How To Tell Your Parents You Want To Work In The Creative Industry

Photo by Kayla Mendez

We’ve all been there at one point or another in our lives. Our parents whether we want to admit it or not are very important to us all. We seek their approval, we want to make them proud, and above all we want them to accept us just as we accept them. On the flip-side parents want nothing more than for their children to be happy, safe, and live a comfortable life without too much struggle. It’s the stability part that they get stuck on. Lucky for us the creative industries are booming in today’s job market and there are more and more opportunities for success. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty and it’s the unknown that terrifies a parent, while it’s the unknown that motivates a true creative. So when it was time to have that conversation with your parents about following your slightly unconventional dreams how did it go? Where they supportive, incredulous, in denial? H has put together a few responses from users below, and don’t worry if you haven’t had this “talk” with your parents yet we also have some advice to help you figure out where to start.

The question we asked was, what did your parents say when you told them you wanted to be a professional creator?

1. They knew her better than anyone.

“They knew it was a hard field to get into considering most people would love to pursue it, but I was passionate enough and knew I had the talent unlike some of my peers which helped to ease their worries.”

2. Young and full of possibility.

“Coming from a very entrepreneurial family, they were supportive. They had seen my work ethic, passion, and actual profitability so that helped ease their nerves. They still had some doubts but ultimately they knew that I was young and had time to try things.”

3. Remember to brush your teeth.

“They were supportive as long as I didn’t neglect responsibilities”

4. Parents of the year award.

“Supported me all the way”

5. Walk the walk, then talk the talk.

“My parents didn’t really talk to me about doing photography as a more full-time commitment. I just did it and showed them the results.”

6. The negative Nancys

“ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!? After all you’ve worked for this is what you want to pursue?”


“I was blessed enough to have a family that supported me regardless of my creative endeavors. One of the best things they told me to do is to get a business degree to support myself and make sure that my creativity didn’t get in the way of living life. Having that support and advice has pushed me to be a better creator and work 300 times harder than the person next to me. It keeps me going.”

8. Practicality over impulsivity

“My parents have been deeply supportive, if also a little cautious, from the very beginning, supporting me and pushing me to be my best, while also trying to help me find financial options “that would actually support (me).”

Honestly, when I read through these parent reactions I was surprised. There was a lot more support than I originally assumed there would be. This is such a good thing because I have a had a couple of really talented friends give up on their dreams, their passions, their callings because skeptical parents and friends discouraged them from giving it their all. I myself am one of the lucky ones my parents fully support my lifestyle. They tell me all of the time to love what I do and to never stop chasing the life that I want for myself, after all, we only get one life so we should do our best to live it well. I’m thrilled to see that there are so many other supportive parents like mine out there in the world.

Now for part two, we asked for advice on how to talk about this with your families, here’s what we got.

“What advice would you give to someone having that conversation today?”

1. Start Small.

“My advice is to start small: Sure, you might not be getting paid right off the bat, and that’s okay. Start networking as much as possible, and throughout I guarantee you’ll find new friendships, new ways to go about what you want to do, and much more. Even try finding a small local agency to see how the industry works at a smaller scale. Anything works, you just have to be willing to put your foot in the door and go for it.”

2. Be real with them, see their side of things.

“Prove it to them that you will be able to make it work. Don’t talk about what you’re going to do— actually go and do it. Show them that you have what it takes. Remember that small $100 jobs won’t all of a sudden turn into a full-time career so if that’s all you’re getting at the moment, work harder but be realistic with yourself. Don’t discount their concerns because even though they love you, they should be the ones being realistic with you. “

3. It’s a marathon, not a race.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have a backup plan. We all want to succeed but we can’t live off pennies until then. I myself have a full-time job and pursue my dream at the same time. It’s not easy, but it’s a marathon, not a race.”

4. Knock on those doors people!

“Any career is as important as any other, even if you want to become a lawyer or a doctor you still need to hustle and knock on doors and learn every single day, no matter if you want to be a creator or anything else.”

5. Do it for yourself, the rest will fall into place if you work hard.

“For my parents, I knew that they would support me if I showed them how important creating meaningful content was for me. I supported myself before my parents were able to. I think that being able to show your parents the results that you are getting will quell their doubts easier than if you are just beginning.”

6. Never Fear because you are your biggest advocate!

“Don’t be afraid! No matter what, your family does love you. I truly believe that they will come around one way or another as you demonstrate the success you have.”

7. Nothing is stopping you but you.

“I lost my aunt very early on in her life to cancer, and she told me to be what I wanted to be because we weren’t assured tomorrow. If you want to be a creator, what is stopping you? Being smart and making sure you have the foundation to support yourself is important, but in the end what makes you happy? You’re not going to be on your deathbed thinking about how happy you were that you didn’t take risks. Try new things, fail, and get back up and try again. Nothing is stopping you but you.”

8. Just go for it!

“I say, just go for it. Parents who don’t support their child’s dream at first, seem to always come around in the end, in one way or another. You may have to “prove” to them that you are “good enough”, but PLEASE don’t let their cautiousness stop you from pursuing something if it truly is your dream. This is YOUR life and you deserve to live it as deeply into whatever makes you feel the most fulfilled.”

As cliche as it sounds, in the end, you will only regret the risks that you didn’t take. We all have dreams, but we must never be afraid to go after them. I had to learn throughout the course of the last year that being afraid is a good thing, it pushes you to leave your boundaries. Also, my best advice is to never ever forget that you can always change your life, it’s okay. So keep going for it, and when it gets tough try even harder it means your closer to get to where you want to be. Be brave, be confident, be honest, and be yourself!