Is a lack of experience holding you back?

Share your perspective as an early-career Creative

An illustration by Sam Warburton

Creating successful content is hard, but knowing where to start is even harder.

I had a one-to-one meeting early in my career with a mentor who asked me, “What do you want to do with your life?”

With blushing cheeks, I admitted, “I want to be an author and write books that help others.”

“What do you need to get started?” she said. I rolled off my usual excuse that I didn’t have enough professional experience, so no one will be interested in what I had to say. My mentor disagreed:

“You have a lot of expertise that you think is second nature but is interesting to people like me who don’t have a clue how to do it. Lots of people would be interested in learning what you know.”

That evening, I sat down and thought about what I’m good at, what I enjoy, and my experiences that I could share with others. I decided that content marketing was my speciality, which later evolved into content creation and creativity. I can share my knowledge, skill, and experiences so far that I’ve gathered in my career as a content creator. I love illustration and writing, so these are my main media for communicating with my audience. I share ideas, tips, and insights in my career because I’m happy in my role as a creative even though I’ve had many ups and downs… with many more to come!

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt”

Sylvia Plath

Overcoming self-doubt in the starting blocks

It’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough when there are hundreds of more talented or experienced creatives out there in the world, but you have important content to share and there are people who want and need to hear it. You truly don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your message has probably been expressed a million times before by a million different people, but you have something that no one else does.

Your perspective and interpretation is new because you have a different brand, personality, and view on the world to everyone else. Think about how many ways fairy tales have been retold through books, films, performances, etc. Self-doubt is an obstacle to creativity that we all face, but there is demand for your unique interpretation if you find the right audience.

For Father’s Day, I made a short animation with my twin sister based on the Simpsons movie trailer as a present for Dad. I use the word ‘animation’ loosely; it was more of a collage of illustrations, but a lot of time and effort went into the creation even though we had limited skills as two enthusiastic thirteen-year-olds. Even though our creation was not in the same league as Matt Groening, it was loved by the intended audience – Dad.

Everyone must start somewhere. Your skill and experience will grow over time, but you still have content that is wanted at the start of your journey. Whether you’re early in your career or not, quality is determined by the level of care taken by the creator. High quality content will always have a place in the world, regardless of the creator’s experience, self-doubt, or current lack of following.

How to identify your unique perspective and offering

It takes time to fully identify what you’re best placed to offer with the world. Even when you think you’ve found it, your career will have progressed with new or developed skills, knowledge, and experiences to share. Ideally, keep referring to these three questions:

  1. Who are your role models and what are they doing?
  2. Who can you help with your current unique perspective?
  3. How can you help you audience with your current knowledge, skill, and experience?

If you’re struggling to answer any of these questions, ask for feedback from a mentor or people you trust. Rejections and obstacles are unavoidable for professionals at ANY career stage, so it doesn’t matter whether you have mountains of experience or not. There’s always another mountain to climb but get started now and enjoy the experience. Share your work with the world because your audience is waiting to hear from you.

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