When I was just starting out I was so lucky to be surrounded by people that gave me a chance and then added to that gift by holding my hand through the learning process. What process do you ask? The process of learning how to work side by side with people. That was the big challenge for me, much more than the tech. After all, I got my first job at a post production editing company at 22 years old. What the heck did I know about working in the high pressure world of film and sound editing? I mean, I did have experience working for other companies before this amazing opportunity, so why would the film business be so intimidating? I worked in an auto parts store in my teens, and I even had a great job working for the wildlife department in and around the waterways of Long Island. But nothing could prepare me for working in an environment where artistic creativity and commerce crashed into each other. I just did not have the skills needed… not yet anyway.
So when I started working at this facility, as a messenger, I failed often. Hence the title of this blog. It was a bit demoralizing for me. But thankfully, I don't think my supervisors saw my failures the same way I did. They were my mentors after all, and I think they remembered when they were my age and how intimidating it was to have a lot of responsibility as a brand new graduate. Of course, they wanted me to be an asset to the company too, so there was no such thing as failure for them… only feedback, and lots of it.
Their feedback helped me get better and turned me into a team player. Feedback that both gave me confidence and gave my co-workers confidence in me. Boy, I was lucky to know these people. These multiple mentors gave me the right custom tailored feedback that I needed to really prosper and grow. There is no way I could have learned the soft skills that helped speed up my career success. Without them and their feedback, It would have undoubtedly taken me years to get a seat at the mixing board. So thanks to these supportive mentors of my past, it only took months for me to get into the chair. Of course there are many things that also had to align just right for me to move up that fast. I had the drive and the will to succeed too. But that was my formula, the secret sauce. Great mentors, hard work and a bit of luck. Nothing is a given, only the things you can control. So, why not get as close to the perfect formula for success if you can?
So back to that failing thing… Someone coined a phrase. “Fail Fast and Fail often. I'm not saying to do that. What I am saying is to not be scared of failure. Especially when there is someone in your life to give you the feedback and help to set you on the right path.