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Truth about future plans in job hunt

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Tim PearceTruth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 21, 2009 at 1:32:21 pm

Hi,

I'm just about to finish school and I'm planning on starting a small business offering niche video production and rental services for a particular under-served sport. I've been doing a lot of research online and offline (books, presentations, meetings, a course on small businesses for creative types). If I had the money to start I would be doing it now - but I have to make payments to all my student-related debt. I'm also aware of the 3-12 months of expenses I should have saved up to tide me over just in case I don't made so much money initially. So I was thinking of getting a job at a production company where I can get experience, pay off my debts, and save up for a new computer to replace my powerbook G4 FCP editing system (and upgrade to FCS 2), and get a second camera. This will also let me do jobs on the side for my new business to establish some clients before I start legally. So I'm wondering how much I should tell any employer about my plan to start my own niche production company in a cover letter, interview, or day-to-day talk if I get the job. Should it be secret? How many out there would hire someone who put these plans on a cover letter? Thanks! I just don't want to blow some job opportunities due to some faux--pas...
Tim



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David Roth WeissRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 21, 2009 at 4:19:26 pm

[Tim Pearce] "So I'm wondering how much I should tell any employer about my plan to start my own niche production company in a cover letter, interview, or day-to-day talk if I get the job. Should it be secret?"

Tim,

How would you like to get involved with a girl who told you right up front that she was aspiring to marry someone else? Would you want to nurture that relationship and give her jewelry? Do I really need to say more???

Everyone in this business has dreams and aspirations, and we'd all like to own and run a company just like Dreamworks Studios someday, just like Speilberg and Katzenberg. So, any prospective employer with a brain, if they were willing to tell you what was on their minds after reading your cover letter, would most likely say, "well, it's nice to know you have dreams, come back when you get a dose of reality, because we're looking for someone to do a job so that our well-established company can keep satisfying our customers and so that our own dream remains alive."

On the other hand, if you tell them about your dream and let them know in no uncertain terms, that you're so driven to reach those dreams that you're willing to commit your heart and soul to them for the next five, ten, or twenty years while you learn the business, you might have something they're looking for.

Does this make sense?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Chris BlairRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 3:50:24 am

In this economy I'd also caution you about starting a business right out of school. You may have a fantastic idea for a business, you might be incredibly talented at video production, and you might be mature beyond your years, but there is no substitute for experience in just about any business.

Sure there are stories like Michael Dell starting Dell computer out of his garage in college, and Bill Gates dropping out of college to start Microsoft and probably a 1000 more. But for those 1000, there are probably a million others who tried it right out of school and failed.

I studied video and advertising in collge and have been doing this for almost 25 years, and honestly only in the last few years feel like I could call myself an expert in this field. And even when you're an expert, there's STILL a crapload of stuff you DON'T know.

And I'm not just talking about editing or shooting or technical stuff. I'm talking about learning about sales and promotions and running a business efficiently and managing people (employees and clients), not to mention the financial side of things.

Nobody on these lists wants to kill your dreams, but David said it best...the only way any employer wants to hear about your plans if you tell them you want to learn all you can in the next 5 years because your goal is to start your own company. Then...they MIGHT think you have the drive and desire to help them.





Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Zane BarkerRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 4:14:31 am

[Chris Blair] "And I'm not just talking about editing or shooting or technical stuff. I'm talking about ... running a business efficiently and managing people (employees and clients"

AMEN, the worst employer I ever had NEVER understood any of those things because he had never worked for anyone other then himself. Needless to say I only stayed there a short time before I got out of there, and with in a year or so after that every one that had been employed by him, had left and his business partner separated himself from the guy because he had absolutely no clue how to run a business.

Work experience at a production company is MUCH more then editing, it is how do deal with customers, how to deal with employees, how manage a business.

A "Video Business" is 10% Video and 90% Business.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Zane BarkerRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 4:01:55 am

My first thought about what you would like to do is not to just right in after graduation to begin your start up company. You will gain invaluable work experience (and a steady paycheck during your transition into the real world of being out of school) by working your field of choice. I would not even think of starting on your own full time for at least 3-5 years after graduation.

