Zachary Rees is our new monthly Contributor to Pepper Prep.
Boxing Yourself In
In an industry full of so many different opportunities, is it a good idea to box yourself into one category? Or should you expand and dabble in all different areas? That is a question I find myself asking, a lot! Personally, I believe there are pros and cons to both...
On the one hand, if you specialize you’ll only grow your skills and continue to get better and better at that one thing. And, I’m not talking to those of you who are deeply in love with what you’re doing and want to do it forever. This post is for people like me, who love this industry and want to try out all different areas eventually.
For a little context, I currently work as a videographer. I honestly never really saw myself in a “behind the scenes” type of position such as shooting and editing video. I saw more of a job that put me in front of the camera or on-air. This job has been a learning experience for sure and has shown me how much I love this area of the industry. Not only that, but my skills have improved immensely from the time that I was in school learning all of this. Now, this is where I struggle. I’ve been doing this type of work for just under two years now. And, I’d be more than happy (over the moon, really) to accept another position as a Videographer. But, one day I’d also love to expand and do something else as well.
I have started gaining experience in other areas such as hosting and voice-over work, through freelance positions. Which is great, but I feel like I’m being pulled in all these different directions. One way, I’m experienced and knowledgeable in video production but do I want to do that forever? On the other hand, I have ongoing freelance work that I love but am not as experienced or well-versed in, and it most certainly does not pay the bills... but it is an area that I would like to work in full-time one day. These are just a couple of the million thoughts that run through my head every time I think about this topic.
The main questions I find myself asking are... Do you; A: continue in the field that you know, and potentially “box yourself” into that type of work forever. Or B: do you completely shut that part of your career out and start from an even lower “entry level” and try to find work in the areas you want to explore more? Then there’s option C: do both… which may sound easier said than done, but I believe it can be accomplished through freelancing, networking, and just personal projects that will advance your skills. I'm a firm believer in following your dreams but also providing a comfortable and stable life for yourself. The trick is finding a balance between the two.
If no one’s hiring you, go and do it yourself! May not make you any money, but one day it might.
This field is one big confusing pot of opportunities, and it's interesting to find where you fit in. There's certainly comfort in knowing where you excel and where you don't. When it all comes down to it, I'd say it's better to have a stable career that you can settle into for awhile. That just means you got to work extra hard to find those side freelance opportunities, but that's just all part of climbing the (seemingly) never-ending career ladder. At least that's how I feel, everyone will think differently about this. But, after being settled into a contract job for just under two years now, I am very ready for a permanent position where I can get comfortable at for awhile. Some might call that boxing myself in, but I think I'm okay with that. Are you?