We all have goals that we want to achieve, careers that we can only dream of having, and we all aspire to be so many different things. Social media plays a huge part in this; we see people living the life we’ve always wanted and, even though this does give us a swift kick up the arse to start pursuing our own career goals, it does blur the line between ‘aspiring’ to bag your dream job and actually ‘making it’.
Let’s take blogging for example: we’re surrounded by hundreds of successful bloggers, constantly slaying the game for us all to see on Instagram – so it’s no surprise that others have decided to create blogs of their own. This huge community of smaller bloggers is what marketers now like to call ‘microbloggers’ – which is amazing – but it’s so disheartening to see some of these smaller creators using the phrase ‘aspiring blogger’ in their bio. It’s as if you haven’t ‘made it’ until you bag yourself a Cosmo Influencer Award or have jetted off to the Maldives to promote a mascara. In my opinion, if you have a blog and you’re posting your own content on it, then you are a blogger.
It’s the same with journalism, every time I see ‘aspiring journalist’ in the bio of someone who is actively writing for publications, I want to slide into their DMs and tell them that they are a journalist and to stop selling themselves short. It’s something that I think is a huge problem with jobs in the creative industry; with the decline of the standard ‘9-5’ and the rise of the freelancer, it is hard to define when you’ve ‘made it’ when you don’t technically have a job title. And it’s the same for aspiring artists, musicians, poets, authors, etc.; as long as you’re getting your work out there (which the internet has made incredibly easy), I would consider that enough to define you as IRL artists, musicians, poets and authors.
However, there is the argument of not actually being a *insert creative job title here* unless you’re being paid for it, which is something that I have heard a lot. My undergrad degree was in Magazine Journalism and paid journo work was pretty much a myth; it also takes a lot of social media growth and pitches to brands before you bag your first paid collaboration on your blog. But that’s the nature of the creative industry (as much as I hate it), you have to do a lot of free work before you finally get your first pay doing something you love – but that doesn’t make you any less of a professional. I mean, you wouldn’t get someone writing ‘aspiring plumber’ in their bio if they had a 9-5 job fitting radiators and fixing burst pipes, so what’s the difference?
I’ll admit, it is a really grey area; but if you are doing something you love and sharing it with the world -regardless of pay – then you’re not aspiring to be something, you’re already there.