For the first time in my career I've actually verbalised and written down what I want!"
That was what Eleanor Bennett tweeted after her morning session with the Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) training programme.
She was joined by 30-plus young creatives from the worlds of media and entertainment for a morning course on learning strategies for success and networking lunch held at the Musicians' Union's office.
Working in a group with young journalists, writers, actors and musicians, she discussed what it was like to get work as a freelance in a competitive world, how to set goals, how to learn from setbacks and how to ingrain useful habits to help her career.
Tutor Muriel McClymont was leading the session, Five Strategies for Success. She said:
You must make time to sit down and define and question what you want to do. Remember, it isn't about reaching the pinnacle, it is about enjoying your journey. That itself is a success. Celebrate your progress. Look at your diary and you may be pleasantly surprised by what you have achieved.
Don't be too prescriptive about setting goals, stay open to new opportunities. Take care of yourself. You need to eat well, take exercise. Do things that you care about and feel comfortable with."
The morning began with Frances Dredge, project manager of FEU training, which receives funding from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills. She introduced the group to the range of services on offer, from free workshops to a suite of practical online modules and plans this summer for a range of webinars. She called for volunteers to become learning champions who would spread the word about the opportunities the FEU provided to young members.
Rebekah Ubuntu, a multimedia performance artist and musician, said:
The morning was really useful. It taught me that I must build in time to reflect about what I am doing."
Student photojournalist Nima Hajirasouliha said he enjoyed meeting the other union members and hearing their perspective on ways to work towards success. He said:
The course was really about learning how to organise your dream. It's tough getting a break as a journalist these days and the session made me think about how to prepare to be adaptable to the market, but stay true to what I want to do and be."
Charlie Ensor, a freelance journalist who specialises in international development, said he had already benefited from training sessions put on by the National Union of Journalists on pitching for work and negotiating on pay. He said:
When you set out to be a journalist, you don't realise that, as a freelance, you have to learn to run your own business."
Caroline Scott, a Scottish drummer now based in London, said:
Today gave me a lot of confidence. It reassured me that I am taking the right approach. Self-doubt is so easy in this precarious business."
One slight cavil came from Isabel Patterson, who is about to take her show, You Tweet My Face Space, to the Edinburgh Festival (she plays Snapchat):
There seemed to be quite a bit about learning from failure – or turning failure into feedback. I hope we can all learn from success as well."