I hated my summer job. I worked as a sales representative in Scarborough, Ont., retail store Cavallino’s receiving minimum wage. Every time I clocked in I felt an excruciating pain in the pit of my stomach… Did I need the money badly? Yes! I had bills to pay–but my true passion is writing.
One day in during lunch break, I sat in a coffee shop, and no, it was not a Starbucks. It was a Coffee Time: the summer job was not paying me enough to indulge in expensive flavoured coffee.
I was thinking about how I could escape my situation and do what many successful people did. Like Walter Elias Disney, who started at a very young age simply doing drawings. So I asked advice from three Toronto professionals who turned their talents into careers.
York University graduate Joshua Itwaru also started at a very young age; three-years-old playing the piano. He double majored in music at 19-years-old and graduated with honours and now specializes in music. He is active on social media, has a website gigmasters, and is willing to travel up to 100 miles to meet with interested clients.
“I don’t think of it as a talent. It’s hard for me to explain why. I feel as though I’m the least talented person around, I look up to other people and make them my rivals,” he said.
Itwaru still has many ambitions with music that he wants to fulfil. He currently works at a private school as the artistic director. Twice a year, he puts on a musical with children ranging from kindergarten to Grade 8.
"I knew that two-weeks into the Centennial College journalism program that I was not going to be a journalist," Larry Cheung.
Larry Cheung, 26, graduated from the joint journalism program with University of Scarborough and Centennial College in 2013. He took pleasure in words, but his ultimate interest was on the green, playing golf. Cheung played at a couple of mini tour events but didn’t win. However, he did not give up.
Now he runs LarryCheungGolf.com, and is a swing consultant teaching amateur golfers.
His message about pursuing a talent and making it a career?
“Believe hard and work hard in whatever it is you believe in and good things will happen.”
Larry Cheung interview
“Writers are always readers. It is that love of storytelling combined with attention to craft that creates writers,” a passionate writer Uzma Jalaluddin said.
The Toronto Star‘s Uzma Jalaluddin enjoys reading all types of genres: romance, action, comedy, science fiction and fantasy.
Jalaluddin invested in her hidden talent: writing, and is now a freelance columnist.
Now, I’ve made up my mind. I’ll continue to follow my dreams rather than settle for mediocre jobs. I took the initiative and applied for the professional writing program at York University beginning in September 2019.