This is an excerpt from Careers in Dance by Ali Duffy.
Conducting an analysis of your strengths and experiences will help align your abilities and knowledge with a career path or paths that will lead you to success and satisfaction. Start by generating a list of your strengths and areas of experience or expertise, both inside and outside of the dance discipline. Then, create separate lists of necessary strengths for each specific career path you are interested in pursuing. Notice the commonalities and discrepancies among your lists. How do these lists inform you about your preparedness and aptitude for each area?
Career Mission Statement
Being clear about why you want to pursue a career in dance is perhaps the most meaningful step you can take before forging ahead into it, and creating a career mission statement can help you identify your purpose. Answer the following questions about your career intentions and preferences:
- What kind of work do you envision yourself doing every day? In your dream scenario, do you envision yourself dancing, choreographing, writing, teaching, doing office work, reading, presenting to others?
- With whom do you imagine you want to work? Adults, children, people with disabilities, other artists, elected officials, educators, community partners?
- Where do you picture yourself going to work every day? A studio, a theater, an office, a classroom? Are you outside or inside? Are you in the United States? Are you in a particular city?
- When during each day do you find yourself most engaged and ready to work? Early morning? Late evening? Daytime (school) hours? Would you value temporary work or work that includes traveling?
Look at your responses and condense all of your needs and wants into a brief, impactful mission statement. You can use the following template as a guideline:
I (insert your name here), have a mission to work in the following area or area in dance: (one or more areas) because these areas fulfill my preferences of working with (certain people) during (particular hours of the days and months of the year) and in (certain setting(s)) . These preferences and goals will help me reach my purpose of (purpose) in the dance field.