Optics in the Digital Age: 5 Steps To Your Next Career Move | Sophia Chang™ | Skillshare

Optics in the Digital Age: 5 Steps To Your Next Career Move

Sophia Chang™, Designer, Illustrator, Friend

Optics in the Digital Age: 5 Steps To Your Next Career Move

Sophia Chang™, Designer, Illustrator, Friend

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8 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Assignment

    • 3. Setting Your Goals

    • 4. Presentation and Professionalism

    • 5. The Art of the Hustle

    • 6. Mentality is Everything

    • 7. Systems and Toolkits

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Learn how to take action and develop a viable career plan in this 22-minute class with designer and illustrator Sophia Chang aka @esymai. Sophia shares her techniques for mapping out career moves, understanding your strengths, and navigating the different environments of school and work.

This class is designed for anyone and everyone, including ambitious motivation seeking creatives looking for some guidance and organization,  high schoolers, college students, and recent grads. The course is structured to help creatives recognize their strengths and make calculated career moves.

Each student will learn how to create an effective career plan which includes:

  • Identifying skills and strengths
  • Learning communication techniques and templates
  • Maintaining a professional digital footprint
  • Hustling your way to your goals
  • Developing confidence in your skills, clarity in your vision, and pursuing your purpose with passion

Most importantly, Sophia will highlight resources and tools that have helped her clarify her vision and keep a motivated mindset.

Who this workshop is for: Ambitious creatives who seek motivation, organization, and direction, as well as anyone who is a high schooler, college student, or recent grad.

Special thank you to Foot Locker Women for powering this class! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Sophia Chang™

Designer, Illustrator, Friend


A new generation of pioneering entrepreneurs is emerging by virtue of the information age and the whole world is watching. Sophia Chang hails from the borough of Queens, New York and in less than a decade managed to champion a name for herself in the art, design and streetwear community worldwide. With her BFA from Parsons School of Design coupled with a natural acumen for business she has collaborated with a-list names across multiple fields such as Samsung, Nike, Refinery29, Adidas, Apple, Footlocker, HBO, and the NBA to name a few.

One of her biggest accolades of her career to date was the design of her own collection with Puma which touted their number one grossing lifestyle range and was exhibited at various international museums, curated by the American Federation o... See full profile

