I only have one problem with New Year’s resolutions. Unless it is New Years day and you start working on them when you write them, they postpone action. As if, until the New Year begins, you are free to do nothing, to mill about at the starting line until the morning of 1st.
Resolutions For Your Entertainment Career
But whether you are reading this on January 2, 2013 or beyond, these four “right now resolutions,” completed in order, can get you moving in the direction of your entertainment career goals, whether you are still in school, just starting out, or ready to make a big push toward progress.
1. Get Clear
In order to move toward what you want, you have to know what you want. We’re not talking about an ultimate goal that is somewhere out in the future – you just need to define your immediate next step.
If you are a student, do you want to secure a specific type of internship for next semester or complete an awesome project for your comedy directing class? If you are a soon-to-be grad, do you need to figure out what city you want to live in or secure your first job in the biz? If you are already an entertainment professional, do you need representation for your writing or to trade up to a “better job” once you figure out what that means?
Alison Deyette and Jason Neulander are two Industry Pros who were very strategic during college and upon graduation, respectively, in ways that ultimately paved the way for their next-step goals. Read their profiles to see how a little strategic thinking now could help you progress quicker.
2. Identify Roadblocks
If you think about it, you probably know what’s standing in your way. Usually, lack of forward motion involves a lack of clarity (see above), a lack of knowledge, or a lack of confidence.
What don’t you know? In the case of the student who wants an internship, it might be that you don’t know which PR companies in your area specialize in entertainment or special events (your two interests).
In the case of the student who’s about to graduate, you may not know the relative merits of each place you are considering, including the professional opportunities available. In the case of the industry pro who wants to trade up to a better job, you may not know what a better job looks like. Define where the blanks are so you know what you need to find out.
To build confidence, just know that every single successful entertainment professional in the business has faced failure and rejection. Every. Single. ONE. The bigger the success, the more failure and rejection they have faced (and continue to face) in their careers. And also, take time to focus on the successes you have had and the kudos you have gotten thus far to fuel you to keep going no matter what.
3. Make A Plan
We all recognize that resolutions don’t mean anything unless action is taken. You can vow to lose ten pounds all you want while sitting on your couch, but unless you actually eat less or exercise more, there’s no chance your resolution will become reality. So now that you have clarity and knowledge (and hopefully at least a little confidence), let’s make a plan.
What should be on your plan? Well, the first thing on your plan should be filling in the blanks to get rid of the roadblocks. Do the research required if yours is like one of the cases above where knowledge is lacking. If you are stalled on a creative project, you need to get moving forward, whatever that means. If you are planning to look for a first job or a better job, take a look at your resume and LinkedIn profile. Are they ready?
4. Take The First Step (Or First Few Steps)
Your first few “right now resolutions” should be able to be done without anyone else being involved. Internet research, resume updating, even shooting a little test footage on your smart phone. So, even if it’s Christmas or New Years Day or the middle of the night, you can get some things done on your road to entertainment career success.
Do internet research, work on your script, take out a camera (yes, your smart phone probably has video) and shoot something, even if it’s just to test the equipment or try out a shot you are considering. Update the resume and/or LinkedIn profile, draft an e-mail to your professional network telling them what type of opportunity you are seeking next.
Bottom line: Resolve to take action now. And then do it. This is your first step to find success in your entertainment career.
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