Regardless of what I did while growing up, my mother always told me “put it in your backpack”. She emphasised that everything we experience can be put in our knowledge bank i.e. our Personal CV. You never know when an experience might come in handy. The backpack in itself therefore becomes a symbol for life as a whole. The more you fill it, the richer you become. Perhaps not rich in money, but rich in something much more valuable: LIFE. So try to not stare yourself blind on improving your professional CV. Because what matters at the end of the day is what you lived and how you felt while living it. Of course we all need a basic income to live well, but everything beyond that – is it really part of what’s essential?
Unfortunately, as we grow older and go through school the focus shifts from exploring to conforming. We are told to focus our energy on our professional backpack i.e. our CV, and not waste time on “trying things”. Sir Ken Robinson puts it quite dramatically: “School kills creativity”. Nevertheless, his speech is absolutely fantastic in explaining our current realities with regards to creativity. Because if we don’t try different things how are we supposed to know:
- What profession we want to have?
- What kind of life we want to live?
- Who we want to be?
- And simultaneously be innovative in a constantly toughening job-market?
As a young adult today, it is as if “working on your professional CV” is a never-ending process. Everywhere I look I see friends, peers and colleagues who have fallen into the hole of only doing what “looks good” on paper. However, I have always wondered who decides what is “good” and not? Shouldn’t that be up to each individual? Sure, it’s proved that students who graduate from prestigious schools are more successful in terms of a higher certainty for well-paid jobs after graduation. But does this security ensure that they are happy? The same applies to other high-paid professions. Today’s consumerist society wants us to focus on the pay-check so that we can consume more. Don’t let it fool you, but rather try to look deep inside of what you would really like to spend your life doing regardless of whether it generates millions or only a basic income.
Modern society needs to shift the hierarchy of professions
I don’t think everyone is meant to be a doctor or to work in a bank. And yet, society prefers us to take the more secure path of a stable and well-paid job. First, I wish values would shift regarding what jobs are considered as “better”. For example I think that teachers are not given the credit they deserve for educating our children. Instead they are being disrespected and given more and more responsibilities and less salary. With lowered incomes, less people will choose to become teachers, which will have a negative long-term impact.
Similar attitudes are seen towards creative professions. Craftsmen and artists (unless you are among the very few who have made it to the top), are not appreciated or understood to the degree they deserve. Arts and crafts have existed throughout human history and I think that it is a profession that will forever continue to exist. We all need beauty in our lives!
There are some who debate that computers and robots will soon take over the art-production with more precision and symmetry. For me, those people have missed the point of art. Art is in the non-perfections, thoughts and emotions that you see in a piece. The most valuable you can buy from someone is the time he/she has put on creating a unique piece from their heart.
I think industrialisation and the movement of mass-production plays a great role in the degradation of creative and hand-led professions. For example, people are no longer prepared to pay for the time it takes to let a seamstress make a dress. Instead they rather go and buy three machine made dresses for the same price. The quality and value of creations have been lost. Instead the focus is on quantity. However, there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to fame. If a painting or fashion brand is seen as exclusive and famous, many are prepared to pay fortunes just to be able to show others their wealth.
What kind of a society do we actually live in? I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the topic! Please leave a comment at the end :)!
But then what?
There is no single answer to the one who is trying to decide in which field to go. The natural step is University, but as only a Bachelor’s degree no longer ensures a job, it gets harder. However, a job will never come to you by itself. We all need to actively be out there, and be prepared to take jobs that we hadn’t initially considered.
Maybe now is the opportunity to break out of the boundaries and create your own business. Every time someone creative initiates his/her own business, it is a step in the right direction to change the perception and value of the arts. It means that there is now one more who believes and who is prepared to make the efforts needed to preserve creativity in the hands of people.
There are numerous of examples of small scale business owners that start with an Etsy account, or website like us while simultaneously having another job or being in school. If you never start you will never know if it can work out. However, don’t expect immediate success as soon as you have your business. It involves continuous efforts for it to have the possibility to grow into something bigger. After all, with a constantly changing market and increasing demands on future employees, now is as good time as any to try to make your dream reality!