Living in a pandemic may feel volatile, especially if you are a soon-to-be graduate or full-time student. It can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing to think about what the future holds, but I find that focusing on what I can do at the current moment, one step at a time, helps me to stay grounded.

Here is some advice I’ve gleaned from my experiences and applied in my journey starting out in the creative industry:

1. Learn something every day, not someday

Every expert starts off as a novice. Even experts are still learning new things when they encounter new scenarios. Don’t let your feelings of inadequacy or procrastination hinder you from embarking on a new hobby or project. Come with a willingness and openness to learn anything, because growth happens out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised to discover that your new hobby can help you land new connections or a job!

The process of learning involves making mistakes, but we have to learn from them to become better. Mistakes can be beautiful and make learning memorable.

2. Unfriend procrastination

Procrastination is not always a friend. Putting things off brings future dissatisfaction and has no real payoff. I’m sure we’re all guilty of going down the YouTube rabbit hole of endless videos to only come to our senses a few hours later. We then panic over the time lost as we suddenly realise we should have made a head start on the projects with an impending deadline. We need to invest in our time and make sure it gives us returns rather than regret.

At the end of the day, when we lack the motivation to do things – we’ve just got to start doing them anyway.

3. Don’t take things too personally

Sometimes, your hopes get crushed when the client tells you that the work you sent does not meet their expectations. We creatives tend to view our work as an extension of ourselves, and it can be demoralising to perceive ourselves as failures because our work was not well-received.

Take a step back and inhale deeply.

Once you feel calmer, take another look at the client’s feedback objectively rather than subjectively. What was the issue that the client brought up? Could you have asked more questions to better understand what they wanted? Once you have clearly understood what needs to be changed, you can jump back in and make the necessary amendments.

4. Throw perfectionism out of the window

Creativity knows no bounds, but perfectionism holds a tight leash on where we can go as creatives. Sometimes inspiration strikes and we simply need to act on it rather than ponder about whether the idea will really work. Experimentation and exploration are the antidote to perfectionism, which cripples the creative process.

5. Be cross-disciplinary

The creative field is interlinked with many other fields. In order to flourish, we need to branch out to other fields and understand how they work. In our lifetime, we will be exposed to many opportunities and will be able to put on multiple hats.

With knowledge in design skills, for example, we can be better digital marketers as well as food artists. The possibilities are pretty much endless, as we can draw from knowledge in different fields. Be open and spend time with people outside the creative industry, because you never know what new perspective and inspiration they can bring into your creative life.


As a young working adult, I have continually heard this phrase: “You have all your life to work”. You may feel like your future is uncertain–but keep being curious, trying different roles and searching till you find something that fits you well. Wisely invest your youth and energy in places that will bring benefits for the future you.

Illustration by: Lei