(Adapted from #THE50 THINGS EVERY CREATIVE SHOULD KNOW at http://www.the-50.org/)
1. You are not the first.
There are very few ‘firsts’ these days. Countless others have started studios, freelanced and requested internships. It can be done.
2. There is always someone better.
Regardless of how good you are, there will always be someone better. It’s surprisingly easy to waste time worrying about this.
3. Success is not a finite resource.
College fosters a zero-sum mentality: that someone has to fail for you to succeed. In truth, another’s success doesn’t limit yours.
4. You cannot score without a goal.
If you don’t know what you want, then how can you pursue it? Having a goal defines an end point, and subsequently, a place to start.
5. Starting anything requires energy.
It takes more energy to start than it does to stop. This is true for physics, your career, and that idea you need to work on.
6. The path to work is easier than you think.
To get into the industry you need just three things: great work, energy and a nice personality. Many forget the last attribute.
7. Have a positive self-image.
Your self-perception is your most important asset. See yourself as the person you want to be and others will see this too.
8. Get a clean, simple website up.
An online portfolio is the alpha and omega of your career. With a wealth of web services, there’s no excuse for not having a website.
9. Curate your work.
Never stop editing your portfolio. Three strong pieces are better than ten weak ones – nobody looks for quantity, just quality.
10. Listen to your instincts.
If your work doesn’t excite you, then it won’t excite anyone else. It’s hard to fake passion for mediocre work – scrap it.
11. Make your work easy to see.
People are lazy. If you want them to look at your work, make it easy.
12. Be personal
Standards are just not special. Be you in everything.
13. Time is precious – get to the point.
Avoid profuse humour or gimmicks when contacting firms for work, they’ve seen it all before. Get to the point, they’ll be thankful.
14. Never take an unpaid internship (if you can).
This is not a necessary evil – a studio that doesn’t pay their interns (at least the minimum wage) is a firm not worth working for (I know it's not always possible but try to avoid it at least the second or third time).
15. Do as many internships as you can stand.
Internships are a financial burden, but they are vital. They let you scope out the industry and find the roles that suit you best.
16. Don’t waste your internship.
A firm's work can dip, as can its energy. Ignore this and be indispensable, the onus is on you to find something that needs doing.