How I got my first job in the Entertainment Industry (and what you can do too)

Sorry there hasn’t been much updates or posts, but I got a job, my first real paying job in the entertainment industry.

It’s a Writer’s PA job for an upcoming network show and I mostly help with office assistant tasks like stocking the kitchen, delivering lunch/coffee orders, petty cash and expense reports, and anything else they might need.

I got this job because my close friend was leaving the position to go to another job (which also depended on someone else leaving that position for an endless chain of 4 people doing this same thing…) So you’ll notice there’s a pattern here.

It’s been almost exactly 3 months since I moved out here and that’s quite literally the time most people will tell you it takes to get a job. But I got this based on my elite Harvard connections which is often a lot more than what most have when they start here.

For the 3 months I did apply to jobs and go to interviews. In fact the week before I landed this gig I had 2 interviews a day for 3 days straight! But prior to that I had less than one interview a week… So why is that? I figured it’s mostly to do with the seasonal hiring schedules here in LA. Most people will either start working in the late spring or early autumn (fall). I instantly saw loads more job postings in the last week of August than I did the entire summer.

This job hiring seasons thing has to do with people staying in positions for a year (for experience) or 2 years (for promotions). Spring is pilot season and when school finishes for those entering entry level positions. Fall seems to be when businesses pick up, people quit or get promoted, productions start up or renewed, etc.

I had one job interview at an unnamed international management company where they sent me an email after I declined the position saying how awful it was of me to choose a job that not only pays more but has better hours and is more inline with career goals than to choose to be overworked, underpaid, and (from the tone of the email) regularly insulted… I was desperate at the time to almost work there despite some red flags of the place because I needed money and didn’t care that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It’s another lesson you’ll hear over and over again when you start, “Don’t do jobs [Just for the money][That seem sketchy][won’t advance you’re career][where the CEO emails a peasant runner about how their career is OVER!][etc].

Since I’ve taken this job I’ve received replies asking for 2nd interviews/assignments (some jobs will ask you to do an assignment related to the job here in LA), and even another offer. These came from the job listings I have on my jobs page but mostly from EntertainmentCareers.net

But basically I’ve learned the following:

  • It’ll probably take 3 months before you get offered a job.
  • You’ll probably lose some opportunities while you learn the way most people expect interview answer, resumes, correspondence, etc. in the beginning.
  • Don’t do jobs out of desperation (or if you do, at least make sure they’re reputable).
  • Apply to jobs just to interview, more interviews is more practice!
  • You’re friends will likely help you get a job, other people probably won’t.
  • Track your expenses, save as much as you can, do little odd jobs if you can.
  • Research the position, company, and learn to bullshit your heart out.

Hopefully this helps someone!

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