I know a lot of talented artists, and most of them don’t pursue their passion as a career because they don’t think anyone makes money.
The National Endowment for the Arts recently released a study on artists’ demographic and employment patterns. Numbering almost 2 million, artists are one of the largest classes of workers, only smaller than our military’s active-duty and reserve personnel.
Blogger Aaron Stanton of Booklamp.org proposes it’s not as difficult as one thinks to make it. “Let’s say you want to become a famous actor,” writes Stanton. “We’ll define famous as having one of the top 200 acting jobs. You think that millions of people want the same thing, but as soon as you make the decision to pursue the career full time, you’re only competing against those who are doing the same.
Stanton uses the NEA data on working artists to illustrate that if you’re a talented actor, a good networker, and decent-looking, your chances of becoming accomplished are better than you might expect. “If you have the right characteristics and go become an actor, your odds of landing a spot in that Top 200 are 1 in 23, because so few people really do it,” he explains. “Your odds are entirely determined by your next moves.”
– Alexandra Levit is the author of “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World,” and a recognized authority on workplace issues
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