Considerations in Developing an Entertainment Career

While ones education may provide the skills and knowledge to do the job, most institutions sadly neglect teaching the necessary tools and information to seek and find suitable employment. It is a shame to spend thousands of dollars on training in hopes of finding work in the entertainment industry, yet have only limited understanding about how this is accomplishes. Disregarding preparation in this area can severely lower ones earning capacity or possibly negate entry.Why this neglect, by both learning establishments and students? Firstly, teachers have little preparation in this aspect of the business. Their training is on the nut and bolts of the trade, not on how to promote these skills. In addition, job hunting is a complex subject that does not fit neatly into a classroom curriculum, especially in the entertainment industry where jobs vary and are highly specialized. Likewise, this business is highly competitive where applicants far out number openings. Advertising this fact does not resonate well with schools trying to attract students.Students, likewise, share in this blame as they have pie in the sky dreams of making it big. Egos, pipe dreams and misinformation get in the way of meaningful strategies that can guide students through this maze. Students seldom see the value of learning job-hunting techniques until it is too late. By then hopes and funds are decimated and the inclination to seek guidance seldom materializes. As a result, an expensive education and gifted talents go to waste.How can this problem be remedied? Awareness is your first step. Being aware that there is a long list of tools, knowledge, and strategies available and that by implementing them you can succeed in finding gratifying employment. One key strategy one should apply to every job interview is exuding a supportive and helpful attitude. An attitude that states, “What can I do for you?” “How can I help solve your problems?” With such an attitude, the focus is on the goals of the company and not on the aims of the employee.Job-hunting tools consist of industry directories, support groups, networking opportunities, and promotional materials. Industry directories are available online as well at industry bookstores such as Samuel French. Support groups for actors, writers, and filmmakers are helpful to newcomers. Groups such as Film Independent, Filmmaker’s Alliance and Women In Film offer insights into industry operations with their seminars and panel discussions. They also offer opportunities to mingle with peers and potential employers.Promotional materials might consist of cover letters, resumes, pictures, portfolios, demo reels, or other samples of your work. Compiling evidentiary materials such as awards, clippings, online credits, and recommendation letters will increase your hiring potential. Accomplishments should be at the center of your presentation and relevant to the employer’s needs. While experience, training and special skills have a bearing, your achievements will be the key factor. By using active power words, your accomplishments will have greater impact. For instance, instead of saying your duties included preparing sales reports for management, state how you improve operations. For example, reorganized and operated new sales reporting system that provided increased information in half the time.In the entertainment industry, referrals and recommendations are a must. People often say it’s who you know that gets you the job. Actually, it’s respected people knowing your skills and capabilities that moves the process along. Cultivating these supporting contacts may take considerable effort as such relationships require a good amount of trust. That can take time.Interview skills are also part of your tool kit. Most important is your ability to answer questions and use your answers to segue into stories that have memorable impact. Being able to communicate your abilities and accomplishments through stories is a key factor in networking, interviewing and sustaining a career. While they will look at your resumé, they will remember you by the success stories you tell.Knowing the value of what you can bring to a prospective employer is also a key factor. Having arguments ready will increase your starting salary and help you negotiate a better deal. Likewise, by knowing the basic negotiating techniques you can, over time, add considerable value to your net worth. For instance, knowing there are three critical factors in every negotiation, power, information, and time and using them to your advantage. Likewise, remember you are negotiating all the time. Another one is gathering information on your prospect and his needs.By researching these topics, you will find a number of services and publications, many that are free, that will give insights into the industry as well as opportunities to network. Likewise, there are websites that offer free job-hunting tips and strategies. By being aware there are support groups, tools and strategies, you can seek assistance and compile the needed resources to develop as rewarding and long-lasting entertainment career.

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