6 Career Takeaways from the Entertainment Industry
Breaking into any industry takes a certain level of grit, moreso for the entertainment industry. With the limitless number of creative and ambitious people that abound in this industry, it is no wonder that very few successes are guaranteed.
But what are those attributes that guaranteed success for the successful players of this industry? What lessons can you learn from them to apply to your life and career for a resounding success? Here are the 6 lessons that you can learn from this industry;
1 – Take Time to Understand the Industry
Every industry has specific rules and culture that guides them. The way the entertainment industry works is surely different from the way the food industry operates. Most times, the temptation to jump into the middle of things even as a newbie will be there. But giving in to the temptation can be detrimental to your success in the long run. This is applicable even in the industry that you are in. Take time to learn every aspect of the industry, the organization, and the role which you will be playing. Often, this might involve working your way up from the bottom or interacting with low-level staff. The good news is that doing this will help you gain deep knowledge about what works and doesn’t work in your industry; and this way, improve your chances of working your way up the ladder.
2 – Separate Yourself from the Crowd
The odds of you being the only good one in your industry is literally nonexistent. Take the entertainment industry for example, where everyone there is so creative that it is difficult determining who’s more creative than the other. But there is something every successful entertainer has learnt to do; that is to separate herself from the crowd. It could be regularly promoting herself or finding creative ways to work, but the end idea is to stand out from the crowd. And the popular saying that “Any publicity – good or bad – is better than no publicity” in this industry reaffirms just how crucial it is to stand out from the crowd.
Depending on the industry where you work, there could be an extremely high influx of exceptional players. But you can still distinguish yourself from every other person by allowing your imaginations come to life. Look around you; what creative – yet efficient – ways can you adopt to carry out your job responsibilities? If you have to adopt creative ways to draw attention to your capabilities, then do it! Linda Rottenberg explains this in detail in her book; ‘Crazy is a compliment – the power of zigging when everyone else zags‘. Your ability to stand out from the crowd is what is going to guarantee your success.
3 – Get Yourself Sponsors (and Mentors)
It is hard – if not impossible – to advance in your career when no one knows you, particularly the people that matter. Everyone in the entertainment industry knows the power of having the ‘right connections’ and so, put in more effort to get these right connections. Sometimes, it is what gets you the contract that you want or the lead role at the movie audition that you desire. At other times, it could be what gets you the award that you deserve but would not have gotten, if you didn’t have the right persons to back you up.
Even in other industries, one of the quickest ways to break into an industry is by having sponsors and mentors. While a mentor is there to provide career guidance, a sponsor helps you get a foot in the door. In her book; Be Fearless, Jane Egerton-Idehen explains the importance of sponsors. She affirms that “sponsors help you advance quickly in your career by giving you a seat at the table or speaking for your ability behind closed doors”.
You may wonder how you can get yourself sponsors in a new industry where you know no one. In one word, ‘Network!’. Network with your boss and your boss’s bosses. There is no industry with a rule against socializing. However, while you socialize, be careful that you do not come off as wanting to overthrow your boss.
4 – Nobody is Your Permanent Enemy nor friend
Most people go into an industry or business thinking that everyone is their friend. Even in the entertainment industry, the glitz and glamour in this industry can fool an outsider into believing this. But ask the players in this industry and you will find out otherwise.
No matter what industry you are in, remember that nobody is your permanent enemy nor friend. The truth is that you are not there to make friends nor enemies. Instead, you are there to get work done; to make sure that your career flourishes. And to do this, you must keep your head in the game and make decisions based on facts, rather than emotions. Learn to compartmentalize; to keep your emotions in check; to separate your life from your workplace. If you cannot be trusted to keep a cool head upon your shoulders regardless of who and what is involved, how do you expect to be given more work responsibility at your workplace? Matter of fact, how do you expect to advance in your career?
5 – Never Give Up
Ask most successful entertainers and they will tell you stories of how they worked and gritted their teeth before they got their big break; before they could get to where they are now. The entertainment industry plays out the real-life example of what it means to ‘never give up’ and what you stand to gain by never giving up. And this is applicable in other industries. If you work hard enough at something, there is certainly no way that you won’t get the value for your hard work. It may take time, but it will certainly come!
6 – Learning Never Ends
After 10-20-30 years in an industry, there is the tendency to think that you know it all, but this is not so for the entertainment industry. Every day here births new trends and new – younger – players. If you are not adaptable, if you are not willing to continue learning, be rest assured that you are going to be kicked to the sidelines sooner than later.
Do you think this does not apply to your industry? Newsflash: it does! There is no industry that does not need to evolve with time. So, it is either you are evolving with your industry by continuously learning or you are stagnant by not learning. What happens to stagnant water after some time? They stink and have to be thrown away. You certainly do not want to be stagnant in the industry where you are working.
What lessons have you learnt from the entertainment industry that you have applied to your life? Let us know in the comment section. We can’t wait to hear from you! In the meantime, if you’ve found this article useful, feel free to share with anyone that may need it.