Career Path vs Career Pattern: Notes for the Entrepreneur
Forging a Path and Understanding the Difference Between a Career Path and Career Pattern
There are 2 approaches to a career in the arts upon graduating from schools that we will outline.
Career Path Vs. Career Pattern
A career pattern can be a good thing and represents the pursuit of goals based upon a well -trodden path.
It could be seeking a position in a well-established ensemble or company, or It may also represent all the ‘shoulds’ we have in our head about what we think we’re supposed to do based on models we’ve grown to admire. This is certainly an honorable pursuit if it is genuinely ones’ calling. The downside is if one pursues a career pattern because there seems to be no other choice.
A career path is a very different thing. One may not see the whole picture from the outset of following a career path but it’s career that is created stemming from one’s one initiative and creation. There’s a sense of striking out in some way, to pursue an ideal or calling. The key is understanding it may not happen through a radical transformation overnight necessarily, but may take one step at a time, born of one’s own actions. Listening to oneself and discerning ‘next steps’ eventually leads to the bigger picture and grasp of where you’re headed. You may actually have a good idea what the ‘next step’ should be already and very often it’s those initial instincts one should trust, because in the end, no one can walk our path but ourselves. The downside is that such a pursuit may initially mean much more work and taking on many more kinds of challenges than a job where everything is laid out for the artist.
It’s a funny thing, the state the world is in today with the economy and no
jobs. This is the perfect setting for a relationship of courage and creativity to
manifest within many walks of life. It is a time for great creativity.
Wayne Shorter, Adventures On The Golden Mean, Interview, Jan. 2012
Following One’s Dreams
Following one’s dreams enables us to use all of our skills, not just those we know about, those that may be in hiding or underused, along with skills we didn’t even know we had. Doing something genuinely challenging to oneself necessitates using absolutely all one’s talents but also means having a much more complete sense of fulfillment. Doing only music, I used only part of my abilities but discovered using all my skills creates a much more fulfilling experience and empowers me to do the things I want to do most with my life. It means I write my own meal ticket.
Following one’s passion and unique path mean:
1. Using one’s natural gifts
2. Using one’s untapped gifts
3. Discovering abilities you didn’t think you had!
3 Key Points For Pursuing A Dream
1. Overcoming the illusion that it is up to someone else to provide the perfect conditions
2. Thinking it’s necessary to have ‘investment capital’ first before initiating a project/company
3. Importance of having a set of values that enables one to build something of genuine worth
Self-Reliance and Building a Great Foundation
While it’s true, it’s makes a difference having people opening doors in one’s career, or getting help in some way, whether financial or through sweat equity, in the end, it really does start with one person deciding:
‘I’m going to do this, no matter what!’
One of the greatest pitfalls is waiting for the environment to give one permission or make it easy for us in some way. With finance for instance, that’s always a typical stumbling block whether for an artistic pursuit of any kind. But the successful entrepreneur can start with exactly what’s at one’s disposal at the time the venture is begun. If you’re waiting for the right set of circumstances or for outside forces to align themselves with you before you can begin, you’ll be waiting for a very long time, and will probably become bitter in the process! What is it that each of you can begin to do right now? What tools are
already at your disposal? How can you lay the groundwork? These challenges will also help one sharpen the business model, bring the artistic venture into sharp focus, including the details that must be addressed, so that at the point one’s investors come into the picture, you’ll be ready with a successful business model.
Creating value with one’s life is an individual experience. To do so it helps to have a set of values and a mentor or source of inspiration for setting high standards. Values: Having a sense of serving or service is actually a good ‘mind set’ for artists. Often we can think and operate in a bubble, not necessarily cognizant or concerned what the
response by the public will be. But that is actually an important concern both as artist and business person. Having a mentor helps one set standards in terms of overall