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1. Introduction: many Mr Few Chang. I'm an illustrator and designer. In the past decade, I've done a lot of amazing work in the illustration. World Graphic Design World In recent years, I moved a little bit more into marketing and advertising. I went to Parsons school design and studied illustration, even though I really wanted to do fashion design. The first few years of my courier was like anyone else's. I was counting coins to take the subway, to meet clients in New York from working within my community and making sure that I did a good job with a lot of clients. I started to kind of get the ball rolling. I've been able to kind of bridge the gaps between brands and consumers, businesses and communities. The name of this new course is optics in the digital age. Five steps to your next crew were first launched a class at foot locker in their flagship store in New York City for back to school season. This class is great for anyone who has big aspirations but lacking a plan and so, hopefully by the animals class. When you walk away, you'll be very aware of your environment and will create a whole paradigm shift in terms of the resource is you have around you and the steps that you need to take to reach your goals . Each student will learn how to create an effective career plan, identifying skills and strengths, communication techniques and templates, maintaining a professional and healthy digital footprint and how to hustle your way to your goals. 2. Assignment: your first assignment is to write down some personal and career goals. This will really help you shape your mind set for the rest of this course, so these might sound like really intimidating questions. But let's his class B a reason for you to kind of think about it. Where do you want to be next year in terms of your life in terms of your work, what about five years from now? Where do you see yourself, right? What do you want to be doing for work? What are some challenges that you'd like to write down for yourself, and how do you plan on getting there? What are those goals and what's your plan? What's your run of show? And if you don't have a plan and you can't think of anything, then you should definitely have a pen and paper close by so that you can pay attention and take notes for the rest of this class. 3. Setting Your Goals: Now is the time. That's the title of this next segment. Now is the time there's a lot of value and education, but I'm not really talking about education. Necessarily at a school. There is a lot of resources and opportunities in your neighborhood and also on the Internet . So one big thing to really remember is how to milk your opportunities that are around you. I think there's a lot of people around you that you can surround yourself with, especially if you're already in a school space or an educational space. It's also recognizing the opportunities that are around you and seeing how you can insert yourself. Another thing to remember is that we are all nobody's. We all start as nobody's so honestly leave your ego at the door. I think it's really important to exercise humility, just come from a perspective of respect and gratefulness whenever it comes to drop opportunities and even opportunities for you to be able to learn because we should always be learning one big thing that really changed my career was internships. Remember those goals that we wrote down earlier in their last assignment? Make sure that those goals are in line with what your internship is offering internships are kind of like dating. You haven't idea of this great job, your dream job, what you want and how you imagine it to be. But when you're actually in it, you realize, Wait, this isn't exactly everything I dreamed up. And I kind of don't like this. And here's a few things that I do like, but the next relationship or the next internship that you go into, you kind of have an idea of what you like and don't like in what you're looking for. That's essentially the rule that internships play for. You be really clear in terms of what you're bringing to the table. I think it's really important for you to understand what your skill sets are, really, what you can offer business. That's the biggest thing. A lot of times the relationship starts out pretty transactional, but it could turn into great blossoming, career long relationship with the people that you end up working with. Another thing to be mindful of is internships are always meant for you to stay there forever. So something to remember is no one to walk away from an internship if you think you're learning has plaid toad. That's usually a good sign that you should probably consider stepping away. Make sure you're building bridges within your internship and not burning them whenever you're in an internship. Every single person that you come across every day can be a valuable asset in terms of your crew always being nice to people. Please be really grateful. Always, really. Just be a pleasure to work with, kind of write down some different, I guess businesses, brands, companies that you kind of would see yourself working with or would love to work with. And then the next step really is during a lot of Internet stalking. Finding the right person Auditing classes are always a fun way to kind of get back into the school environment. So even if you're not in school right now and you're aware of certain class schedules at local schools, there's always a way for you to reach out to the professor and be like, Hey, my name is X Y Z. I'm interested in this. Would you be OK with me sitting in your class and just being a ghost student? And one big thing for me was that I wanted to make sure that I offered references so that they knew that I was a good student. If you're going to be a part of it and make sure you commit or get up, because then you're wasting other people's time. Okay, so now let's take some time to reflect for yourself. Write out a list of what you're good at. What are your skills? What are some cool jobs that you want to be involved with? Are there any companies in your neighborhood or community that you want to target and potentially reach out to? Is their curriculum available that can help you propel this growth in