We’ve all been gently prodded by our parents to go down a career path that they think is best at some stage in our lives. Medicine, law and engineering are favourites of parents across the country while creative arts and performance can sometimes be pushed to the side. But what if studying law is the most boring thing you can imagine and all you really want to do is be a professional film and TV actor? What if spending years at uni becoming a doctor isn’t your thing and instead you want to have a successful career in something like the arts?
We’re changing jobs more than our parents ever did and there’s so much more variety out there. Today, we’re changing jobs at least five times before we even turn thirty.
It’s easy to just go with the flow when you don’t want to disappoint your parents, but the fastest way to unhappiness is to be pushed into a career you never wanted in the first place. You don’t want to wake up thirty years down the track with a job you hate and a million regrets for not following your dreams and doing what you really wanted to.
So how do you go about telling your parents what you really want to be?
1. Do your research
Come to the family dinner table armed with stats and facts about what you want to do. If you’re looking to head into an industry like acting, know stats from the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance that show that 85% of an actor’s career-long income will be from film and television. If you’re ditching the traditional uni path tell your parents that an average graduate takes 2.7 years to find any kind of work and 4.7 years to find full time work. You need to be able to show your ‘rents that times are changing from when they were in school and the more info you have, the better you can sell your decision. If you want to show them the positives, look to Screenwise. Their whole model is making sure that students are 100% prepared for getting a job in the industry once they graduate and the completion rate for their diploma program is immaculate (thanks to the top notch film and TV industry tutors they’ve got). Show your ‘rents the proven track record and you’ll be able to get them on your side.
2. Get some back up
Find someone who can give you support and back you up when you’re laying it all out. It could be your big sister, a friend or someone you know in the industry. Whoever you get, it’s good to show a united front to your parents, especially if your family trusts them and they’ve succeeded in that career path. Show them evidence that you can succeed and it’ll help them stress less about you choosing a career that doesn’t line up with what they imagined you doing.
3. Have a plan
To help ease any anxieties your parents might have about your career dreams, get a plan ready to go. Sus all your pathway options; maybe that will be choosing a course that will ensure you’re educated and employable, or lining up a job and getting into full-time work. It could even be starting your own freelance business. Whatever it is, make sure you have a clearly laid out plan of attack. This will not only give your parents peace of mind, but it will make the process a whole lot easier for you too.
4. Have a back-up plan
Life is uncertain and there’s nothing that we can do to escape it. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to and that’s okay. Sometimes we change what we want to do, or find a ourselves heading towards something entirely different. Whatever it is you end up doing, give yourself some breathing space and sus out what other options you might have. Actors, for one, develop skills that make them employable way beyond the screen. Think things like film and TV production, working as an agent, as a presenter or in sales. Just because you have your heart set on one career, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep yourself open for other amazing opportunities that you might get along the way.
5. Remind your ‘rents why this will make you happy
All your parents ever really want for you is to be happy. Even when they boss you ‘round and tell you what you should be doing, you’ve gotta remember that that they’re just trying to secure a safe and financially stable future for you. But in the end, you’re the only one who really knows what will make you happy, and sometimes your parents can forget that. They might just need a friendly reminder that this is something you have to try and that if you don’t go for it now, you’ll always be wondering ‘what if?’.
If acting on the big screen is your dream and you’re looking for a way to tell your parents, bolster your argument with the Diploma of Screen Acting from Screenwise. Screenwise is Australia’s leading school for Film and TV actors whose business-savvy approach to the industry will ensure that you graduate as an employable actor both nationally and internationally – which your ‘rents will love.
photo cred: lostslideshows