Archive for December, 2010

Stoplight Career Choice

I love this light. Every time I see it I can’t help but think about the career choices we are faced with in this industry.

You are choosing between this job or that job, each with different pros and cons.

Job #1 is a relatively long contract, so you won’t have to look for another freelance job for a good year. How nice. Of course that could also mean that you’ll be out of freelance circulation so long that your contacts forget to call you when new opportunities come up. You’re not the type of person to take a job, and then quit it as soon as something better comes along; you’re going to commit to this job for the long haul. The pay, of course, is lower than what you’re used to, but it’s decent enough. The steadiness of the pay cheque will probably even out over the course of the contract to the feast-n-famine freelance lifestyle  of other jobs anyway. The project itself is inline enough with your career goals, but you are only mildly interested in the creative material. You have the ability to do a great job  and there will be sufficient challenge to keep you interested and striving to do your best.

Job #2 pays better but is a very short term contract of 3 weeks. The creative material really excites you, but you’ve been having more famine than feast of late, and don’t look forward to working hard on production knowing that you’ll need another job again very soon in order to cover the bills. You have the ability to do a great job here too, though some of the challenges are like walking into unknown territory and that scares you a little.

Which job do you choose?

You have a mortgage and family… now which job do you choose?

You are instead choosing between job #1 and no job at all (just the potential for finding another one)… which do you choose?

Who knows what lies down each of these paths! You can only learn about one of them. You may be able to see a part of the way down the road (to influence your decision) but not all the way. From this perspective, then, they are equal choices; they just take you down different roads… each one forward in its own way.

Does the choice bring you another step closer to your ultimate career goal? Can you make a certain choice at this moment in your life? You – by making your selection – are the one who brands the choice as “right”.

Best wishes in making your choices

Cheers & prosperous 2011 to you,

P.S. I took the short term job to the surprise of my closest friends who thought I would be more tempted by the steady nature of the first one. It was a tough choice at the time, but inside I knew it was right for me at that moment in my life… you know what I mean?


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Gladys vs Santa as PMCan you imagine? Tee- hee!

Warm festive cheer (and I’ll see you in 2 weeks),

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You can pick up a copy of a trade mag in the store. You can have it mailed to you. You can access them on your mobile. You can subscribe to their newsletters. You can like them on Facebook. You can follow them on Twitter. The choices seem to go on and on. How do you access the film industry news? Do you even know the options available? Here’s a rundown on the majors for you.

Legend of current rates:
$ = less than $100
$$ = $101 to $200
$$$ = $201 & up
free = uh… you should know what this one means!
– = I couldn’t find the option for this trade mag

DELIVERY OPTION Variety Hollywood Reporter Screen Daily (UK)

Playback Online (Can.)

Email newsletter Free Newsltr Free Newsltr Free Newsltr Free Newsltr
RSS Free RSS Free RSS Free RSS Free RSS
Online full access $$ $$
Print (by mail) $
Print & online $$$ $$ – $$$ $$$
Facebook page Free FB page Free FB page FB friend Free FB page
Twitter Free Twitter Free Twitter Free Twitter Free Twitter
You Tube Free You Tube Free You Tube
Other(s) iPhone, Widget, WAP iPad

And to confuse things even more, the options change and evolve all the time. Companies are setting up “company pages” on LinkedIn now, for example (company pages are still in beta). And what was once free becomes a paid subscription… and then a few months or a year later it becomes free again, or free in a new format. Ahhh… the speedy evolution of modern delivery channels!

Festive cheers & happy reading – in whatever format(s) you prefer,

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“The thing about trains… it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.”
– The Conductor (The Polar Express, 2004)

These words make me think about making decisions. Getting on – the choosing to act – is certainly a decision… an active decision. And yet not getting on – the choosing not to act – is also a decision… a more passive decision. How many passive decisions do we make in our career, really? The Conductor sagely reminds us that it’s all about getting onboard. Though you may not know exactly where you are going, or end up wher you originally planned to go, you’re bound to have an adventure and really live life if you make the choice actively.

Festive cheer to you & active production decisions,

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