As for letting potential employers know of your plans. NEVER lie to an employer, it may come back to bite you. For example say you work for a company for a short period of time never having told them that you has planed to only stay there a short time. You then start up your own thing and lets say that it fails and that you now need to find employment. In looking for work potential employers vary well might contact your past employer and if that former employer tells the potential one how you treated them, it is vary unlikely that the potential employer will hire you.

You talk about doing side jobs for your own business to get it started. Be VARY careful about that and make sure that your current employer is ok with you doing similar work on the side. Many companies have non competition requirements, meaning that while employed for them you cannot work for another place, or even on your own make money by doing the same services that you do for that company. (Why would a company want to invest in you and pay to train you to only to have you use what they taught you to benefit a competing company while you are still there employee.


Regarding your question about putting the info in a cover letter, if you do that you most likely will NOT even be given an interview. BUT do not hide that you want to try and build your own business on the side. It would be more appropriate in my opinion to bring it up in an interview, then to simply put it in a cover letter.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Mike BulatovichRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 4:12:18 am

Go For It!
Don't hold back. If you are ready to start you own thing, do it.
Yes, experience is importan but what the heck you go to school for?
Follow your dreams.
By the way, you should be honest but stretching the truth may be better than telling your new employer that you are likely to quit when you have gained enough experience through them.



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Bob ColeRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 11:48:51 am

All good advice here. But if your employer is Internet savvy, you have let the cat out of the bag. There is this thing called "Google." If you put your name in, you -- and any prospective employer -- will find this note.

It may not be easy to get a job in this field anyway. So I'd urge you to follow your dream of this under-served sport video business ASAP, even while you conduct your job search. Certainly, don't wait until you've earned the money for a new computer and FCS2. People have made money on YouTube with modest tools.

This is a judgment call on your part, but you may also be MORE interesting to a prospective employer if you bring in samples of your entrepreneurial videos, showing him/her that you have energy and the ability to follow through. Risk, and opportunity here: You may find a partner who can help you jump-start your sports video business while providing you valuable capital and experience -- or you may find a jackass who will steal your idea.

Would I hire someone who intends to use my company as a stepping stone? It all depends on whether I think you'll bolt next year or next month, and on how big a commitment I intend to make to YOU. i.e., will I be investing months training you to do something sophisticated, or will I be giving you directions to the dub room and a xeroxed piece of paper with the patch bay diagram on it?

There are lots of ways to be honest, but your question really is, "Should I be blatantly, perhaps offensively honest?" Think of two candidates, both of whom have the same goals. One says, "I want a paycheck and some experience so I can move on and do my own thing." Another says, "I'm looking for a challenging opportunity in a field I love, to grow my skills and actually get paid to do something that makes me excited to get up in the morning."

I suspect that BLATANT honesty is almost NEVER the best policy, even after you're hired. In many workplaces, if the current employees were honest, they would say, "I'd rather do XYZ, but I need the money and this is the least bad way to get it." They'll never get out of the dub room saying that!

Good luck Tim -- and everybody else out there now.

Bob C



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Tim PearceRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 1:22:51 pm

Thanks for all the advice so far- you've all given me so much to think about

Bob, you were right about google. I searched just my name with no other keywords like my location or things relating to filmmaking - and I found my creative cow profile at the bottom of the second page! And when I clicked the link it brought me right to a list of all my posts... I didn't think that it would be so accessible. I thought that anyone would have to spend ages searching through hits for all the other Tim Pearces out there before getting to any of my posts.

I coincidentally heard a radio program about honesty and they talked to some author who wrote a book about how lies help society. People admit to telling a lot of lies - but most of them are positive because they're told to support other people or avoid being cruel. He also talked about people lying to themselves about things like abilities, attractiveness, etc. - and these lies can be incredibly beneficial to one's well-being. There was also someone who wrote about an experiment he performed where he told everyone the 100% truth for a month. He related some awkward moments where people became very upset at his honesty. Very interesting.



