Leveling Up

Entertainment careers are a strange and funny thing. More often than not, they don’t always make sense. This makes career planning something akin to predicting the weather. Like a meteorologist predicting a blizzard, some people are better trained than others at how to navigate the job market. Some guess blindly and miss repeatedly. Others, a few anyways, are just down right lucky. The rest of us learn by experience, both our own and from those we meet along the way.

When starting out, the general career strategy is fairly simple – get employed and stay employed. Once you’re working in the business and don’t have to worry about being able to pay the rent, life can get a bit better. It’s an important step when anyone in Hollywood figures out how to simply survive in this business. Add living in Los Angeles to that, and you deserve a hardy pat on the back. Congrats! At this point, you have a foothold in a difficult business and a tough town.

Leveling Up

Stick it out long enough and you might have a chance to progress that career forward. Moving up to the next level can happen unexpectedly, and there are an almost endless number of levels to reach. Often this leveling up isn’t even realized until after the fact. For example, let’s look at a recent event…

In my day job, I currently work as the writers’ assistant for an animated series. However, I often keep an eye out for other job opportunities and throw my résumé at ones that seem like a potentially better situation. I’m a big fan of finding the next job before the current job ends. Given the odd nature of hiring, I am occasionally called in for interviews long after I’ve forgotten about applying to the various opportunities. The most recent job I interviewed for was even more unusual because I hadn’t even applied to the job. Frankly, I still don’t know how they got my name and email. All I know is that I was in consideration for an exciting job that would allow me to move into a different realm of the television business.

So, I went to the interview. Why? Well, first, you always take the meeting when offered. You simply never know what might come out of it. And second, an interview goes both ways – I wanted to know more about this potential job. Once at the interview, I met some wonderful people, and I found out some important things. I would later need this information to make a difficult decision…

Should I take this new job, or stay with my current one?

This was not an easy thing to sort out. There were some pluses to both sides, and some minuses as well. As I struggled with what to do, an interesting realization crept into my mind… I finally had a choice.

And that’s how I recently leveled up in my career.

Never before have I had the chance to choose between two great jobs in Hollywood. I was in a fortunate and wonderfully difficult place. Either choice would have a clear impact on my future. But before I made a decision, it was nice to take the moment and enjoy making it to that next level.

What choice did I make? Which job won out?

You’ll just have to wait and find out…

-Zac

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