New Year Career Check in
Happy New Year! Time for a career check-in/check-up...
Resolutions are so temporary, so we will give you some things to think about in 2024 as it relates to your career.
"Study" more. Read about people’s lives, and listen to podcasts. It is a great way to learn from others' successes and mistakes and it can save you years off your career.
Talking to people for 24 years about their careers (and life) we find that fear of failure is a big hurdle for most of us. Don’t aspire to “not fail” – “Failing” may sting but it is far better than never trying something. It is a good practice to fail at something so you know that you can survive. Fear of failure makes for a horrible navigation tool.
Network, network, network. As much as we match strangers (job seekers) with strangers (employers) every day, a good network is the best career tool out there. It may not always be the best source for job leads, but it is great for “hey I just applied for a job at XXXX, can you hook me up with your buddy that works there” – All networking is, is socializing with a professional objective. If you don’t love doing it, practice it and you will get better at it. In this business, it is 100% required so start working on the skill. (If you secretly loathe networking and you are in good company, most people know they need to get better at it and don't feel it is their natural skill.)
If your career is not where you want to be, seek a mentor. A mentor can shortcut your career in many ways, like above, and learn from others' mistakes and successes.
If your career is on track, be a mentor. Showing someone the ropes will give you renewed enthusiasm. Investing in someone else's future is a great win for both people.
Even if your career is not 100% on track or, you are only a few years in, you can still mentor someone who would benefit from what you have learned. Imagine what it would have been like for you to have someone help you out.
Reassess. If the road has not been going well, it is always a worthwhile discussion to see if heading deeper down that same path still makes sense. If a decision you made 1, 5 or 10 years ago doesn’t make sense anymore, don’t hold yourself hostage to that initial decision.
If you are lukewarm on your job, start interviewing. In many cases it will be a good reminder that you have it pretty good, in other cases, it may give you that momentum to make a change.
Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to remind yourself that you bring value. It can be a great networking opportunity and you can pick up new skills as you make the world a better place (win, win)
There are great volunteer opportunities everywhere, especially these days. If you want to combine your career with volunteering, most professional associations or unions have foundations or volunteer opportunities. WGA, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, etc. EntertainmentCommunity Fund, Television Academy, MPTF, and one of our new favorites we started working with last year is Manifest Works – if you need some suggestions, ask. (Shameless Plug - Reading to Kids, co-founded by Brad Hall EntertainmentCareers.Net founder, is a great LA-based volunteer opportunity - second Saturday of every month for a few hours - volunteer once or as many times as you want - read to kids and then do a fun craft based on the book - it is a total blast) - side note a lot of recruiters volunteer with us. If you have an interest in helping people who are currently or formerly incarcerated, please reach out, we would love to tell you about the work we do with Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship and professional development program for people who are currently or formerly incarcerated. If you are a recruiter, this can be a particularly rewarding use of your skills. (note: there are virtual, in person and in prison volunteer opportunities - If you have any questions at all, reach out to our founder Brad Hall
If things have not been going well with your career, make a change; a change in direction, a change in tactic, a change in attitude, do something. If you are waiting for something to happen, it won’t, you have to make it happen.
Success rarely comes from slipping on a banana peel, it generally goes to those who put in the work. Learn something new, teach something, get outside your comfort zone in one aspect of your life and it usually translates to the others..
We deal with a lot of very career-focused people, so this is a reminder that a career alone cannot sustain you. Find balance, find other things that can bring meaning and joy; volunteering, friends & loved ones, hobbies or helping people. When you focus on others, success tends to circle back to you.
Finding meaning in your work takes effort sometimes but like all things that are worthwhile, it takes time to get good at it. You find a job, you build your career. And, we are here to help in any way we can.
A motivated person with a plan and the willingness to do the work can accomplish great things. Pace yourself, a little bit of work, each day can add up to a lot over time. Think small, just get 1% better at something over and over and over. Good things come to those who dare to achieve (and do the work).
Happy 2024, go get em! (If you need help, reach out with any questions)
PS, we have a great book recommendation for you. ( Atomic Habits) It is an amazing book to help start new and stick to your intentions for the New Year.