Dr Kirsty Fairclough

Pop culture commentator Dr Kirsty Fairclough on why ‘perfect’ careers don’t exist

At our NME #Lifehacks event in London last month, Dr Kirsty Fairclough joined other leading creatives on a panel discussing the things they wish they’d known at age 18.

Fairclough is Senior Lecturer in Media and Performance at University of Salford. She’s delivered conferences on Mad Men and Twin Peaks, written extensively about film and music, and is the author of the upcoming book Beyoncé: Celebrity, Feminism and Pop Culture. She also organised ‘Purple Reign’, the world’s first Prince conference, which took place in Manchester this May.

After the panel, she shared some advice for young people who want to pursue creative careers, recommending that they focus on what they’re passionate about and practise it as much as possible. She also shared an important lesson she learned on her own career journey: that striving for perfection isn’t realistic, and aiming for greatness is enough.

Also speaking on the Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was 18 panel were MOBO founder Kanya King MBE, fellow University of Salford lecturer Lyndon Saunders, gal-dem’s Liv Little and Universal Music UK’s Head of Communications Jonathan Badyal. NME’s Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams hosted the panel.

NME teamed up with University of Salford and youth initiative Create Jobs to lay on the #Lifehacks event at London’s Islington Metal Words on Thursday 23 November. Here’s the full story of the event in pictures.