Friday, February 8, 2013

Advice to young people.

Young people need jobs and jobs, whatever career you're pursuing in whatever economic climate, are hard to come by.

I get a lot of young people reaching out to me, looking for work. So I thought I'd write a few lines on what I've learned about job hunting.

1. Don't be afraid of people like me. Yes, I am old. Yes, I've had lofty titles. And yes, I'm extremely busy. But many people remember how hard it is to break into our business and will therefore answer your call or e with empathy. Also, understand that for every 10 or 20 notes or calls you send out, you might get just one response. That's one more than you'd get if you do nothing.

2. Do something. I cast a bunch of commercials once with the famed director Errol Morris. We saw hundreds of actors--all beautiful and accomplished. Morris' direction to each of them was always the same. "Do something," he'd say as they planted themselves on a strip of tape. Those who did something bold, humble, authentic or funny got considered. Everyone else was sent home.

3. Ask about my friends. Most people in hiring positions have friends in hiring positions in other places. Never leave an interaction, whether it's in-person, by phone or via e, without another name.
This is called networking. And it works.

4. Write notes. If you see work in a trade magazine that you like, write to the creatives and compliment them. Tell them you want to work for them. Tell them you want to meet them and show them who you are. It couldn't hurt.

5. Wash windows. Be willing to do anything to get work, to get closer to where you want to be.

6. Write a good story about who you are. People hire books. But they also hire the people behind the work. Make sure your values and attributes are evident.

7. Take ten extra minutes. Wait ten minutes before you send anything or post anything anywhere. Today's instantaneousness of expression means people send out notes with the word "hopefully" spelled "hoefully." Make sure you're letter perfect. And assume people will look at your FB and LinkedIn. So don't be a dick.

8. Figure out a "Touch Strategy." Assume that finding a proper job will take six months. Think like a direct marketer (which is what you are at this point) and figure out how to write to your target over that time period without being obnoxious or cloying.

There's more, I'm sure. But this is enough for now.


32 comments:

dave trott said...

Number 3 is gold for youngsters.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I learned Number 3 from an ex-GGTer. Got me two job offers from Top Ten agencies within three months.

Anonymous said...

Not sure the world works like this anymore George. up and coming youth need to be making things while in school.Look at what has them doing at Bu or what kids are doing at NYU. I just don't believe this is the same game. nor should it be so.

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