After spending quite a lot of time recently helping individuals with their entry level job searches, and noticing the variety of paths people can take to reach their end goal, I think I may have found a useful shortcut.
Many of you know that I recommend the job site www.EntertainmentCareers.net . I like it because it is easily searchable with nice filters and often includes the kind of high end, genuinely useful internships that college students need to jumpstart their careers. It is an especially good site for people looking to work in studios, agencies or in the marketing side of show business.
I don’t know why it has taken me so long to notice that the executive and upper management career listings can also be very helpful for entry-level folk. The reason is because almost all of them will include, in either their minimum or preferred qualifications sections, something like this:
“8 years of experience in managing a social media team with a major brand or agency, with significant work on international accounts and projects”
“The ideal candidate will have 10 years’ experience in development, preferably focused on series in cable or television. In addition we are seeking a candidate with an established reputation and relationships with independent producers, directors, writers, agents, talent, and the creative community in general.” [Editor’s note: network, network, network]
“5 – 7 years experience in programming at a broadcast or cable network and/or a production company with oversight responsibilities for multiple projects. Concrete development experience, including piloting, planning and strategy, a must. Strong working knowledge of TV/film production techniques, ideally running the gamut from writing to shooting to scripting to editing to post-production. Background in working with on-air talent and program management. Field and post experience a plus.”
The mid-level career positions are also very helpful in the elucidating their realistic expectations of experience and skills.
“Candidate should have 2-5 years previous experience in television production and development (unscripted preferable,) be a great and fast writer with proven skills, have meticulous organizational, research and communication skills and the ability to juggle multiple projects in a fast paced environment.”
One Production Manager job says a mere “2+ years experience as a production coordinator preferred” as the path to this job, along with the various skills and duties of course.
By carefully reading all the listings that are for your dream future job and following them “down the ladder”, you may discover many paths to getting there, and start off the right way.