10 years on: Learnings from my career journey

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< Insight and Inspiration

The scope of what you can do with your skills is exceptionally broad. I have done things that I never thought I could and have worked in roles that I never even knew existed.

 

Ellen Chambers

29th May 2019

Last Autumn, I had the honour of giving the alumna speech at the University of Lincoln graduation ceremony.

I never thought I would have the privilege of addressing those accomplished graduates sitting before me, as I sat myself 10 years ago, when I graduated with my BA (Hons) in Drama.

In fact, there are many things I couldn’t have imagined!

I never could have imagined the excitement of moving to London and learning arts administration at Freshwater Theatre Company; then later, working in arts and mental health at Squeaky Gate; and now supporting professional dancers move into their post-performance careers at DCD. I never thought I would become a trustee of Moving Assembly Project; or that I would become a certified personal and career development coach and start my own business supporting people from all walks of life to achieve their potential.

And here is what all those experiences have taught me:

The scope of what you can do with your skills is exceptionally broad.

When I left university, I didn’t have a solid plan or goal in place, other than a determination to move to London and establish a career in the arts. And yet I have done things that I never thought I could and have worked in roles that I never even knew existed.

An Arts degree and working in the arts equips us with unique skills including imagination, creative thinking and courage. Not everyone possesses this, so make the most of it.

I have learned the importance of taking the time to get to know yourself really well – what motivates you and excites you as an individual. I have worked one-to-one with around 700 people, and no two of them are the same. They all have entirely unique stories to tell. I believe in the value of not comparing myself to anyone else, being true to myself.

And finally, to always follow my heart. To seek and take opportunities to grow. To be brave and embrace the challenges. To remember to celebrate my successes. And most of all, to do what makes me happy.

When I was at school, my father told me: you are at work a long time, so do something that you love. I have always and continue to make my career decisions based on this advice, and I’d encourage you to do the same.

You can watch my speech by clicking here.

Ellen Chambers

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellen is DCD Dancer Support and Programmes Officer.