They say, “do what you love/love what you do.” For centuries, people were born into their careers. If your father was a tailor, you were destined to become a tailor. Limited social mobility meant a person’s future occupation was predetermined. It is only within the last 100 years that a person has been able to choose a profession for themselves, free from the yoke of their father’s industry. And it is the privilege of millennials, myself included, to have the audacity to choose a profession that fuels their passions.
Nowadays, when someone is searching for a job or determining a career, it is important to them not only to achieve financial stability, but to also love what they do. People don’t only want to go to work – they dare to dream that they will enjoy it. With this in mind, the question then becomes, how can you translate your passion to a profession?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a pencil in my hand and I’ve been sketching, drawing, and painting. In elementary school, this meant creating incredibly elaborate book reports and dioramas; in middle school, it meant taking summer classes at the local community college and developing my own custom fonts and cartoon characters. By high school, I volunteered to create materials for virtually every single club. At this point, it was just something I really enjoyed: creating custom illustrations for school newspaper articles, producing posters to promote events, designing school playbills and choir CD covers, and designing and executing the school yearbook.
By the end of high school, I was toying with the idea of some sort of creative major, but wasn’t ready to fully commit. After all, a career in the arts is not necessarily reliable, or even particularly respected nowadays. It is not nearly as popular nor as essential to paint portraits of nobility as it was back in the days of Leonardo DaVinci, nor it is as necessary to have decent calligraphy – or even simple handwriting – skills. However, upon entering college, I realized that a creative mind could be useful in a variety of professions.
Fast forward a few years – I now work as a graphic designer for R&J Strategic Communications. After several explorations and realizations in college, chief of all “no, your strong affinity towards typography is not weird, and yes, there is an industry for it,” I decided to major in graphic design. Now, instead of creating posters to advertise club meetings, I develop billboards to announce store openings. Instead of making elaborate book reports to portray the invention of the light bulb, I design infographics to educate people about the various signs of colon cancer. And instead of making custom illustrations for newspaper articles, I design custom graphics for R&J blog posts.
I encourage all those passion seekers out there to learn from this journey. Keep pursuing your hobbies. Educate yourselves to the full extent of your ability. You’d be surprised at all the different ways in which your hobby can manifest itself. Most importantly, enjoy yourself. YOLO 😉