Although their advice is given with good intent, it just may not be the art you need for your exhibit.