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Terence CurrenRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 4:58:42 pm

[Tim Pearce] "People admit to telling a lot of lies - but most of them are positive because they're told to support other people or avoid being cruel."


Those are called "white lies" and have been deemed socially acceptable. This is where you would put things like your answer to "Do I look fat in these pants?", also stories like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.


As for looking for a job and telling the employer, I would probably not hire you if I knew you were planning to leave soon. Most employers have to invest too many resources into an employee and they may not see a return on that investment until the employee has been there a while.

And to make it even worse, you are saying you want the employer to train you to be his competition! Who in their right mind would do that?




Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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David Roth WeissRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 22, 2009 at 5:19:55 pm

[Terence Curren] "you are saying you want the employer to train you to be his competition! Who in their right mind would do that? "

Hence my earlier question to Tim about buying jewelry for a girlfriend with a roving eye. The commercial says, "Diamonds are forever." If the tag line was, "Diamonds are until someone better comes along," I doubt too many guys would be lining-up to buy them.

So, I'd say the message for Tim to take away from this is, your next employer probably doesn't want to date you, but don't be surprised they want to go steady.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Steve WargoRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 23, 2009 at 4:42:38 am

Hi Tim

Most likely, just about everybody in our field has come up an idea that we thought would be a very successful venture. There are a lot of stories that go both ways.

Above all, let your tentative employer know that you have an idea that you may some day want to pursue. I have a friend that has tried numerous ventures, some to do with sports, others with cars. None have worked out because of one reason or another. During that time, he has worked for me on an occasional basis. I'm always there to provide my support and to be the devil's advocate.

Good luck.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Tim KolbRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 23, 2009 at 1:10:53 pm

I'd say that if this sport in question is truly underserved, then it's likely that most established production businesses don't see a market there...

Why not mention that you work on those types of video on the side if the potential employer doesn't do that sort of work? It does reveal some initiative...

This way you could do those projects and really step back for a couple years and see if it develops into something that warrants a full-time commitment...and still be working and supporting yourself and gaining experience.

"...if you never lie, you never have to remember anything" as my grandfather used to tell me.


-I think it's a matter of you tweaking your mindset a little instead of your story. Getting that first job and gaining experience is probably the first goal...then wait and see if the other area really holds an opportunity for a career or it's a really good hobby that you can enjoy and accumulate toys while you develop your skills working for other people in businesses you don't have to lay awake at night worrying about...

...it's a thought.





TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Mark SuszkoRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 23, 2009 at 2:11:28 pm

Can this employer be "sold" by you on getting into the field, with you as the pilot for the project? Share the risk, share the profits.

If you don't want to go that way, keep it to yourself and work on it on your free weekends.

When I interviewed for my last job, the boss wrapped up by talking about their high turnover and asking me how long I thought I'd stay with them. The pat answer, the disingenuous answer, would be:" oh, as long as you'll have me". The truth you may say to yourself inside your skull is: "Until I find something better and more stable." The answer I came up with on the fly was truthful without being fawning:

"As long as I can keep learning and developing my skills, and doing meaningful work, making a creative contribution."

That puts some of the question back at the employer: if you treat me well and let me keep growing, I'll stay loyal. If you treat me like a disposable component, and don't nurture or appreciate my talents, you can't keep me. And that's only fair. That's only the truth, in any hiring situation. You stay because you want to or because you have to. Want to is more powerful long-term than have to.

Have to is simply solved with the application of money. Anybody's money.

Want to is solved by the application of proper management.

Ask yourself if the question is a job question or a career question. Rarely does one job make an entire career these days.







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Richard HerdRe: Truth about future plans in job hunt
by on Mar 23, 2009 at 4:47:45 pm

Consider forming an LLC and getting a "hobbyist" business license.

The LLC will limit your liability, and a hobbyist business license will regulate your sales to somewhere around $5,000/year (depending on the local municipal code).

With those two things, you are not a business threat to an employer.



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