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.
Contact them, submit your resume, 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 know to all parties involved to not burn any relational bridges yourself.
Heather Holm: Based in Saint Paul, MN; Heather has held many positions in the sound, production, and events business. Most recently as a Production Coordinator serving the Twin Cities area. She holds a BA in Broadcasting and Digital Media Communication and an MS in Organizational Change Leadership. Prior to taking a position with a private production firm, Heather has over seven years of working in higher education dealing with event logistics and production technology and has also been freelancing in the field for several years.