Remember those days of starting in the mailroom? You would ask someone how they became President of their company and depending in their age they will say, “ I started in the mailroom and worked my way up through hard work and opportunities.” Today people don’t want to take that trail of starting at the bottom and want to jump to the top in one swoop. Starting at the bottom can be a great way to build a network that will last a lifetime and many are missing the foundation that will sustain them for the future. The mailroom was a great starting point because in the old days the person delivered the mail throughout the building so you got to meet all the employees.
Recently I was talking with a friend who wants to gain ground in the music industry. He is a talented musician already but wants to get into career management and is finishing his schooling in music. The problem he wants to start at the top. He wants to be paid to do a job he has not really done yet. I suggested that he get a job at a music store, however he felt that was beneath where he wanted to start, that was a retail position. Many young people think this way because they are looking at the job as the job today instead of the career opportunity of working in the mailroom.
Many artists feel if they are not doing their exact art they are not really artists. My mindset when starting my business is if I am being paid for a service to do with my art then I am a professional artist. That service over the years has included selling art, performing at events, giving classes, and much more. As your success builds you can take out what is not paying you well or you don’t like to do.
I have another musician friend that got a retail job in a music store after graduating as an audio engineer. He loves it because he gets to try out equipment for free, is building his network with other musicians, is getting paid to be in the industry he loves, and has flexibility to perform when needed.
So don’t feel starting at the bottom as being beneath anyone else. Look at it like building a solid foundation for a career that will last a lifetime. Every opportunity is what you make it.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist and media entrepreneur specializing in the transportation industry. He started his career as a professional truck driver and now owns a media company which includes a radio station, podcast, and television show. He operates that in conjunction with his art business and is the President of Outridge Enterprises Inc. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at www.bruceoutridge.com