The Arts and Your Career
I work with so many clients who are highly creative. They tend to have big interests in the arts and music. Many have stuffed those interests because they cannot make a living at what they love.
Let me tell you two stories about clients who have started to feed those interests.
Susan and Photography
I have written about Susan twice before:
Susan started her career as a photographer. She quickly found that she was unable to make photography into a viable money-making career. So, she just stopped.
Her top three Birkman interests were Literary, Social Service, and Artistic. She was highly creative and loved helping people. Her job in market research allowed her to fill the first two, but she had stuffed her interest in the arts. When I learned this, I told her to get out her phone and just start taking pictures. She needed to fill her interest in the arts!
She responded, “Take pictures of what?”
My response was, “Anything you want!”
Susan has gone through ups and downs (as you will discover in the previous posts). She is currently working for herself taking project jobs.
Over the last few years, I periodically get texts from Susan with absolutely beautiful images. Each time, you could tell she was beaming.
The photograph above was taken a few months ago and was just accepted into a major black and white photography competition.
Susan texted me when she learned her photograph had been accepted. Susan was ecstatic.
She does not get to fill this interest in her career…but it can be—and needs to be—filled in her personal life!
Steve and Music
Steve graduated from high school and pursued a music degree. After a couple of years in college, he realized that he would never be able to make a living as a musician.
Steve pursued multiple business degrees and was pretty successful. When the great recession caused his business to fail, he was at a crossroads. He was now almost 40 years disconnected from his musical past.
He found work and was doing okay financially, but he was not happy. Almost by accident, he reconnected with some band buddies from his past. He found that his passion had not gone away.
The arts and, more importantly, music fed his soul.
The business world of music has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Now, we are working together to see if he can marry his acumen in business with his love for music.
When I work with clients who have high interests in the arts and music, there are some common personality characteristics:
- They tend to be more shy and introverted than normal. Some have learned to behave like extroverts, but they really are closet introverts.
- They are far more likely to be emotional and kind, empathetic souls.
- They do not like conforming to strict rules. They tend not to function well in rigid environments.
- They like to add flair to their work products. This often comes out in beautiful Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. They take pride that their work products look good!
The Arts and Your Career Rarely Intersect
I remember being in Washington D.C. last year to visit our son and daughter-in-law. We were in the National Portrait Gallery and met a young employee who was a recent college graduate with an art history degree.
I told her congratulations on finding a good job where she actually got to use her degree.
More importantly, I said I was sure her parents were even more ecstatic that she found a position using her art history degree!
Those of you who have high interests in the arts and music are probably not getting those needs filled within your career. If you have stuffed those interests in order to pursue a career that pays the bills, puts food on the table, pays the mortgage, and puts your kids through college, you may want to resurrect those interests.
Have you taken your interest in the arts or music and stuffed it?
Maybe it is time to repack your bags!Marc Miller
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