Don’t Waste Your Time!
Knowing where you fit in a creative world is one of the most important things you can do in life.
And understanding where your talents, abilities, and personality work best can save you years of chasing after something you may not be “wired” to do.
Several years ago I took a position producing a daily talk show in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although I had never produced that type of show before, I saw it as an opportunity to learn something new and build my resume.
When I walked in the door, I was confronted with a woefully dysfunctional staff and a boss with unreal expectations.
As I began to work on upgrading production values and content, I was constantly scolded for mistakes the production team was making: the camera move was slow, the music was late, or the director cut to the wrong camera.
The complaints were endless.
In my boss’s mind, he expected the show to be on par with top network shows with large budgets and highly experienced crewmembers.
But this show had neither a decent budget nor seasoned professionals at every position. Because of our low pay scale, we attracted a young crew working their way up the ladder.
And to make matters worse, the boss hired his own inexperienced daughter to book the show, then paid her a good chunk of the budget.
Still, every week I worked as hard as I could to make the show the best it could be. But with unrealistic expectations came a constant pressure that ate at me on the job, and wreaked havoc at home with my family.
After almost three years of producing this nightly show, I left to find something more suitable and less stressful.
Did I learn how to produce a daily show? Absolutely. Was I was wired to do it? Sure.
But not without the right team…and realistic expectations.
We all do things that may not be our first choice while working our way up the ladder. That’s why it’s important to learn something about yourself every step of the way.
Knowing what you do – and don’t do well – is crucial!
That’s why looking backward can help you move forward.
1. Take out a piece of paper and draw three columns down the page.
2. List all the jobs & positions you’ve had in the column on the left.
3. A short description of your role goes in the middle column.
4. The skills and lessons you learned goes in the column on the right.
5. Ask yourself: Which jobs were fulfilling? Wasted your time? Moved you forward?
Your answers are clues into what you do best. Now, go find the job you’re wired to do.