With two strikes and a slew of recent layoffs, Hollywood is about as slow as it has ever been. We know the job market is tough right now, and are hearing stories of hundreds more applicants than usual for open roles. If you're looking for a new job, it might take a little longer than expected to find a new one, so you'll want to find ways to make yourself stand out. And if you're on strike and can't work, now is a good time to focus on yourself. If you haven't already, consider exploring various professional development opportunities, like taking an online course to build your skills. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you're hoping to make a career transition, online courses can help boost your resume. Coursera and edX offer a ton of free college courses, where you can learn about topics like marketing, negotiation, computer science, and other fields. LinkedIn Learning offers a range of courses and suggests classes that may interest you based on your profile. The platform even has software training courses, so you can learn Adobe Creative Suite and other industry-prominent programs. Local libraries, including the Los Angeles Public Library, also have resources for free courses, including language courses -- we're often told by clients that they wish they could include foreign language proficiency on their resumes, so now's a great time to learn those skills! And if you're willing to spend a bit of money, you could try platforms like Udemy, where you can learn about pretty much everything under the sun. Even if you're not trying to make a career move, it doesn't hurt to try something new!
For entertainment-focused learning opportunities, professional organizations and guilds can be great resources. If you're a member of any of these organizations, keep an eye on their newsletters and social feeds -- many host webinars and online workshops for entertainment professionals. You could also consider joining Stage 32, an entertainment industry social networking platform that offers webinars on a range of topics, like screenwriting, independent filmmaking, and production. MasterClass is another online resource that offers a few entertainment-related classes. The HiveMind Unified offers many free resources to boost your entertainment career, too.
In addition to taking courses, you can focus on building skills and knowledge on your own. Read the trades and watch buzzy films or TV shows to stay on top of industry happenings and trends. Or hone in on your story evaluation skills by reading scripts -- try catching up on the end-of-year lists like The Black List or The Blood List.
Any of these options are good ways to grow your career during this difficult time. But if you're feeling stressed out, there's also nothing wrong with kicking back with a good book, movie, TV show, or podcast to rest and relax. As we've said many times, consuming content is a big part of being in this industry because it allows you to develop your taste. Lean into your interests and take a mental note of what brings you satisfaction on screen -- when you're ready to look for a new job, you'll want to tap back into that and target companies that create content you enjoy. And for now, you'll have some quality screen time.
Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan