I had the chance to go back to my college (not sure why I ever left) and talk to three classes about my experiences after graduation and what to expect when starting out in this field. I have been doing this for the past three years and I am always surprised at how much I get back from it. Although this field is very competitive, we need people willing to give back and help out others.
Even if you like the idea of giving back, it is easy to say “I just don’t have the time.” Pretty lame (that may sound harsh but it is true). The time taken away from work to give back will be worth it on so many levels.
Along with those key benefits, I believe giving back can add personal growth. Giving back is a humbling experience and gets you to step back and see what else is going on. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment like flying to Haiti and building new homes for a month (although I am sure that would be an experience of a lifetime), but even if you could give up a few days or even hour to a cause you believe in over the weekend.
Speaking at a college is just one way you can give back in this field. You can find a local school that has interested students and help out with events (or even speak at a career fair). Conducting workshops or local meetups is a great way to give back and inspire others.
The feeling of inspiring others is pretty remarkable. In one of the classes I spoke at, a student immediately went to rent a camera and began shooting that day. That alone made it all worth it. I had several emails afterwards thanking me for my time and what they are doing differently since my talk. It seems like yesterday that I was in those same seats looking wondering what I wanted to do for a career. Unfortunately, we never had someone come to our class and speak about the field which would have been very helpful.
I love giving back to students that are looking to work in the video field and I look forward to speaking whenever I get a chance.