education? I have a little cold email drafted here. That is a great point of reference for you to send any emails that you might need. Teoh share a little about yourself and really, how you might want to get involved with your community 4. Presentation and Professionalism: presentation. Professionalism. Some really simple, decent don't for the social media space is don't you're too much about your personal life. Maybe don't post too many pictures of your dog, and your baby is obviously given today's political climate. People like to take it to the Internet to really showcase how they feel. I think a lot of those opinions are very important, very valuable. But a lot of times we have to be mindful of our audience and also our clients potential clientele, whether or not that type of messaging may turn away opportunities. When I was at one of my internships, the guy was working for wanted additional help. So I started naming a few friends. What he did was pulled up a chair next to me and asked me to pull up everyone's Facebook's . I thought that was very strange, but apparently that's his way of judging people or seeing whether or not this person was good enough for the internships. In addition to looking at their work, of course, everything uploaded on the Internet kind of stays on the Internet, and it leaves a trail, so make sure when you're sharing things share very strategically or If you know that you're gonna sharing some more personal items with your personal community, then you just want to make sure there is some degree of separation, because if you're specially free in your space, where you're starting to look for work, people may or may not start Googling you and looking for things, and the last thing you want is for them to see something that you don't want to see that might set you back or may not be the best imagery to showcase your work in your value. One thing to be mindful of is how can you build the right messaging so that you can attract the type of clients that you want, a lot of the digital platforms that I have a presence on? I always try to make sure it's clean, neat, precise, professional as possible. This way, I'm catering to the entire spectrum of clients that I want to be attracting. So we already talked about all the negative things that the Internet can possibly do to ruin your career. Now we can talk about some positive things, so there's always ways to kind of adjust your trail, meaning there's a lot of great online platforms where you can share your work. I mean, obviously, some people have heard of deviant art. There's also the hands there's dribble. Adobe has invested in a lot of great platforms that help encourage and champion different creatives. It's really great to use these online platforms. Teoh not only showcase your work, but again kind of flood the Internet with more of your work. Another thing to consider is you can build a website right? Sometimes websites could be very expensive, depending on where you host and buying your domain and the whole nine. There's a great platform called persona, which is kind of a website where you can just add one image, add some simple text and linking if you saved up enough money never hurts to bio domain. Keep in mind that just because you have a website set up doesn't mean that you don't have to invest time into it because it does take a lot of maintenance, meaning you have to take time every few weeks every few months to kind of update your website. Update new projects, and if things go wrong, your also your own tech support. The homework is pretty simple for this assignment. Honestly, just clean up your social media trail. Um, look online. Well, your name. Scroll through instagram, scroll through your Facebook scroll through anything that might be public facing and see if there's anything that could be scrapped and cleaned up. And really think about your top top top clients that are part of your number one goals in your dream list and think about what they want to see and really think about what you would want them to know about you and build a website. Check out persona. It's persona dot Co. Or Google it. Whatever it's called, kind of refined your website work on your website. If we're not sure about ourselves and our own presentation, look at the people that you admire and look at the people that you look up to and see how they're presenting themselves, because that's always a helpful point of reference for you to see. Hey, how does clean presentation look like? How does a really organized, well put together portfolio our website look like? And that's always a great point of reference for you to stump. Start from 5. The Art of the Hustle: art of the hustle. All right, so this is kind of my favorite things to talk about. Um, as a native New Yorker, I feel like I've really learned how the hustle and finesse works after it's all said and done, and the cap and gown has been thrown and torn off whatever the real work begins. So now welcome to the room world. You have arrived, Had a hustle your way. Terkel's right. We made this list earlier of all the things that you want, so let's talk about how we're actually going to get there. You've already talked about refining your skills, right? Taking, making use of the resource is around you to hone in on their skills and practice, practice practice. Outside of that, A lot of us don't necessarily have the opportunity to be able to just go freelance right off the jump, because that's that's difficult. A lot of times because we still have bills to pay. We still have to pay for rent and equipment and supplies, going back to this concept of leaving your ego at the door. Don't be afraid to get a full time job, or don't be afraid to get a part time job. It's OK to work somewhere to do what you need to dio and really double up on your hours. Because if you really care about it, you'll put in the time and you'll put in the effort for one big thing that I can't stress enough. His financial management, Um, that's always that's been like one huge learning journey for myself as well. That's again something that people don't see behind the scenes or on the Internet and whatever how to manage your money. Um, I'm still learning, and one big thing to understand is that there are a lot of