If you follow this blog regularly, you’d be expecting to see my Profoto B2 review today; following along from the set of shoots I did to test it. I’m sorry. That post will still be created, but this weekend (when I usually write my blog posts) I’ve had to spend my time working on making one of my goals come true.
My apologies that this post will be a bit “text heavy.”
As I write this, I just hit the “submit” button on a job application. That job is Campaign Photographer for lululemon athletica at the Vancouver Store Support Centre (SSC), something that’s been in my goals for almost as long as I’ve been with the company.
I’m lucky that I get to do a very similar job here in Melbourne, Australia and I think it would be a great step in my career to join the team in Vancouver.
I’m not sure if there are any rules against blogging about applying for a job, so I’m hoping that this post wouldn’t impact the selection process negatively. My aim is to authentically share how I feel about going for this goal.
How I came to lululemon
I came to lululemon by accident. I had moved out west to take a break from my career as a teacher to be a ski bum for a year.
In my first week in Banff, I went out with a handful of resumes looking for a job at a ski shop so I could get a good discount on ski gear. I went to every ski shop in town but none had a great vibe (probably because the people working there were only there for the discount too…).
I had a couple resumes left over and decided to swing into the Banff lululemon for a reason that doesn’t look good when written: because I knew attractive women worked there. I walked in and the first staff member I spoke to was exactly that. That wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was how she was also one of the nicest and down to earth people I’ve ever met (that was you Jasmine!).
Long story short, I went home to find out more about this company. I really connected to what I read online and went into the interview confident that it would work out. I was hired as an educator, was promoted to key leader and spent a great 8 months in the mountains.
My experiences with goal setting
As a company where vision and goals are woven into the company culture, all new hires have the opportunity to be “goal-coached.” My first goal coaching session was a complete disaster.
I was not in the head space to take on the idea of goal setting. I had gone through a big relationship breakup, was taking a break from my career and was looking to live life in the moment. Someone asking me what I thought my life would look like in 10 years time when I was searching for answers myself made me uncomfortable.
It was only over time that I got comfortable setting goals. My friend Chad was really helpful in coming up with different ways helped me get there. In one of our chats he suggested that instead of trying to picture myself 10 years from now, I should come up with what my ideal life would look like tomorrow. Since that ideal life would like not occur overnight, that would become my 10 year vision.
The power of being in action around goals hit me when I started the path that led to my current role. I had reached for a position at the Vancouver SSC that I wasn’t exactly qualified for; videographer. I had only done 3 digital videos in my life, but I was convinced that I was right for the job. Understandably, the people at the Vancouver SSC didn’t agree and I didn’t even get an interview.
However the people at the Australian SSC saw the video I made as part of my application and wanted to talk about possibilities. I was hired as a creative project coordinator which evolved into the brand photographer role I have today.
It was only by going for a role that was “out of reach” that I got closer to my goals that I ever could have imagined possible.
Campaign Photographer position
Firstly, I want to be clear that I love my current job, and am not applying for the position because I’m unhappy with where I am. My team is a collection of really passionate, hard-working people who have all played pivotal roles in my development as a photographer and as a person.
I do see the role in Vancouver as an opportunity to bring the skills that I’ve developed working on a small and nimble team to our North American team. I would love to get to work more closely with the great photographers and the rest of the Vancouver creative team on projects that have a larger scope and play a role of the evolution of the brand visual language.
Going for Goals
I saw the posting for this position randomly when I was checking the website last week. I wanted to make sure that I got my application in quickly, so spent the weekend working on my cover letter, resume and going back over the past few months of shoots to update my portfolio.
So what do I think my chances are? To be completely honest I’m not sure.
I’ve been sure of jobs before and got them. I’ve also been sure and not even got an interview.
Sometimes I feel like I am right for this job and that I have the skills, abilities and creativity to impact the Vancouver team. There are also times when I feel that I’m not good enough.
I think this is just a reflection of my experience of photography in general. There are times when I feel like I’m a successful photographer creating the type of imagery I want to share with the world. Other times I feel like a hack who should just give up and figure out what else I can do with my life.
I don’t take these thoughts too seriously. In fact, I was moved when I read in Gregory Heisler‘s book, 50 Portraits, that he still struggles with the selection process and feeling of being good enough.
I’ve come to believe that it is those same thoughts that motivate me as a photographer to keep working at my craft and reaching higher. That doesn’t make it any easier when I’m feeling down, but that knowledge does help me move through those feelings much quicker.
If you ever have those same feelings, consider that they are just fuel to be added to your fire and as long as a spark still exists, you can always stoke the flames, follow your passion and reach your goals.