Will Timmons is a great friend of mine. We actually started our blogs on the same day without consulting each other. The purpose of each blog was to discuss aspects of music and the music industry in an attempt to digest our thoughts and encourage others. This post is in response to a recent blog of his: Life Takes Time For Some of Us.
Will's point is very valid and he is attempting to encourage the millennial generation currently searching desperately to find its place professionally. Notice, I did not say searching to find itself.
The facts about youth unemployment are overwhelming, not only in music but across our generation.
The first years out of college can be incredibly depressing. For many people, this is the first time we are not around people exactly like us, other students of the same age, regional background, and subject area. This is the first time we have to explore strange new work places, seek out new people and to boldly search for motivation.
Those of us lucky enough to have salaries are often at the bottom of a totem pole and exist in a predetermined job description. Speaking with friends across fields and careers, they often find these jobs disappointing in their level of creativity, output, innovation, and freedom of thought. So much effort is put on the "grammar" of fitting in, (dress right, be on time....etc.) little time can be spent on creation.
We need to stop asking our parents' generation for everything. We need to stop attempting to fit in. We need to express ourselves creatively and courageously. We need to DO.
These precious years between university and "professionalism" can be spent on a verity of activities. It takes time to develop the vocabulary, poise, relationships, connections, and wisdom needed for innovation and articulate entrepreneurship . But, all of these things come from doing, thought, and doing again.
If you are trained as an artist, make art. Make bad art, but show your art and practice. If you are a musician, play music. Play lots of music. Organize concerts. Perform. PRACTICE.
"Pre-professionals" (A term I think is crap forced on us by a strict and moldy generation) have something salaried people don't...TIME.
You have a degree in a field. You have an expertise you thought worthy of pursuing. USE IT. You are a professional.
Young professionals have to practice to fit into a professional mold. And yes, everyone has to practice. We have to practice more than our distinguished colleagues because they have years of wisdom. But, don't be shy about calling yourself a professional. YOU ARE.
The interesting characteristics of people are those that don't fit our expectations. Those people audacious enough to be themselves and to create, those people are the beautiful people. Our generation needs confidence and a kick in the ass...go innovate. GO DO.