Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Options & Opportunity

For about a year now, I've been working at my dream job. I know I know, I'm only 20 and this can't possibly be my DREAM job but it's pretty darn close! I work currently at Indigo (for anyone outside of Canada, Indigo/Chapters/Coles are our big chain bookstores! Equivalent to Barnes & Noble?) Not only do I get to be surrounded by books all day, I get to be surrounded by other book lovers like myself! I get to talk and meet a wide range of people who enjoy reading. I have a hard time believing that reading a physical book is a dying hobby - I witness tons of people buying books and it just warms my heart! There is nothing better than chatting someone up and hearing how excited or happy they are to find a book they want - also half the time this is how I find my next read!

This post is really about how I plan to take my job with Indigo to a next level, something I can make into a career. More so, this post is a PSA on how to keep your options open when finding a job - especially for anyone coming from a field of study that is focused. 

So where do I go from here with this 'dream' job? How does it fit in with what I'm going to school for? As a student in university, I entered this job thinking - cool, I can buy books now at discount! I never gave much thought to a future with a part-time job at Indigo but after working there for about a year, I've come to see a future with this lovely company. Don't get me wrong, this is not a marketing ploy or advertisement about how awesome it is working at Indigo, I am doing this purely from my heart. 

Currently I go to school for Design Illustration with the ultimate goal of becoming an illustrator. I've always had two passions. First, I loved painting. Second, I loved writing and reading. I don't think I'm the next great writer but writing is fun. I write for myself like how I paint for myself. Illustration always appealed to me because it sort of merged two of my favourite things into one - art accompanied by text. I've always seen one side of art. It being the 'give it your all,' 'struggle till you make it,' 'starving artist' life but working for Indigo has giving me a new perspective on that. Commercial Design. The visual interpretation of theme and message within a commercial market. I work as a visual merchandiser with Indigo and help with executing the visual layout of the store (well a part of the store). I know it differs quite a bit from illustration but it's all under the umbrella of design. I work more with people and communicate more of my 'vision' of how I want something to look rather than working independently on a drawing or painting for illustration. I learnt, from the last three years in art school, that you cannot narrow your options and when you do, you lessen your chance to find work. Or rather, you cannot be 'picky' about what's out there in the world. It makes your chance for success limited. One thing I suggest to anyone out there who is in school for design and is struggling to decide what they want to do after school is explore. Do not wait for the chance at 'the' job you want to appear before you - search for a path leading to the job you want. The real world waits for nobody and the only chance at what we want is to go making the path yourself! I entered the job thinking I'd be just selling books to people, now I work as a visual merchandiser with a plan to move on up with the company. This is not a guarantee but it is now an option for me. I still have a year before I officially graduate and who knows, by then I might say, "screw it, I'm going to try to sell my art!" 

Who am I to preach about the topic? What do I know? If you think this, you have a point. I'm just a student with a part-time job at a bookstore. I'm here just sharing my experience in hopes that it reaches someone  somewhere who is going through the same pressure as I am about finding work in this increasingly cutthroat world! I wish nothing but the best for anyone out there trying to figure out work or life - take it easy and remember to find opportunity in anything you do because you never know what lies behind those chances you take!



PS - If anyone wants to talk about anything I'm here to listen! Just shoot me an email (you can find that under the Who Am I tab at the top)

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