I've had this conversation time and time again with clients, job candidates, younger friends... They went to an entertainment personnel agency and during the interview, the agent asked what kind of job they were looking for. They were very clear, they tell me. They told the agent they wanted to work at a film production company. Or a TV network. Or a music management company. They wanted to work in the story department. They didn't want an admin job. They wanted a management trainee position. The agent nodded and smiled. She seemed to understand. But then she sent my client, job candidate, or young friend to a post production house to interview for an admin job. “Just go on the interview,” the agent prodded. “I think they’ll really like you.” Harrumphhhh! Frustrating, right? Here’s the deal about personnel agencies: Most of them are run by perfectly lovely, good-hearted people who want their candidates to be in personally fulfilling jobs with lots of growth potential. However, the agencies only get paid when they fill the position their client has contacted them to fill. They routinely spend hours finding qualified people for the position, prepping them, setting up interviews, following up, etc., only to have Bob in accounting’s niece could end up with the job. In this case, the personnel agency gets nothing. Not a dime. Not a thank you. Zip. Okay, read on… As a hiring exec, I would sometimes find myself sitting across from candidates who would tell me that they didn’t want the job I was interviewing them for. Some were nice and apologetic about it and it remained our little secret they told me. Some were downright rude, as if I was somehow at fault. I knew that if I told the agency that their candidate had told me she didn’t want the job, that candidate might not be sent on another interview by that agency. So, the nice job candidates got leads for other jobs they would want. The rude ones got blackballed by their agency. (There’s a lesson in here somewhere. Hmmm…) So, why would an agency risk pissing off their client by sending candidates who definitely do NOT want the position the client is scrambling to fill? Well, there’s two key pieces of information here: 1. What are you qualified for? A good candidate is like chum to these agents. You show up with your well-written resume reflecting a top education, a strong internship, a few money jobs while in school. You dress well. You are articulate. They know they’ll be able to place you. Their clients are going to love you. But just because your resume is great doesn’t mean you are qualified for a junior executive position. Admin might be only job you qualify for that can get you in the door. They will tell you this gently or let you figure it out. Hopefully, you do figure it out before you’ve ruled yourself out of a good job with your “no admin” policy (or piss me off). Okay, so you’ll do an admin job in the story department at a film production company. Or a TV network. Or a managment company. In no time, you’ll be promoted, right? You might even tell your personnel agent this plan. After all, now they just need to place you in that just right admin job and you’ll be one of their successful placement stories. Not so fast. 2. Who are their clients? A personnel agency can only place you in open positions that their clients bring them to fill. If you want to work at a production company and that agency doesn’t work with any production companies, there is no way they are going to be able to put you in your desired position. Period. So, why do they keep sending you to post houses and talent agencies and foreign sales companies? Because that’s who their clients are. And since they only get paid when they place a candidate in a client’s open position, they need to keep that interview seat filled so someone else’s candidate (or Bob’s niece) doesn’t dazzle them and snag the gig. But, if you are a strong candidate in general (regardless of what youwant) often “Just go on the interview” will lead to “Oh, they loved you. It’s such a great place to work, too. The last person we placed in this position moved on to work at a film production company.” So, then the job offer comes in and you either take it because you need a job and/or you don’t want to piss off the agency, or you piss off the agency and they don’t place you and make some comment about your reputation that has you worried you’ll never eat lunch in this town again. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s no central database which contains your “official record” in the industry so don’t worry too much about larger consequences, but it is best to avoid this waste-of-time exercise and I’m going to tell you how: Do some research. If you want to work for a film production company, call those film production companies. Tell the receptionist that you are looking for a job and you want to know if they use a personnel agency to fill positions (make sure you tell them that you are looking for a job. If you don’t, they will think you are cold-calling from a personnel agency trying to get their business and they may not be forthcoming with the information). If the receptionist forwards you to the personnel department, say the same thing: “I’m looking for a job and I’m wondering if you use a personnel agency to fill positions.” They will probably tell you, if they do use a personnel agency, what the name of it is (they might even ask you what kind of job you are looking for and ask you to send a resume, but that’s another story). Call several companies you want to work for and get a list of two or three target personnel agencies, if you can. Market yourself well. Make sure your resume is well-written, your cover letter compelling, your interview outfit neat, attractive, and appropriate, and your demeanor forthright but gracious. Don’t tell the agency you’ve targetted them because of a specific client. Just tell them you’d really like to work at a film production company. If they tell you that the company you called is a client, smile and say, “That’s great. I’d love to work there.” Watch them make a note in your file to that effect. Discretely diversify. Okay, in English that means that I’m telling you to sign up with more than one