“Your character and not your skill gets you hired”
For the first time in my life, I actually have a senior who quoted me from a one on one interview that I had to takeover from my Creative Director. Blushed much?
I never would expect that any words from my being would change a single hair on anybody. It turned mine grey, so perhaps it did the same for others. However, aside from having it re-quoted and thinking what a joke it is, I truly believe in that sentence.
It was the only thing that came to mind when the students asked me what I would advise or give tips on to the aspiring Producers from the school.
But first, to tell you more about that sentence, it came about as part of their assignment to interview Producers from the industry to find out more about the company and how it got to where it was. What did it take?
Honestly I wish I could just tell them that it took a lot of blood, tears, sweat and trenching in the rain and lightning to be where we are now. The hard truth is, we’re not even halfway up the mountain yet! I wasn’t kidding either about the blood, tears and sweat.
But I wasn’t going to scare them off and give them a bleak picture of becoming Producers. Nobody understands it, not even my family I would think. Being a Producer is not a 9-5 job. You are the firestarter, the one who puts more coal to the flames, fans it in the heat while trying not to get yourself burnt, and you’re the last one who sees the flame doused and cleans up the mess after the party.
Going back to the company, I would say that everyone will reach different paths to their success stories. Some might not even need to go through the path that we had. But what I learnt from it all and what it takes, is someone who has perseverance and a never-say-die-attitude. Not everyone has that gem of toughness to go through it.
And what I mean by that is to go further into each person and see their character.
Am I willing to do this for a year and get low pay?
I’m going to be the coffee-runner throughout my internship. Am I learning anything? The Headwriter makes an impossible request to get a 1940’s kampung house!
The common statement that everyone often say is “that’s impossible!”
But that is one huge lesson a Producer will learn and it’s that; nothing’s impossible. It’s whether you want it or not. Whether you believe in it. And that is what sets people who are in it for the long haul apart, from those who don’t. What gets you hired is not your skills, (it will help, yes) but essentially your character.
Of course there are many factors to that. Not all companies share the same values as what I believe. Some might not mind just getting mindless blocks of workers to fill up the roles and force them to get the job done by a dateline that is set. It doesn’t seem to work for me and the team. To get thinking people is what we want.
So character over skills, rule anytime for me at this time. Being in such small teams, we need people who come on board to be part of the growth and push boundaries. Change your perspective and it will heighten your chances of getting the job. By the way, I believe this goes across the board and not just the media sector.