Another day, another lesson.
But it’s Tuesday—so you know what that means:
Some amazing, motivational, inspirational life and career advice.
Today in class, an amazing couple named Erin and Soon Hee Retting came to speak with us. Erin is a film editor for 20th Century Fox (he’s edited productions such as X-Men: Days of Futures Past and Fantastic Four…wow), while Erin is a producer and composer.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Here are 10 things I learned from this awesome duo.
1. Always take time to know and understand your Plan B.
Have a Plan B.
Because on your way to Plan A, you’ll always come across your Plan B.
When class began, Erin took a student’s laptop in the first row and held it up. The very first thing he asked all of us?
“What would happen if your computer died right now?”
Everyone shuttered at the thought.
“If my computer died, I would die,” Shelby, one of my friends and peers, responded.
Erin told us that in one of his first and earliest films, by the time he went to turn in the master track, the dialogue was off by two seconds. Luckily, he had everything backed up on disks. And if he didn’t… well… you get the picture.
So what’s your Plan B?
On your way to the top, you may have to use it.
2. It’s a waiting game.
Much like Ross from Glee, it took Erin one year, four months, and four interviews to get the job he has with Fox. So don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
3. Interviews are fun.
Says no one ever. But they can be. Think of your next interview or interviews as a series of conversations. Be yourself. Chat it up. It’s like getting coffee with an old friend except for the fact that you just met but whatever. Let them get to know the real you. You obviously have the skills to be there. Now just prove them right.
4. It’s going to take time.
And it’s going to take a lot of it.
Things always tend to take a LOT longer than you originally thought they would,
especially if you want them to be great.
5. It takes a village.
You can do it alone, but you don’t have to.
6. Keep in mind who you are giving your work to.
Make it memorable. Make it relatable. Make it good.
Speaking of good…
7. Do good at every job you do.
Even getting coffee. Seriously.
If a coffee comes back sloppy they’ll think: “Are they sloppy in the rest of their work?”
When you make it easier for the next person, they’re going to remember you. When they need someone or something in the future, they’re going to remember you.
Be organized, be professional, and have that Plan B ready.
Everything is connected.
Every task matters.
8. A, B, C. It’s easy as 1, 2… caring.
Build relationships. Never ever ever just network. Erin said the people he can remember every time are the ones who showed they really cared. Not the ones who are necessarily great at what they do—but the ones who just wanted to learn more. An intern he worked with used to stay 10 or 15 minutes after her paid shift and ask, “Can I see what you do?” She watched what he did because she wanted to know more, and she was the one he called when a friend asked if he knew someone for the job. It’s as easy as showing you care about someone, and that you care about what you do.
9. You’re only as good as your last job.
So again, make it great.
You won’t get it perfect every time,
but if you work your ass off like this is the last thing you’ll ever do—
your work will show for it.
10. The number one thing Erin wish he knew:
Keep in touch.
It’s okay to call someone you know or admire, ask them for a little bit of their time, and thank them for speaking with you. Tell them your desires, your goals, and what you want to do. Ask for advice, and take it.
But the key?
Send a birthday card, or a quick message saying Hello or Happy Holidays. Stay on their radar, always.
Don’t expect someone to remember you after the first time. In fact, Soon Hee told us on average it takes up to seven times for someone to remember you after the first encounter. They might even forget about you after the first twenty minutes. But keep yourself in their loop, and place them in yours.
I was actually talking to Frannie, my LA roommate, about this the other day.
I shared with her one of my all-time favorite quotes, and now I’ll share it with you.
This may not be The Breakfast Club,
but much like Erin and Soon Hee taught us today—
don’t let them forget about you.