agency. Agencies prefer that you only sign with them and might even imply that exclusivity is a condition of working with them. But that’s crazy and you aren’t signing a contract so just nod and smile (remember when your grandmother told you not to put all your eggs in one basket and you were like “Whatever grandma”? This is what she was talking about). Be open. Your grandmother probably put it more colorfully, but it’s pretty simple. If you want to work at a film production company and you can get into some related company and start networking as a person in the industry who has a job, that might be a way to go. Don’t go too far afield, unless you really need the money, but one thing often leads to another in this biz. One final note: Though there is no central database for your entertainment career reputation, the industry is connected by millions of invisible spider webs, so even if your personnel agent sends you to a post house and then a foreign sales company and then a talent agency when you want a production company, be nice about it. Remember they have mortgages and/or families and/or lap dogs with expensive tastes in doggie chow. If you preserve the relationship, even if you feel you have been wronged, they might just call you when they do land the production company account and there is a non-admin job availabile in the story department. Jenny Yerrick Martin, founder of YourIndustryInsider.com, has amassed 20+ years as an entertainment industry professional including almost 15 as a hiring executive and five as a career consultant. She's become an indispensable resource for people who want to break into entertainment, as well as those in entertainment looking to reach the next level or course-correct in their already-established careers.Finding job entertainment agency image from Shutterstock
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
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Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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December 02, 2022
Work is important to a lot of us. And we all have egos. The trick is to balance our own view of work and success so that the ego remains a helpful source of support and not a tyrannical master. One is the road to relative contentment, the other to continued misery. Have you struck the balance?
We particularly need to know we have the balance as close to right (for us and others at work—everywhere!) especially given the likely turmoil and stress employees, colleagues, leadership, and ourselves may feel because of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding us right now.
Why do I even write about ego and why should any of us in business care about it?
To understand the influence of our own ego at work, let's first get a working definition of what ego is. Oxford Languages defines ego as, among other things, ‘the part of the mind that …is responsible for reality testing.’
So, what does reality testing look like on the ground? How do we implement reality testing at work for us?
Our Internal Rule BookBigstock
Through a rule book. Our own internal rule book. An individual set of rules we each carry around inside our heads for how we deal with the world including at work.
Everyone has their own internal rule book. Your job is to make sure that your internal rule book continues to support and serve for the benefit of all including your stakeholders, your colleagues, your team, your company, and yourself at work.
We all have this internal rule book for all parts of our lives. So, our internal rule book pervades our waking moments including at work.
Almost from birth we acquire, adopt, and develop our own set of rules which drive what we expect and therefore what we impose on others and ourselves as a way to decide what is going on—that is we are reality testing.
For instance, simple rules picked up through experience like if you pay a baker for a bread roll you expect them to hand over a bread roll. If they don’t hand over a bread roll then you start reality testing. In this example, where the baker didn’t hand over the bread roll as you expected (rule about exchange) you might immediately reality test the situation by asking ‘Did I hand over the money to the baker’ or ‘Did he hear my order correctly?’
You see how the rule book works—it's reality testing what you expected. You expected a bread roll after handing over the money (a rule about exchange), yet the baker didn’t hand over a bread roll. So, you try to understand what happened given your rule explains there ‘should’ have been an exchange. You could call this sort of rule a ‘standard rule’ as many people follow it. In this scenario, the rule of exchange is a standard rule because it is widely followed and understood.
So, applying the rule book to work, if you delegate to someone and then they don’t meet your expectations...here is where things can get interesting. Remember our internal rule book guides and drives our expectations.
Your rule book is active 24 hours, 7 days a week in your subconscious, whether you’re at work or not, and whether you are always aware or not. The application of our rules often happens on ‘autopilot.’ Remaining mindful of how you apply your rules will increase your likelihood of successful interactions and activities at work and in general.
Because being mindful means you are in that very moment, live, and you are adjusting to the actual, live situation and the interaction or person in that very moment. Rather than applying the rule when it may have first formed for you.
Remember, right now, people may be in a heightened state of stress for other reasons than the immediate interaction with you. So make sure your rule is the best possible fit, in the moment, to that situation and people.
This mindful assessment of the ‘best fit’ of your rule in the moment will lead to better, healthier, more successful interactions and outcomes the more you can do it.
Remember: a negative emotion you may feel during the day at work, with others or during an activity you are doing—e.g., reading a work email, for instance (anger, frustration, annoyance)—is a pretty good indicator that someone or something has tripped over one of your rules.
