Get a job she says.
It is 2013, and jobs don’t work the way they used to. You can’t fill out a resume and get a 9-to-5 job immediately. Most of the time, you have to know someone to get a job that you’d actually like, unless you want to work at Dairy Queen. I’m pretty sure that’s a job you could get with a cold call.
Not only that, a but jobs don’t work the same way they did back in the day. Instead of getting a college education and that being sufficient enough to get a good paying full-time job, you have to have experience to get hired these days. Today, it’s about your skill sets and what you can do that gets you a job.
In the past, people were able to get a college education, get a job right out of college, then work said job for 30 years. Not a lot of people had a college education back then and having one meant instant success. A college degree no longer means that. Now you have to have the skill set. You have to have experience. You have to be able to provide a service. No one wants someone straight out of college. They want someone who can do the job well immediately.
How do you get that experience if you can’t get the job? It is the Catch-22. You have to have experience to get the job, but you have to have a job to get the experience. What does one do? How do you get a job if you live in Los Angeles, New York, or Seattle, and don’t know anyone? How do you survive in a connection based job society if you don’t have connections?
I think the best thing anyone can do is reading (learning anything you can) and taking action. If I could go back in the college and change the way I did things, the number one thing I would change is I would have applied for internships. I would have started working in the film industry every single summer. That way, when I got out of college I would have had three full summers of experience already under my belt. Doing internships is a great way of making the connections you need. I can’t tell you the number of people I know who have gotten a job because of an internship connection they’ve made. The fact is, the more you work, the more you learn and the more connections you make. That’s what’ll get you a job.
Artists have a hard time with this. An artist thinks, “If I had a full-time job, it would keep me from pursuing my dreams.” But that’s simply untrue! I’ve recently reading this book called Quitter by Jon Acuff. The book is about keeping your day job while trying to close the gap between your day job and your dream job. His thesis is that you should keep your day job long enough to protect your dream job. Which is wonderful except you keep wondering how that works for artists. How would that work for an actor that has to go to auditions?
Since I’ve been in Los Angeles I had several jobs. Only a few have been industry related. I’ve been trying so hard to get a job that I love doing, but at the same time, taking jobs that I can get, just to survive.
Best jobs so far?
Casting Associate for Paramount
Photographer – Present
Tech Booth Operator at the Upright Citizens Brigade – Present
Valet for the Beverly Hills Hotel
If you’re moving to LA or NY, get working as fast as possible. The bills pile up fast. I’d suggest extra work. It’s not great. It’s mind numbing work. You spend your entire day being told what to do by people who think that all extras are stupid. And worst part is there’re right! Most of the extras are trying to hide in the craft services. They spend their entire day just trying to hide from doing work and they’re only job is WALKING.
Look, it’s an easy way to get work. It’ll get you going until you can find something you like.