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Diary of the Drunk and Defeated
Sobriety and The Corporate Ladder After College
If anyone over thirty tells you that you have to "pay your dues" or "make your bones" in the entertainment industry, feel free to laugh in their face. Much like politics, it's heavily divided by the "in" and the "out". If you're reading this, you are assuredly in the latter.
The jobscape is significantly different than it was "back in (my) day" and expecting loyalty to your company to be rewarded, or for good ideas to be recognized, is the first pitfall. Those companies do exist and from what I've heard are truly wonderful places to work. This is almost never the case of your first job after college.
To give a little background on this sordid state of affairs one only need look back to "The Greatest Generation". Once all the G.I.s started retiring companies realized how insanely expensive it was going to be to pay them all on the way out so people started conveniently being fired or laid off before they could cash in. It is no surprise now, decades later, that most people have the mercenary mentality of working for the highest bidder upfront and putting very little stock in long-term benefits.
I have a wonderful entry level position for you. You've got your bachelor's degree, you'll work for 30k a year or less, it's in your field, and all you need is two years of experience in said field. No I'm not kidding, and you undoubtedly have seen these "entry" level positions shotgunned across the internet like acne on a sweaty teen.
As one of the most insightful authors of our time once said, don't panic. Send in your application, you will almost assuredly be rejected for countless other reasons so why worry. Someone may still get back to you, and I've known plenty of people who have landed jobs that require 3+ years with zero workplace experience.
I am not one of these lucky bastards regretfully which you've probably surmised for yourself by now. So what can we do fellow patty flippers? I have a few suggestions, not the best, not the worst, not all, and definitely not catered for everyone, but maybe it'll help put you in the right frame of mind to figure out things for yourself.
Put Down The Bong, Pick Up The Allegorical Pencil
Whether you're smoking yourself stupid, imbibing at your favorite bar, or playing every single video game ever released by From Software, who the hell wants to do anything after a 10 or 11 hour day? Oh, you're one of those people who goes to the gym, how are those abs helping you with your career outside modeling, porn, and jogging around town without a shirt?
It's the oldest, most cliche advice I've ever heard but it's all too often misinterpreted. Do what you love. Most people say "Well I'd love to be an author but no one wants to publish my work". Nikola Tesla dug trenches in New York, Einstein worked in a patent office, and Oprah managed to get her start in radio out of rural Mississippi. If you WANT to do something, don't worry about the money. Whatever you have to do, take some time simply to do it and surround yourself with those same passionate people.
An acquaintance of mine has been a television producer, writer, and director for 30 years. I worked on some bonus DVD re-release footage for him a couple years back and he gave me a few words of wisdom specifically for entertainment however I think it's more broadly applicable. I recall him looking over from the camera at one point with a smile and saying something along the lines of
"Is there anything else you'd rather be doing right now?"
Over three decades later and he still loves going to work, although he's long since moved out of Los Angeles.
Be The Stalker Your Ex Always Claimed You To Be
"Don't worry about the money, that inevitably comes with our profession."
Anyone who is obsessed with their work, for love or hate, wants to hire someone equally obsessed. Outside of soulless cog replacement hiring, any recruiter or manager worth their salt will always figure out whether or not you actually want to be there. From engineers to filmmakers, I've been around those on the other side of the interview table and WHO you are places a significant role in their decision. You don't have to fake it to make it unless you happen to be an assassin or a times share salesman.
Shut The Hell Up
This is mostly for myself as I could keep on rambling about this topic until I'd written a novel but it's also my last piece of advice. Stop listening to your brain. If you're logical you'll deal with illogical people, if you're passionate you'll encounter robots. You will inevitably run into your antithesis who unfortunately has the power to not hire you and we can overanalyze ourselves into oblivion. Again, plenty of times when you get or don't get a job it's arbitrary. Do what you gotta do to pay our bills, and keep doing your own thing while you can.
I managed to write this far before realizing I used far too many quotes in this very short piece already so I'll just jump the shark right here and end with an inspirational quote from a personal hero of mine, Red Green. "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."
© 2015 Goose