Jump Up A Level In Your Career

Want to jump up a level in your career? You're not the only one. Related: 7 Sacrifices You Need To Make To Advance Your Career A reader sent me the following question:


Dear YII, I graduated in 2009, and am currently working as a development assistant at a small TV production company in the LA area. I’m writing you because I’m looking to make that big “JUMP” in my career to a major network or a bigger production company. I have tons of experience and am very good at what I do. I’m currently making $12.50 an hour and am extremely frustrated (not with the position, but the money). I guess my question is, how do I do this? - D

Here’s The Deal

Many, many, MANY people start out in entertainment making a pittance and being otherwise abused, either intentionally or not. Some do unpaid post-graduate internships on movie sets and at small production companies hoping for their big break. Some, such as your self, work in “administrative” positions doing far more than your salary and title indicates.

The Good News

This is a tried and true path to moving up in the industry and, congratulations, you have broken in to your chosen field! Check that step off your list!

The Bad News

It might take a while to make the jump up. Even poorly-paying jobs like yours are sought-after by the thousands wanting to break in behind you and moving up a notch is even more challenging. Also, you have been at your position less than a year so you will probably have to tough it out at least a few more months, but you can start positioning yourself for the leap now.

The Strategy

Focus on doing the things in your job that either qualify you to move up in your current job or help you land your next job, such as networking and building relationships (both to increase your worth inside this job and to locate your next job), knowing the projects and material and key players out there, getting talent attached to your boss’s projects, creating show bibles, etc. Do the administrative part of your job only well enough so you don’t risk getting fired. (Being great at admin won’t get you to the next level, it will only get you more admin work and your boss will be hesitant to let his “stellar assistant” move up.)

And Don’t Forget

Have a current resume ready to go at all times that markets you for your next move. Focus on highlighting victories in the above areas, not the day-to-day admin. Don’t be hesitant to tell people you are looking for your next step and to submit yourself for open jobs. (If it gets back to your boss, you will say you need more money and you want an opportunity to move up. He or she will understand and may even give you the chance rather than risk losing you.)

The Bottom Line

This is advice you can use throughout your career each time you are ready to move up. Start doing the job above you. It’s the quickest, surest way to success in any field.

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