"Industry Spotlight" is our monthly series where we interview professionals from across the entertainment industry about their current jobs and career trajectories. Our hope is that you will learn more about the positions you're already interested in, discover new roles you may not have considered, and utilize the wisdom of those who've paved the way before you to forge your own path for success.
This month, we sat down with an agent in the unscripted talent department of a major talent agency.
HOLLYWOOD RESUMES: In one sentence, how would you define your job?
AGENT: The job of an unscripted talent agent is to source and negotiate career opportunities for clients behind and in front of cameras.
HR: What is your day-to-day like?
AGENT: Managing hundreds of emails and calls between meetings and meals around town.
HR: What do you like most about your job?
AGENT: The ability to add value to a person or project.
HR: How did you get your current job?
AGENT: I worked my way up in the company assisting the head of the department directly and then everyone as department coordinator, where I shared outside information leading to deals that eventually brought in enough money to pay for my position.
HR: What was your first job in Hollywood?
AGENT: Assistant to a younger agent at a boutique talent agency.
HR: What are the skills someone would need to succeed in your position?
AGENT: Elegant aggression and attention to detail.
HR: If you don't like ____________, you won't like my job.
HR: What’s something you do in your job that an outsider wouldn’t expect (and maybe you didn’t expect before you took the job!)?
AGENT: Even though work often follows you home and on vacations, generally you can be your own boss to choose your business and control your schedule.
HR: What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
AGENT: Working in a previous industry right after college, I burned personal bridges when I felt I was wronged in business. But I later learned to take the high road, as careers can be long and you may need that person later.
HR: If you could give one piece of advice to someone trying to break in/move up in the industry, what would it be?
AGENT: Find the right balance between keeping your head down and doing the work to pay your dues with self-promotion and knowing when your value is more than your current position.