“No one will give me a chance.”
“There are no opportunities.”
“I don’t know how to break into the field.”
“If no one gives me a shot, how can I build the required experience?”
I hear a lot of that type of chitter chatter on the streets these days.
And frankly, I’m tempted to buy a cane just so I can swat people with it. If Jenna Marbles thought this face was scary? Imagine me with that same crazed look on my face AND A CANE THAT I’M HOLDING LIKE A BAT.
Waitress forgot my hot sauce? SWAT.
Politician at my door? SWAT.
What, you don’t take credit card? SWAT.
And, of course, my most diligent swatting to students and mentees who are still waiting on the world to give them something. SWAT SWAT SWAT.
Because here’s a fun fact:
Nobody’s going to discover you. (As nice as that would be.)
Rather, when you want something?
You’ve gotta discover it.
What do I mean by discover it?
:: Instead of tirelessly getting shot down because you don’t have enough real-world experience, go get some by joining Mozilla Firefox’s PR Team, for example. Or edit and translate at Kiva. Or write for Virgin. There are brilliant opportunities if you look for them…instead of waiting for them to look for you. First, you’ll open some really heavy doors for yourself. My first job offer ever was doing PR for the FOX Network, because I interned there and they liked my skills–most notably the sweet Seinfeld commercials I once produced set to the tune of Gold Digger…no joke. But you’ll also end up with some pretty swanky names to drop, AND something impressive to say when you meet snobby people. And you thought there were no benefits.
:: Not getting hired because you don’t have a portfolio? Call out sick from life and MAKE ONE. I hear this a lot from copywriting students–”But I don’t have any writing samples.” But here’s a secret: You don’t need clients to write. Sit down, pick your favorite company, and come up with some new creative ad copy for a new product they’ve released. Or their homepage. Or their tagline. Or something else. And then do it again for your second favorite company. And your fiftieth. (It’s the Philadelphia Zoo, isn’t it. I knew it!) As long as you make it clear to prospective clients that they are samples and not live copy, it’s fine. And you’ve now showcased your talent–without needing permission, first.
:: Wish someone would give you your own radio talk show? Create your own. Grab the mic. Get on the air. With the internet, you really *can* do anything. And you might end up getting paid much better for it in the long run, too.
And so forth.
Because today more than ever, there are as many opportunities as you want to take.
The only question to ask yourself now is: