Follow Your Passion - How to Create a Job You Love – event review by Progress O. Oberiko
Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Arts and Humanities
Last updated: Monday, 10 May 2021
The launch of Sussex Festival of Ideas saw the School of Media, Arts and Humanities host an event called ‘Follow Your Passion - How to Create a Job You Love’, with alumni taking part. It was an amazing event which featured alumni speakers and entrepreneurs sharing their professional experiences.
“Dedicate yourself to what your craft is as a writer, designer, musician, etc.”
Jack Burgess, the first speaker, is a music writer who works with an NGO that helps writers in Oregon connect with their community, develop their craft and expand their career.
He spoke about losing his passion at some point as he recounts days when he wrote music just to suit briefs and not based on what he would personally love to write. He spoke about not being able to make a living from playing live music whilst he was in the UK, and how he asked himself what his values and his passion were and looked for jobs that fit. He also made a point about how one of his friends in the squash team commissioned him to write a music piece for his squash coaching, and subsequently encouraged everyone to be open to opportunities by networking with people. Jack encouraged the audience to “Think about what your passions are, and what your needs are, and find a job that meets both.”
“Don’t let your degree title hold you back in any way, always dare to give your passion a go!”
Solmaz Alsan, the Assistant Manager for Platform B, an FM radio station based in Brighton, studied Philosophy at Sussex. She always had passion for radio, but she never saw herself making a living out of it. During her first year of study she began shadowing a radio show in Brighton, and in her second year she ran to be a volunteer station manager which provided the opportunity to organise events. By volunteering with this organisation she expanded her horizons beyond her degree title and gained experience in the field she wished to work in. By taking on volunteering opportunities, Solmaz was able to prepare herself for future opportunities which helped her in her chosen field.
“Opportunities are waiting for you to bump into them, you just have to go out and find them”.
Sara Osterholzer, co-founder and Director of The Good Business Club, studied International business, and in her second year went further to explore what the University had to offer beyond a degree. She developed her skills in business and began sourcing opportunities by setting up a twitter account, attending networking events, and self-publicising. She was contacted by one of the firms she had earlier been rejected by, who kept in touch with her and followed her work online. Sara advised students to “Identify your strength, get yourself out there, connect with people, make the most of where you find yourself, and keep asking - the worse you can get is a no!” She concluded, “Put your hand up for everything”.
The event featured footage from the Make it Happen event, where the importance of volunteering, mentors, and exploring different career options were all emphasised, as well as advice to sign up for job alerts.
“Resilience is key”
We also heard from student entrepreneurs Kyla Lowe and Iymaan Morris-Zepheri. Iymaan started working as a DJ and spoke about pursuing your interests by continuously knocking on doors. By being resilient, he was able to secure opportunities with various companies and is currently looking to expand. He concluded by saying that “senior people are ready to give young people a chance if they are ready to commit”. Kyla spoke about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and simply showing up everywhere because “when your face is out there, people will get to see you and know how capable you are”.
In response to a question about losing one’s passion Kyla said “remember your why and your what”, and why you started down a particular path in the first place. If you’re looking for a mentor in particular field, for people who inspire you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
This article was written by Progress O. Oberiko (MA Media Practice for Development and Social Change)
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