Unleash Your Inner Jedi : Starting out as a young creative

Starting out on your own, becoming an adult and establishing yourself, your goals, dreams and career can be a scary thing. But I believe you can do it, and do it well. And with the help of a little story from a galaxy far, far away, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned. Don’t worry, kid, this may sound like a bunch of simple tricks and nonsense, but pay attention. You’re about to take your first step into a larger world.

First, you need to respect the authority you are under (even if you REALLY wanted to go to Tosche Station and pick up some power converters)

I get it, you’re young and you don’t want to be a farmer forever. You’ve got dreams. Hopes. Frustrations. There has to be something beyond this dead end job. I’ve got news for you. There is. It’s called your future. And only you can make it happen, but you’re not on your own yet. There are people in charge who, like it or not, love you and want what’s best for you.

That grumpy uncle isn’t your enemy. Your parents aren’t your enemy either. (Well, unless your absent father is in fact a Sith Lord responsible for the deaths of millions, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.) Until you’re really ready to strike out on your own, you still need to follow the rules, show respect, and get those droids to to South Ridge by mid-day or there’ll be hell to pay.

But it all seems so far away, you say. How do you take the leap to start school, chase your dreams and persue a real career?

Let the Force Flow through you

Don’t be afraid to follow that intuition. Do you think you may have a knack for copywriting? Start writing, even for fun. Do people see a talent for drawing? Maybe a career in design is in your future. Whatever it is, take a chance and step out of that Moisture Farm of a dead end job.

Don’t Look Back.
This isn’t just in Star Wars… The little costume designer lady said it in The Incredidibles, heck, even Lot and his wife in the Bible were told “don’t look back”. You thought life was easier sitting home playing X-Box and occasionally flipping burgers and bagging groceries… But did it really make you happy? I doubt it, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Pressing on in life can only be done looking forward. Apply for a college course. Start that resume even though it’s light on experience. Dodge the obstacles, confront your opponents, hit the accelerator… Do whatever you have to do. Just remember, like Luke, there’s nothing back there for you anymore. Go to Alderaan and learn the ways of the Force like your father.

Take a risk. C’mon.

There may be Sandpeople down there, but go check it out. Sure there may be Bantha-sized people standing in your way who just want to put you down and strip your speeder for parts, but don’t let the bullies stop you.

There will always be challenges in any adventure, but that what makes it worth it. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you “There is no conflict.” (They’re obviously a Sith Lord with their own selfish plans for your future, anyways.)

Don’t be surprised when plans change.

Just when you think you’ve arrived, you may be greeted with an asteroid belt where you thought your destination was. Maybe that first or second interview didn’t pan out and you just want to mope in a glass of blue milk. Get over that depression and realize that your next adventure may be just around the corner. Or on that small moon…

You just watch yourselves…

“Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” Sometimes stepping back and examining where your going can show you that those you’ve chosen to follow may not get you where you want to end up. Do you want to excel and make a difference in the Galaxy, or end up trapped in a garbage chute? Examine your friends, your coworkers, your managers… Are they the kinds of people that will encourage you and provide the help and guidance you need? Or are they just looking out for their own interests like someone with a price on their head?

My wife always says, “If you hang around with smugglers, you’ll become a smuggler.” (…okay, actually, she says ‘skier’ but the point stands!)

Nothing is impossible. It’s just like targeting womp rats.

Let’s say you’ve gotten the gig. You’re starting out as a hot young creative at an upstart agency, or a wide-eyed pilot in a room full of veterans. You may realize what you thought you knew has now been replaced by a whole LOT of what you don’t know! Other coworkers are vying for your spot in the next pitch or trench run. And you’ve got enemy fighters in Sector 47. Your competitors won’t let up with their stronger firepower. The challenges can be overwhelming. But you can do it. Stop overthinking — they hired you for a reason. Stay on target. You got this. Now switch off your targeting computer and take a shot.

Never underestimate the power of your network

Oh, and remember that hot shot who seemed to rub you the wrong way when you didn’t see eye to eye? Maybe you were glad to see him take another job, but don’t forget about him. He’s following his own path now and nobody could chose it for him… But good colleagues have a knack for coming through in the end, even from a direction you never saw coming.

Use sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to stay in contact — and on friendly terms too. That guy you thought was a jerk may just save your skin or become your last hope one day… Like if you’re freezing on an ice planet and he happens to be there with a newly dead tauntaun.

Run, Luke, Run!

I’m not trying to freak you out — just to open your eyes to the possibilities ahead of you. It can be paralyzing with an entire galaxy of options ahead of you, but just think for a moment. What would have happened if Luke HAD gone to Tosche Station? He wouldn’t have found Artoo missing or then met Obi-Wan. He’d have came back home only to be killed by Stormtroopers. And that would have ended the story real quick.

So… If you don’t want to be roasted alive by Stormtroopers, you best get busy! Get some training, take a trip to the Academy, follow your dreams! Get out there and start looking for that next big Star War. You’ll never change the world just sitting at home scrubbing droids and whining about your friends being gone. Biggs left, so should you.
Now move along… Move along


Previously posted on Medium

This article is dedicated my amazing daughter, Haylee, taking her first steps into her larger world, by my own personal creative journey, and a visionary film maker who changed the course of one young boy’s imagination by about 12 parsecs.


Thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter at @robchristianson and let me know what you think.

All images are Copyright, Lucasfilm LTD / Walt Disney Company. No copyright is claimed in this article, and to the extent that material may appear to be infringed, I assert that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. 


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