Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Megan McEvoy from Languages Connect to give some advice for people considering this job:
While I find my career extremely rewarding there are some aspects of it that I hadn't been prepared for. It's a very harsh industry and you need to have thick skin. You could go to 10 auditions and get a no before you get a yes and this process can be quite draining. For that reason it requires not only extreme dedication but also a lot of passion as without the love for dance sometimes it could all seem too much.
I would say to anyone hoping to dance professionally to get into as many technical dance classes as they can now as they'll help you greatly in your training. Pay attention in business studies as soon you'll be promoting yourself as a business be it as a teacher, choreographer or performer. Confidence is key in this career and while that is individual to each person, in general, the more experience and knowledge you have the more confident you're going to be so watch videos, read books and most importantly go to see performances to get a feel for what's involved.
What are your interests?
The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
In school I took English, Irish, Maths, French, Biology, Economics and Business. The fact that I enjoyed economics in school led me to the choice of my degree.
Luckily by taking what started out as a general degree I was able to figure out that what I liked about economics was being able to pose questions and look for solutions; the critical thinking component, rather than the content was actually the part that appealed most to me.
Through exposure to a variety of subjects in my first year in college I was in a much better position to chose the subjects that I wanted to specialise in.
Choosing to specialise in business and sociology worked well for me; the business component gave me a marketable knowledge base and skill set, while the sociology component encouraged me to think critically and introduced me to research skills.
I wouldn't do anything differently. It was great to be in a course where the classes got smaller as I progressed through, so I got a lot of guidance as I stumbled forward!
Choosing a specialised degree wouldn't have been a good choice for me at the time - I'm still amazed when I think of my friends who knew exactly what they wanted to do as they left school.
The biggest thing I learnt through my degree was that I had developed a skill set that I could use in a variety of ways. Having a degree in a specific area doesn't limit you to that for life!