Soft Skills, Practice Makes Perfect
Having the tools to be successful is vital when starting out. But these tools, the important ones, may not be exactly what you expect. In the audio industry it’s a given that you are expected to know DAW’s, signal flow, etc… but there are soft skills that are imperative to know as well. Those non-technical skills that relate to how you do your work. They include how you interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage tasks. In the audio world this can translate into things like how you organize a Pro Tools session, or how you communicate with clients. Doing these things with a high level of competency is important to success, especially early on when you are just starting out. If you lack some of these important skills, your career can be stunted until you master them. As a young person entering the industry, I would advise seeking mentorship to gain a better understanding of these important skills, right alongside learning the technical aspects of being a sound professional.
Networking, Get Comfortable Doing It
When looking to get a foot on the career ladder, a strong network becomes very important. Friends and acquaintances can mean everything when it comes to starting your journey. Someone that knows about a job opening before its posted and can put a good word in for you is priceless. The trick here is knowing that someone. If you don’t have a robust network, your opportunities will be few and hard to come by. The industry can be difficult to get into, so it never hurts to have someone in your life who knows what’s happening. It’s been proven time and time again, It’s all about who you know right? One thing to keep in mind when looking to make connections is to stay open to meeting and networking with everyone, especially your peers. Even though people your age may be at the same level you are, they could still know someone that might influence your career. Heres a scenario; A friend could be climbing the ladder faster than you. An opportunity may arise that they may have already surpassed or don’t have time for. If you are maintaining and cultivating this relationship in a genuine way, your friend may recommend you. A situation like this can be a game changer. Audio Pro Network was designed exactly to help you create this scenario. The opportunity for networking with people your age, so you can create relationships that are outside of your immediate circle, is a profound advantage of my mentorship platform. Remember, the more people you know, the better your chances get for unique life changing opportunity. Also, networking on APN can be good practice if meeting new people is not exactly in your comfort zone.
Opportunities, Take Them All
Every opportunity has the potential to become something big down the line. No matter how small you think an opportunity is, the fact that someone trusted you to do a job is the beginning of your journey in sound. My entire career is based on recommendations. One client always led to another and then another. Having a strong professional network or mentor will help you develop and improve your skill set and stay on top of not only the latest trends in the industry, but the interpersonal skills you need to prosper in the industry. Your career is built one brick at a time and one relationship at a time, so it’s about taking every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small or inconsequential you think it is.
Find a Mentor
There have probably been many moments in your life where you’ve leaned on someone you trust for advice or help. It can seem daunting when starting out in the audio industry, which is why a mentor in your life can be a great thing. Many professionals working today had mentors when starting out that helped them to navigate their journey. These mentors imparted wisdom and advice that gave inroads to their mentees, enabling them to achieve success faster. Mentors serve as a sounding board and guide for their mentees and play a large role in helping upcoming or recent graduates land their first good position within the workforce. A true mentor will always open the door to new possibilities.
Investing in building and maintaining relationships can pay back in dividends throughout the course of your career. Networking, along with mentorship will help you develop and improve your soft skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in the industry and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development. The biggest lesson I hope you gain from this blog is this; Take every opportunity to learn, connect with everyone and anyone, and when you make it, continue the tradition of mentorship by helping the next person rise up behind you. Good luck!