Creating a Seat at The Table
When we first began All Things Melanin, we had a simple goal: to inspire, encourage, and motivate women to live their best lives and hype them up along the way. We created All Things Melanin because both of us have specific goals that we want to accomplish and particular career aspirations. And to be honest, neither one of us had hands on experience in the dream jobs we desired. At first, it was devastating and discourging. Here we are, with these specific college degress, smarts, and a killer idea but no experience. Whose going to allow us to work with them with no experience in this particular industry? And the answer is no one. So we sat, and thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it some more until we decided to go after our dreams and passions anyway, despite the lack of experience.
One thing we've learned and have been told over and over is even if you don't have the experience or no one will give you an opportunity, create your own opportunity. Determine your niche, stick with it, be genuine, and go after it will full force, and boy did we! When people didn't invite us to sit at the table or give us an opportunity, we decited to create our own table, the seats, and build up our own community to get where we desire to be.
If you want to be an actor, do some local extra work to get the experience to build up a portfolio. If you want to be a photographer, take some classes, and do some probono work for people or organizations that will recommend your quality work. Whatever you desire to do or be, there are ways that you can get experience but you're going to have to put yourself out there to do so.
Get out, network, and make yourself visible. Whatever skills you need to acquire, invest in yourself. If you're able to take a class or worksop to learn more, do it. You'd be surprised at the contacts and relationships you'll make in doing so. Look it up on youtube, find a reputable book on the occupation, and work or talk with someone who is an industry pro in that area. Just don't be idle.
When you create a seat at the table, you first must lay the foundation for the table, make sure it's sturdy, and understand your mission. Once you've done that, begin to gather experience and to document that experience along the way. Be a sponge! Soak everything you can up and then some. Anything that's negative or doesn't pertain to what you're building, let it go. As you begin to build your table, you will meet new people and contacts that will be willing to help you along the way. You'll know who is genuine and faking, trust your instincts.
As your table begins to form, you'll notice as you've built yourself up, you've created a table and have invited certain people to "sit" there with you. When you're walking in your purpose, your gift will make room for you. Doors will begin to open, opportunities will begin to blossom, and things will fall into place.
Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can't do.Take negative and no's with a grain of salt and keep pushing. So what they won't hire you or allow you to "sit" with them, that's fine. Create your own table with a twist! Do it your way.
No matter what, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We don't have all the answers but as we've created our experience (our table) and connected with genuine, talented, like-minded individuals (that sit with us) we've learned that creating something that is uniquely ours and not someone elses is the best thing we could have done. So we encourage you to get busy and build your dream. If they won't let you "sit" with them, we will.
We believe in you, your dreams, and passions! You've got this!!!