This is then a split-second opportunity for you to grab hold of how you are feeling, and then recognize that it’s actually because of a rule you have in play. You then have the immediate opportunity to do something potentially different to how you would ‘normally’ react.
This can lead to a different (and possibly) better outcome for you and the person or situation than might otherwise have been the case.
Let’s continue with the example mentioned of delegating work to someone. You have more choices in this latter example scenario of delegating work to someone which is of course more complex than a simple transaction of buying a bread roll—obvious right?
What may be less obvious is that you and the person you delegated to don’t just have standard rules (i.e., widely followed and understood what is expected). We all have non-standard or individual internal rules as well. In other words, everyone has a standard set of rules that are widely followed and understood by others and non-standard rules where expectations between people might vary.
It’s also worth thinking about how you apply your rule book in say, difficult work situations like distressed projects and teams (see "6-Point Checklist For Taking Over A ‘Distressed’ Project Or Team" for more on this).
Let’s say in our delegation example you explained to your colleague that she keeps you in the communication loop on the progress of work you delegated to her. Let’s say she doesn’t copy you in on an update email and you find out from a colleague instead how the work is progressing.
This is the second time you have found out indirectly rather than directly from the person you delegated to. Do you apply a rule that says this colleague cannot be trusted or is slack or absent-minded? Or could it be that your rule instead interprets your colleague’s behaviour as they are purposely leaving you out of the loop.
What if her behaviour of leaving you off the update email is actually because she is continuously overworked and doing her very best and slips up sometimes because of how busy she is?
Take your pick of how you respond in this scenario.
Your response is driven by your internal rule about what you expect—in this scenario, what you expected when you delegate work to someone. So, when your expectation wasn’t met, your internal rule book kicks in (to reality test) and then reacts by judging the situation (and the person).
Remember that our rule book is built over time and evolves through observation, our own experiences, as well as our beliefs—a topic for another (many!) blog series.
How much you check, question, and validate your own internal rules that you use and apply to a given situation, such as the example above, will potentially influence your attitude and behaviour towards this person as well as similar scenarios in the future.
Tips To Make Sure Your Rulebook Is A Healthy, Balanced One:Bigstock
Ask yourself, ‘Do my rules...
- Serve me in regards to my work?’
- Serve my stakeholders including my team, direct reports, sponsor, and colleagues?’
- Place onerous hurdles that serve little purpose except to continually reassure me?’
- Need to be removed in some areas?’
- Hinder or support fast progress at work?’
- Need streamlining, changing, revision, updating, editing, or deleting?’
I’ve barely mentioned ego throughout this blog yet that’s where we started. We could spend a lot more than my 1200-word limit allows. So instead, I focused on a practical example of what is driven by our ego—the internal rule book.
At its most basic, our internal rule book is there to protect us and reassure us that we are in control as we deal with and decide what is going on around us at work (and beyond).
It’s important you place as much effort as you can muster into making sure, especially in today’s uncertain work environment, that the application of your rule book (i.e., in situations with stakeholders like colleagues, employees, or leadership) remains as balanced and unemotional as possible, no matter what is going on for you and your stress levels. Not an easy ask I realize—but I know you can do it!
The tips I provided aim to help you recognise and understand your own internal rule book, the one you apply at work especially, and help you ensure it remains supportive rather than one that drives unhelpful behaviours that can make things worse for you and those around you.
Remember the ultimate aim of our internal rules is to help not hinder.
Would love to hear about your internal rule books and how they serve you or how you review your rules regularly to make sure they continue to support you.
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In today's job market, your resume is the most important document you have to get your job application in the hands of the hiring manager. If you can't get your resume past the ATS, it doesn't matter how much experience or how good your cover letter is. That's why you need to be strategic and intentional about the words you include in your resume.
The Importance Of Powerful Resume Words
When a hiring manager is seeing the same old resume time and time again (which includes the cliché words and phrases such as "highly dedicated individual" or "great team player") you are guaranteeing that your resume will be tossed. Not only is it probably not optimized with the right keywords, but by taking up space with subjective statements, you're missing out on the chance to quantify your experience, skills, and accomplishments on your resume.
Poorly chosen words and clichéd phrases can destroy the interest of the reader. Powerful words, when chosen correctly, can have the opposite effect of motivating and inspiring the reader.
Here are the most powerful resume words you should use to stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting hired...
Top 100 Powerful Resume Words
The next time you're writing your resume, be sure to include some of the powerful words above. Your job search depends on it!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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