I was reading October Vogue the other day and came across something that really struck a chord. The article in question was Alexa Chung's interview with Tavi Gevinson - who, as you probably already know, is founder of the wonderful website RookieMag.com. When asked about career paths Tavi replies with the philosophy that, "Your domain doesn't have to be writing or editing or curating" adding that "For me, my domain is me - and I just find the best medium for expressing that."
I found this idea so perfectly true, and so relevant to how I've been feeling for quite a while now. As a graduate, I'm constantly being asked by friends, relatives, and any with a passing interest about my future. Have I settled on a career? What path am I going to take? And it can often feel that in order to satisfy these questions and to placate myself and my own fears and anxieties that I have to make a sudden decision. That I should once and for all decide on a plan of action and follow it blindly.
But the thing is, life isn't like that. Life doesn't always go to plan. If I pin all my hopes on a five or even ten-year-plan drawn up and pre-prepared till the nth degree then I will probably be in store for one almighty let down. I'm not saying that I don't have dreams and don't make any plans for them - I do! - but that I've had enough of trying to squeeze myself into one role, career or sector. Working in media and the arts is tough enough without limiting yourself to one definite area in order to look like you know what your doing. And, as Tavi so eloquently points out, it is so much more important to focus on the brand 'you' and all the varying areas where your interests and passions lie than to contort yourself into a certain shape to please others and meet social expectations.
Of course, we all need jobs, and not all of us are fortunate enough to spend a lot of time focusing on Planet 'Me', but, while many of us may not be working in our dream job right now or be happily climbing the rungs (or greasy pole) of the career ladder, it doesn't mean we aren't satisfied, fulfilled or pursuing our passions. There are so many jobs I can see myself doing, so many things I would like to be. All I can do is keep exploring, keep learning and keep trying my hardest. Make enough noise, and you will surely hear an echo back.
Photograph is of Jean Shrimpton modelling officewear in the 60's, from Pinterest.