What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
“Slow down to speed up.” I may be paraphrasing, but I think it’s from Matthew McConaughey’s book Greenlights.
The concept is that life – or a freelance career – has a bunch of green lights, and sometimes slowing down allows you to catch these green lights just as they change, rather than being caught at a red light, which can seem like forever.
Those red lights can be dry spells between projects, but taking on smaller projects – or even starting self-initiated projects – can be a perfect way to close the gap and hone your skills.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar role?
If I had to start again, I’d make a list of the type of work, or even just the sectors I would love to work within, and then find companies, individuals or agencies that fit the criteria, who I also like.
I’d make 10 pieces that I was really proud of; a basic, but clean portfolio website to explain the thinking and concept behind the pieces, then I’d make a digital, PDF portfolio of those 10 pieces.
I’d fire out emails to as many people as possible, whether to companies, individuals, or agencies, to talk about my passion for that sector and explain who I am. And then I’d reference my website or attached digital portfolio and hopefully, someone responds the first time. If not, rinse and repeat until they do!
You can work on your social media presence while waiting for responses, or make your 10 pieces. Post them everywhere and cover as much ground as you possibly can. In the beginning, the goal is to oversaturate [your social media presence with your work] until you can “undersaturate” and curate, posting work to your chosen platform(s).