June 22, 2009
Soar to new heights with Kim Thompson
How to break into extremely competitive careers
The recession and downturn in the job market has made a lot of career fields competitive, however there remains a few that could fall under the heading of extremely competitive career fields.
These are careers that have a high fame-and-fortune payoff, but are also extremely competitive.
Lindy DeKoven, formerly executive vice president, miniseries for television, NBC Entertainment and NBC Studios, knows what it is like to work in a highly competitive field.
I recently spoke with DeKoven about the advice she had for job seekers interested in fields such as sports, politics and entertainment. These fields require a job candidate to rethink the commitment it takes to enter into these arenas and how to compete with such a large field of candidates.
The first thing to do when looking for work in these fields, is decide on an area of concentration. In fact, being focused makes you or breaks you in these fields.
The behind-the-scenes operations in these fields require numerous talents and skills. DeKoven reminded me there is a reason why they call it “show business” and not “show art.” The entertainment business is a business, and it has the same components as every business: accounting, public relations, technology, management and recruiting.
In these industries, it’s so important to make every effort to you get your foot in the door.
However before working on how to get started job searching in these industries, you need to spend some time on what areas interest you in these fields.
DeKoven offered three key strategies to those interested in extreme competitive careers:
1. Learn the principles of selling, and apply them. Know the power of first impressions and how to position your interests and ideas in a way that draws the attention of decision makers.
2. Be entrepreneurial. New shows often are developed by those who come up with creative ideas by researching trends and offering something with a new twist. Think of how YouTube has changed the way ideas are marketed and creativity is shared. Be resourceful, and connect the dots between the knowledge you possess and ways to market that knowledge.
3 Network, network, network.. Networking is critical, and it is one of the most important factors in successfully breaking into a competitive market. The more people you know in a field of interest, the stronger the connections. Get to know people who do what you want to do, and start building relationships. Peer relationships (relationships with people at a similar level in their careers) are important because those who start out pursuing a certain area grow together during the course of their careers.
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