great resource is out there for you to get organized. Handle your budgeting to figure out where expenses are rare. Numbers are where your income goes on budget yourself. Every month, every week there are a couple of writers. I have written some great books specifically for the Gen Y or younger generation. Um, you know are mainly freelancers and figuring out how to manage their money. One thing to just consider asking yourself is, How badly do you want it? How badly do you want those goals that you wrote down for yourself and if you're really wanting it that bad and you're really willing to just hustle for it, you know you put in the effort. So going back to your bridges remember those bridges that we made during our internships in handy dandy community sessions. Going back to your bridge is one thing that you can start working on now is creating a roller decks or a list or an Excel spreadsheet for yourself. We're organizing literally everyone that you know, people that you know people that you worked with. It never hurts to kind of touch base with these different establishments and contacts that you have to see if there's any work that they might need help with, even if it's an in person opportunity as well. Perhaps that's away for you to land your next internship again. It's not their job to know that you exist. They can clearly forget about you because there's a ton of people chasing the same check as you. Or you could be more proactive by pursuing these opportunities and making sure that people know that you exist. And they are also kept up to date with the work that you're doing. Honestly, I'm not against free work. It's one thing if your work is being a taking advantage of because the person cheap or they clearly don't respect your work. It's another thing if it's something that your passion about that you love being involved with. If time is in your favor and you have time for work is always a great opportunity and a prompt for you to try something new, work on something different, build your portfolio. And one of the biggest jobs that I ever worked on was a series of illustrations for Anthony Bourdain. The first time I had ever worked on that project. It was a free job. It was just a random assignment from the production company because they needed some art, and after I did it, Travel Channel actually hit me up and directly hired me on for an entire season. Had I said no to the opportunity, Then you know who knows what's on the other side. One thing needs to lead to the next. If you have time and you are in a place where you can do an extra assignment here in there and never free work is always a great way for you, to show people how you work, the quality of your work and when it's like free to work with them. And one thing to always remember as well is one person might be at this company today will be on another company tomorrow. And so it's always good to kind of just build that good report. Gonna be a good person. Be good at your job and just leave your ego at the door and just leave a positive message and a positive impression. The homework assignment for you is to really start building a spreadsheet for yourself. Just start unloading. You know, maybe designed some columns of name email company that this person's at. You can go through this. Adam Arlington on Just make sure these things This is refreshed up to date. Put this in your calendar to make sure you have time to go back into this and add those contacts. This way, you have these names forever for as long as you want, and when work is slow. Now you have a whole list of people that you can hit up. Another thing to consider as well, is to add to this list potential people that are within your immediate community. That could be a great, healthy stepping stone for you to build bridges with never hurts to apprentice under someone that you admire as well. Just remember that your work is crept nice and professional for you to seek out these opportunities. 6. Mentality is Everything: mentality is everything. Everything starts with you some best time in yourself, right? We're investing time in ourselves by setting these goals were investing time in ourselves. We're watching these videos and taking notes for investing time in ourselves by reading and podcasts and, you know, internships and apprenticing and all that jazz at the end of day. One thing to remember is that if you focus on, other people will never be better than them. That's one thing that one of my really close friends in college told me, because one day I was casually like There's this artist and he's amazing And I wish I could be like him one day and my friend was like, Hold on. If you try to be like him your entire career, you're never gonna be better than him. One thing that's really worked for me over the years as well is confident cells. If you take the time to invest in yourself and honing your skills and just be the best at what you do and treat it like you're the best and walk into the room like you're in the best and they can't they can't say no to you that confidence will transcend that confidence will sell. And a lot of times, especially as creatives. It's really, really hard to be confident. And and there's a fine line between confidence and being cocky. Um, confidence and humility is probably the best combination confidence with a great portfolio confidence with work that shows that hey, you did it. You can continue to do it and that you're flexible, those air, the best things that your client would want to see Practicing Humility is a form of self respect and self care. Given that self caress is hot topic that everyone wants to talk about these days, try it out yourself. And I strongly believe that the right attitude with a great portfolio will really carry your work further than you could ever dream. We talked about investing in ourselves. Mentality is everything. Now let's talk about refining your skills, never stop learning, never stopped practicing and never stopped feeling. I love the phrase. Fake it till you make it. But there's also many times here that's kind of not applicable as well. In terms of your work. Don't fake it till you make it. Make sure you equip yourself so that no one can catch. You slip in as a creative person. Make sure your