21st April 2021

Networking to Your Next Position in Entertainment

Networking
Heather Holm

My job has taken me many different places lately, where I’ve met many types of people and worked with many various organizations and labor groups. Often, I encounter people who would like to break out of their current role to work for the businesses or tours they’ve met along the way. Frequently there are questions of how to take the next steps to reach their goals. Here’s some advice.

Be eager and helpful


This will make a huge impact. You will leave a lasting impression; I guarantee it. This is your first step into new opportunities. Leave a positive impact by jumping in on any task. Help with the ‘bad’ jobs like feeder, decking, and barricade. Keep volunteering for tasks all day and when completed, ask what’s next; even better if 2 or 3 tasks can be passed to you at one time and you complete them all well the first time.

Listen and Respond


Listen to the directions given and respond, letting them know you understand what you are being asked. This is super simple to do. Statements such as “I got it, no problem, or anything else I should do?” provide responses that let the leader know you are listening and jumping on the tasks at hand. Of course, make sure you are completing these tasks to the best of your ability and if you are not sure exactly what’s being requested, ask questions. Then follow through letting the leader know that the project is done.

Follow-through


Contact them, submit your resumé, if possible, stop by the office to talk outside of a job site, seek them out separate of an event. We are going to be respectful of those we partner with. Sometimes you have to actively engage, question, and work your way toward the crews you want to be a part of. You will need to step out and ask for a meeting. Find an appropriate time to ask some initial questions onsite and follow up later. Get the person’s name, role, and ask a bit about their company and if time allows to tactfully ask about their hiring process. Then when you’re not in the middle of a show, ask for a meeting or employment opportunity. You’ve already made your impression. They’ve already experienced your work ethic, and you’ve proved you follow through. This has a considerable impact on the decision-making process and could give you better chances.

If they don’t hire you, ask for constructive feedback. Be prepared to hear what you don’t want to hear but take that feedback to improve and move forward. Also, be prepared for the company to have concerns about poaching you from their partner and burning a relational bridge with a group they rely on. This is a hard thing for companies to navigate. In the end, it is your choice who you work for, but companies and groups may need to tread lightly sometimes. Help them by tactfully making your intentions and plans known to all parties involved to not burn any relational bridges yourself.

Article by SoundGirl: Heather Holm

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Another great article by SoundGirls: Toxic Work Environment: Stay or Go?

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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

The mission of SoundGirls.org is to inspire and empower the next generation of women in audio. Our mission is to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production, providing the tools, knowledge, and support to further their careers. SoundGirls.Org was formed in 2013 by veteran live sound engineers Karrie Keyes and Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato and operates under the Fiscal Sponsorship of The California Women’s Music Festival, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In 2012, Karrie and Michelle participated in the “Women of Professional Concert Sound” panel at the AES Conference in San Francisco. The panel was hosted by the Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) and moderated by WAM founder Terri Winston. Terri brought together five women working in live and broadcast audio. The groundbreaking panel (which also included Jeri Palumbo, Claudia Engelhart and Deanne Franklin), provided young women and men a glimpse into life on the road, tips and advice, and a Q & A with the panelists. More importantly though, was how incredibly powerful the experience was for the panelists. We had all been in the business for 20 years or more, yet most of us had never met before that day and within minutes we bonded like long-lost sisters. We were struck by how similar our experiences, work ethics, and passions were and wondered why our paths had never crossed and how our careers would have been different had we been there to support each other through the years. Each of us are strong on our own, but together we were even stronger and a powerful force. We were empowered. Each of us had been asked hundreds of times in our careers: Are there other women doing sound? How did you get into sound? How would a young woman go about getting into sound? Through creating SoundGirls.Org, we hope to establish a place for women working in professional audio to come for support and advice, to share our success and failures, our joys and frustrations, and for empowerment and inspiration.

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