Follow your dreams or play it safe?

Follow your dreams… or play it safe?

If, like me, you’re more the creative type, you might be faced with a tough decision upon stepping into the real, grown up world. You might be a singer, an actor or some other type of artist – either way, unless fame comes to you it’s a long road ahead that waits. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Careers like these have no guarantee. You either make it or you don’t, and it’s just the worst thing that you don’t necessarily get to choose it yourself. Other people choose it. Agents. Producers. Consumers. Gah. What to do?

Technically, it’s the same for everyone. Unless you’re super business savvy and can afford/know how to be self-employed, you’ll all face the process of applying for a job. CV, covering letter, interview and employment. But it’s different because the more creative jobs don’t offer these typical 9-5 working patterns. They don’t offer salaries. You don’t get annual leave, and a pension, and all that other stuff. If you train as a doctor, you’ll find work as a doctor. If you train as a teacher, you’ll find work as a teacher. Why? Because we’ll never have enough of those people. The same is true about creatives, too, I guess, but talent is a very picky thing. At the moment, we’re good for singers, actors and authors – we’ve got loads of them – so the truth is, these industries can afford to be picky about who they choose to succeed.

So it’s understandable why a lot of people give up. It’s just too hard. But that’s not what we want to have to do with our lives. I don’t know about you, but the thought of going through life wondering what could have been is a pretty bleak one.

It’s not to say that nothing you do will make you happy – you make that choice yourself – but if you’re wondering whether you are better off following your dreams or playing it safe, I’d advise you to not give up.

Do both at the same time.


1) Hone your skills.

Practise doing what you love. Get better. After all, these things take time, and you’ve got it.

2) Don’t lose hope.

This might be the worst thing you can do. A loss of hope = a loss of motivation, and if your motivation calls it quits… well, you won’t get anywhere.

3) Don’t wait for things to come to you.

If you’ve got a dream, you need to be the one who goes out and grabs hold of it. Don’t let opportunities slip through the net, no matter how small they might seem, and if nothing seems to be happening, you’ve got some work to do!

4) Don’t pause in your current career.

If there is progression to be made, don’t not make it just because you know something else is waiting on the horizon. Make that progression. Just don’t let it take over your entire life and stop you from doing what you want to do completely. However, another Worst Thing You Can Do is stop in your tracks and let life become a routine. We creative types don’t like routine, do we?

5) Do your thing

This might be obvious, but to do your thing for a career, you need to actually do your thing. Don’t get out of the habit. To be a singer, you need to sing. To be an actor, you need to act. To be a writer, you need to write. To do what you need to do, you must first be it.


It might not be the most exciting prospect to have to share your life with something that might not exactly be your passion; however, you need to pay the bills, and actually, a job (a good job) will be enjoyable. The phrase ‘don’t quit your day job’ exists for a reason, after all, but that’s why you’ve got to keep working towards making your dream into your day job.


– Karis