recharging yourself meaning invest in time to go to museums to go to creative gathering. Spend time with your friends, maybe schedule in time for you to do some research and online browsing to just refresh your eyes. Challenge yourself and really the's self discipline enough to fuel your own creativity. Remember to attend conferences and go to panels. Make sure you do the research on who's speaking. There's a lot of great conferences and festivals that are happening. Always, always, always, always remember to push yourself because pressure makes diamonds. That's how they're made. You need to push yourself in order to know your limits, and you also need to learn how to push that threshold in order to increase your limits. When the opportunity presents itself, it can put you in a place you can never imagine. So apparently there's a saying called Hustle Porn, which I just learned the other day. But it's essentially when people show videos or photos of them saying like Oh, they sleep, we hustle And you know, I only slept like three hours, and I'm just out here hustling and whatever and all that stuff is great. We'll all have to put in overtime. That's part of it is just part name of the game. At the same time, it's really important to invest in your health. Your health is your wealth, right? We already know that. But what are the different ways on a minuscule level where we can apply that physical care is totally key to the situation? Obviously, I mean, just some quick facts. We already know that our body is a huge percentage of water. Our brain is a huge percentage of water are actual spinal cord uses a ton of water as well , and so you got to make sure you're drinking your water. Granted, you might need to use the restroom a little bit more frequently than you normally dio. But again, staying hydrated keeps all of your organs working, including your brain, including your eyeballs. Another big thing to stress on his sleep. There's a great book that I recently read by a sleep doctor. His name is Dr Michael Breus. The book is called The Power of One. Granted, some people early birds. Some people are night owls, some people are actually two other sleep profiles. When you understand the biology of your body and you understand your chemistry, it can only empower you in terms of your creative outlook and your creative capabilities. Investing in your personal health Can Onley help with your endurance, your flexibility and your strength? Um, for Homer. Pretty simple kind of going back to the first assignment. Let's expand on it more. What are some personal areas of improvement that you would like to improve on whether it's doing more meditation, going to the gym more, sleeping a little bit more and really taking the time to kind of study those areas and really create actionable items that you're actually going to dio? You can start as simple as drinking a cup of water first thing in the morning. That's actually one of best things you can do, by the way, because it helps wake up all of your organs so that you can get started with the day and jump on your desk and answer emails. But start creating your own list. The list that's applicable to you, that you can actually personally manage 7. Systems and Toolkits: systems and talk. It's I actually taught a full class on skill share that's very similar to this section, but it's really highlighting the different acts that I personally used to keep my life organized. In this way, I can keep all my thoughts and aspirations and goals and one collected place, Um, and really just expand on those ideas further. So few absolute I can suggest Air table, which is kind of ah, super version of a spreadsheet organizer. There's also Trela, which is a great bird's eye view organizer for you to kind of manage and oversee your projects, and notion is essentially a combination of both. A number of these has some great free options that don't require subscription. But again, hey, subscription. If you can afford it and spare the extra change, it's always helpful. Or, for you, dio get more features. All of these acts have great blog's and templates that you come that are ready to go that you can work off of so that you can customize it for your own personal needs. These APS helped me visualize my goals track hm and always just revisit and refine. If you are interested in learning more about these classes. You can check out my other social class that APs also help me organize ideas when I get too excited and just get everything in order with clear milestones. This way I have a clear pathway to reach my goals. The last thing to wrap it all up is to connect with your community, connects with the people around you people who are probably looking for similar opportunities as you looking to better themselves, better their work. Everyone wants to be in their own glorious spotlight and, you know, have their name on everything. One thing that we really have to remember is that we're actually stronger together. We can actually accomplish more when we're together. So when you're actually really looking at your community and looking at the people that you can work with and collaborate West, sometimes you guys can create something much greater and better than you can do on your own . 8. Final Thoughts: all right. Well, hopefully, you guys one of the lot. Hopefully, you guys have a lot to think about, and we're creating some mental concepts and paradigm shifts for you to re approach your goals completely differently than when you first will come down in our first video. If you guys have any questions, feel free to comment below. There's always a bunch of other videos that I shared for you to refine other areas of your business, including social media branding, digital branding and how to get organized to streamline your workflow. So hopefully the goals that you had set really helps to put your mind in a certain place, and hopefully you have a really healthy list of to do's based off. Of all the homework assignments that we worked on, be sure to check out some of the resource is including those books. I mean, these resources have really helped me. I don't really necessarily like reading, but these books have really helped Teoh further my understanding of my work, my business and myself.