I need a Jennifer Barkley.
I need someone who is smart, straightforward and just caring enough to give me a good assessment of what I’m like and what I’m truly capable of. Not a rah-rah because they care about me, bur someone who truly doesn’t care enough about me to lie.
Last night, I went to an alumni/student function for my university. The idea was that students could talk to people in the fields that they wanted to pursue or had a path that interested them. (My majors/minor have NOTHING to do with my job now.) A lot of people wanted to talk to me, although that had more to do with *where* I work, and then because I was one of two people that work in entertainment in a field of financial advisors, lawyers and such.
I’ve always wanted a mentor and have never found anyone who wanted to take me under their wing, so to speak. So I try to give people the kind of advice that I think would have been helpful for me. And last night, I tried to ask each student what they were interested in, and if it was a stock answer, I questioned them on what were they passionate about. I cut through the bullshit with two who kept giving me jargony, bland answers — I wasn’t mean, but I pushed them to tell me what they were excited by in life (tv show, band, sports team) and made them start from there.
One kept telling me that he wanted to work in “broadcast media,” although he didn’t seem to have any idea of what it entailed. (I’m not talking about how much work it would entail, but just what the field was in general.) So I told him that he’s in New York, where he can find a class in just about anything, so he needed to learn as much as he could about every aspect of media and production — take classes and workshops, volunteer on student film shoots and film festivals. I have taken countless classes on the most random of things that interested me and while I haven’t pursued most of those fields, even as a hobby, I’ve definitely learned something each time.
I was very big sisterly with all the students, but honest. Because I don’t think that everyone should get a trophy for showing up, especially because it can encourage people to keep putting all their energy into something that isn’t right for them. And it keeps them from learning how important it is to know what you DON’T want to do.
Now I just need a Jennifer Barkley to give me an honest assessment and a plan to make something good out of my life.