• Lauren Tottman (Student)

Reflexive Professional Appraisal

Reflecting on yourself as a person is difficult - let alone as a professional. When in a job interview and asked "what would you say your Greatest Weakness is?" often stumps me. How do you answer a question about your weaknesses (honestly, that is) in front of the very person you want to hire you. So, in this professional appraisal I will hopefully be honest in explaining my temperament, personality and personal politics, and how they play a part in who I am as a creative individual.

One of the main elements of my personality is that I am naturally an introvert; which often limits me when it comes to showing my work and the pride that I take in it. This has been a hinderance in the past; having made it difficult to enjoy showing work that I have put a lot of time and effort in to my peers or industry professionals. One of the challenges that resulted in a positive outcome was when working on a client brief to create an advert for local company 'Sponge'; as this was something that I had very little experience in, and made me confront the fear of showing a production that I have made to an industry professional. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to learn and grow as a producer as well as individual.

As a bit of a perfectionist, it's difficult to be happy with any 'finished' production; as I never truly believe that it's finished, as there is always something to change that would improve the production. This is something that I am working on turning into a positive when it comes to my work; it makes me incredibly self-critical, which I am able to use to improve my work and constantly think what I can do better - or differently - next time. This can be seen through my productions; the films that I created or was a part of in the earlier years of my degree developed into much better productions in the final year. This is to be expected when learning an industry made up of so many different skills, and is always good to be reflected upon when creating new productions. It is incredibly easy to get a creative block; sometimes this can be combatted with going back and looking at previous pieces of work to show yourself that you have improved, and will definitely to continue to do so, giving you a little inspirational boost.

Finding your place in an industry is hard; it has taken me three years (a journey which is far from over) to find who I want to be as a creative individual, and I'm still unsure of where I will end up in the future. I fully enjoy the immersive experience that is being part of a crew on a production, which is something that I had always been motivated to partake in. This had always appealed to me growing up - just to be a part of a production on a show or film that I enjoyed watching when I was younger would be a dream come true. This has evolved to higher goals to work towards as I find where I would want to fit in to said crew. Creatively speaking, I always enjoyed writing for fun from a young age (Something many of my peers never understood. More work and writing for fun?! Crazy.) coming up with stories, spending hours creating made-up worlds and characters. This developed into wanting to continue the creation of literature teamed with the study of it, by taking an A Level in English; being able to study a subject that I had such a strong connection to was an eye-opening experience, and allowed me to become fully immersed in the world of creation. Using this learning curve as inspiration, I became more interested in applying my passion to the media industry, motivating me to take my studies further and begin thinking about how to get a career doing something I care about.

Looking to the future, my main desire is to be a part of the industry that I have been interested in for such a long time, while doing something that I love and feel passionate about. It's a real 'dream come true' to even be considering how far I have come; constantly learning and improving my skills, work ethic and general understanding of the media world is a gift that I cherish. There has been so many opportunities within the last three years to gain priceless experience and knowledge, while getting an insight into what I can do with my future. I have been given the chance to not only develop myself as a creative, but to do so as a person as well, something that has been invaluable and I will appreciate forever. Taking this forward, I am looking at using the elements of idea generation through creating narratives to both print and moving image production; wether this be for personal or professional use is yet to be decided. The passion that I have for writing is something that I cherish and want to keep, so for the near future I am looking to do use it for just that; something to enjoy and have a bit of fun with. Hopefully this will lead to a career in the industry somehow, and I will constantly be looking to develop my understanding and skill within it.

The future is so bright, and I can't wait to get it started.

#reflection #professionalappraisal

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