By Colleen Callahan, Elon iMedia class of 2010
I will continue writing throughout this school year to give perspective on what happens to iMedia students after graduation. When I left you last, I was still searching, but as of September I am currently working in Los Angeles as a Marketing Operations Coordinator for Ticketmaster.
When I first came to Los Angeles, the job search was definitely challenging. I knew I needed to network, so I had informational interviews and meetings with all sorts of people–editors,writers,producers, marketing professionals, family, friends–everyone had some good advice along the way. Here are my top five points of advice I’ve received since moving west that have really helped me in finding and starting a job. It may have a west coast slant to it, but I think it can apply everywhere.
1. Job postings are the “dream candidate.”
I went to lunch with my cousin one day who’s a technical engineer. I mentioned how so many jobs are asking for around 3 years of experience, so I couldn’t apply. He then told me while making job postings for his company, he really expects candidates to have only 50% of what he asks for in the posting, and to have all requirements filled would be a dream.
2. Don’t let your boss know there is a problem–let him/her know there was a problem
I received this advice from a television producer. He said a great assistant takes care of the little stuff for you and problem-solves on his or her own (unless it’s something really big, of course). If you can solve a problem before it gets to your boss, do it. It shows you can handle responsibilities and you truly are assisting.
3. Be able to anticipate
This sort of goes with above, and came from the same source. Following up on tasks and ensuring all the details are covered in your tasks definitely helps. Your boss doesn’t want to be bothered with following through and making sure an email is deployed or something is live on the site–do it for them and let them know it’s taken care of.
4. Don’t be late and be humble
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth bringing up. After talking to an editor, and another one of my friends who works on set, they have both said so many production assistants are late and have attitudes. So it’s as simple as that: don’t be late and don’t have an attitude, and you’ll probably move up from the bottom.
5. Be selfless
I talked to a writer one day who brought this up. He said let your personal life be invisible in the work place, and let your boss think you solely exist on their behalf, to make their life as easy as possible. Sure, this does need to be reasonable–you can’t sleep at work! But until asked, keep it strictly work-related.