I am still working on my career, and always will be, but I can't stress enough how important it is to always keep in mind the big picture. I have always been very fortunate with my work because I've managed to find industry-related, fulfilling work to support me while I pursue my main focus, making stories. I have had many careers in just a few short years, all of which I draw from to inform my approach to filmmaking: festival marketing, screenwriting course coordinating, script and interview translating, trailer editing, TV broadcast editing, and most recently, commercial content production.
There are many who will focus on just the domain they want to progress in, and they are not wrong as they are ensuring they truly master one area. I have figured out that I want to earn a decent living now without compromising on the stories I tell, so that's why I have parallel careers.
I earn a decent income working on other people's or companies' projects, which I can save up and spend on experiences but also reinvest into my own films (which are never fully self-financed, but putting your money where your mouth is is vital when asking people to chip in with a guarantee of no monetary return), thus ensuring I really tell the stories I want to tell (which supports the point I made earlier about finding your own voice).
I also have a lot of different interests within the film world and absolutely love the prospect of being involved in festivals, producing, directing, and who knows what else. I am deeply aware that my time at Skidmore made me feel that I was allowed to think laterally and to value that.
I should also add that I have an incredibly supportive network around me, which I find essential. Friends who participate in my endeavours and support me, my boyfriend who is my creative partner and sounding board, my family, and more specifically, my parents, who not only support my career with encouragement, but have provided me with so much financial support so that I can now stand on my own two feet. Community is everything, and it starts with your nearest and dearest.