How to Kickstart Your Creative Career as a Teenager?
Career is different for everybody. For someone, a career might be proceeding with their doctor education. And for someone else — building a million dollar business with new technology they invented. For me, it was different though. As a high school student, I did not really know what I really wanted to do in life. I was wasting my time playing video games with my friends and didn’t really work out much either. My grades were average to low and I lacked motivation for studying or hanging out with friends and family.
I had always been interested in art and creativity but had not really been able to pursue much of it since I spent most of my time on computer games and homework. After a while, I came to realize this was not going to last in the long run. My goals were non-existing and my computer games were just a way to escape reality and make time go faster.
When starting my second year in high school classes got scrambled and I decided to break loose from my old habits. I achieved a motivation for studying and got into exercising. This worked, but my happiness was still not at the place I wanted it to be. My behavior created an endless loop of boring routines. At this point in time, I also got introduced web development. A topic my school was somewhat aimed to teach in, along with web design. This is where it clicked for me, I fell in love with it. Finding your passion can be difficult, and the only way of finding it is to try many different things, and eventually, you will find it.
So, what should you do after finding your passion? Well, it depends. It depends both on who you are, and what your passion you is. What I did might not work for you. But I can at least explain what I did, which certainly worked out for me. As always you, unfortunately, have to make compromises. No matter what. I decided to put almost all of my time into learning web development. Every day on the breaks between classes and after school I focused on improving my skills by watching online tutorials on YouTube, I took online classes, experimented with my own websites and read a lot of articles and blog posts on the topic. Doing this is quite easy when you are doing something you really enjoy. It doesn’t feel like you have to learn.
I’d also recommend joining groups that share your interest. Browse Facebook, go to meetups, join and discuss topics on subreddits and Slack groups. Try finding your community. This will make you feel connected and improve your chances of meeting mentors and peers that will help you on your journey to become better at whatever you are doing.
After hustling through teaching yourself what you really love doing, it is time to start looking for your first job. It does not matter if you are still in high school or college, there is always a way to manage several things in life. Start browsing through local companies that sound interesting to you. It does not matter if they are not a dream company. As long as it is somewhat interesting to you. Reach out to companies, introduce yourself kindly and ask for meetings where you get the chance to present yourself and your work. This is the most important thing. Get out there, meet companies, meet people and build your network. In the beginning, you will get rejected a lot of times. That happened to me at least. I was young and inexperienced. Taking the shot to hire a junior creative can be quite risky for companies. But after a while, you will find a company willing to take a shot on you.
And remember, the first company does not have to perfect for you.
It is more important to get the first job than getting the perfect job.