Friday, January 7, 2011

Reaching for the Stars or at least the next rung on the Ladder

Last week I wrote about what I’m going to do with this New Year. Not make resolutions, but be resolute that I will accomplish great things.

The year has already started off positively as the comic book and entertainment news website did an article on my work: It’s only a short little article, but it's a start. It’s a good feeling that people are noticing me.

Along with my two days of employment, I’ve been focusing much of the time on hitting the online job boards and applying for as many positions as I can.

[Note to discuss: My dad thinks I should be out knocking on doors to find companies that will hire me. But everyone I talk to always send me back to their online job boards. Has anyone found companies that aren’t using the Internet to hire people?]

My job search begins by telling the online system that I’m looking for work in Burbank and Glendale (read last week’s blog to find out why, it’s must), then mark the departments of the company I’d like to work in if those parameters can be set. Otherwise I just ask to see all the openings available since the last time I visited the site. (Note to anyone at Disney: Please put a date stamp on your job descriptions so I don’t have to read through pages I’ve already applied for or passed over.)

As examples: In production for animation and television, I’ve applied for Production Assistant, Production Coordinator, and the like. For more clerical positions I have been applying for Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant positions.

It’s not that those are the only jobs I want to do far from it, but script-writing jobs very rarely appear on job boards. I say ‘very rarely’ because the first professional animation writing assignment I had came from a job board posting in the Hollywood Directory Online. It turned out nicely, though the show has never aired in the U.S. Though I would worn you about many writing assignments you find on line, some will be great, but most will expect you to do it for free or with the promise of deferred pay when its all finished and they sell the project. You could be dead by then.

So in one way or another I have been looking for positions based upon my experience in those fields. Figuring that if I can get in on that level I can gain the experience and knowledge I need to move further up.

A mistake I made years ago while in was college; I didn’t look into internships. Probably would have helped a whole lot, but now its too late for those sorts of thing. Of course at that time I didn’t have a car so couldn’t drive the forty miles to the studios each day. So I’ve been looking for other ways in.

I know that what I’m looking for in the above assistant positions is a “day job” so that I can have a financial foundation while working on my writing and art on the side. I’m not stupid to think that I can make all the money I would need just from writing (though one can dream). But I also know that if I can find the right position in production or development there might be the chance I could move up into a level where I could have real influence on shows. (He’s still dreaming, right?)

The rambling all finished (one hopes). I’ve made a realization that I’m shooting too low. I’ve been applying to openings that fit my experience not my goals. Yesterday I came across a job that is way beyond my experience by a number of years in several different areas. However, it was a job I knew I could do, a job I would love to do, working on a property I already know and have a passion for, and for a company that I’ve dreamed of working at for years.

A decision was made. I wrote up a cover letter that sold me on my passion and knowledge of the property and tell them that I could do the job. As I said, the job is above my level, but I’ve chosen to shoot for it.

It’s actually a scary decision to reach beyond where you know you’re comfortable, but sometimes its what you’ve got to do. Stretch that arm up to the next rung of the ladder or to the one above that. After all, only with stretching do your muscles become accustom to doing the new work.

I may not get this job. I might not even get called in for an interview for it. But what is certain is that I won’t get if I don’t apply for it.

Shoot for the moon and maybe you’ll hit the neighbor’s fence. Shoot for the fence and you may hit your foot.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

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