Monday, December 23, 2013

I won't be home for Christmas

Have you ever had one of those "How did I get here?" moments? Like if you in the future were to come back and tell yourself it was going to happen and you totally wouldn't believe it? I had one of those a few days ago when I was sitting in a room with the other new-hires at a company I had never heard of.

It took me exactly six months to the day to find a permanent job after graduating college... I think it took me that long to practice the stupid routine over and over. To be said no to or ignored completely. To get my hopes up and learn to recover from it in an instant. To save up enough luck? To realize freelance production isn't for me. To dig deeper and figure out what to do with the hot mess that is myself.

Anyways, to recap, my immediate goal was to find regular work so that I could practice writing scripts on the side because my long-term goal is to write movies. Pretty straightforward. I know goals change, but that's where I'm at now and I believe working towards anything is better than nothing.

So after two interviews, one of which involved me trying to win over a room of about 10 Chinese engineers and entrepreneurs that were impossible to read, I was confirmed as a new hire. I later found out that they chose 10 of us out of around 300 applicants and guess what? I had one of the best interviews.

Some people do actually leave film school and land right in the thick of it, set doing exactly what they planned. I took a slightly different route.

Now I work for a company that makes remote control drones (helicopters, quadcopters, hexacoptors, and octacopters) for aerial videography and filmmaking. This is one of them:

I could have never afforded to get into the RC hobby or even go near one of these things, but I got my foot in the door with 3 years of IT Support in college. It's a normal 9-5 Mon-Fri tech support position and I couldn't be happier because it's still relevant to my industry, super interesting, and will allow me to do what I set out to do without worrying about money. The drone industry is blowing up right now and though it really wasn't on my radar, it feels like a great fit now.

I've received messages from a few readers who are in the same position I was half a year ago, poised to break into the film industry, scared of the real world after school, and really not sure what to do. All I know is what I did, which was move to LA as soon as I graduated and live off of my parent's money until I found a job. I worked on a few projects, met a lot of people, and just got lucky one day when someone on Craigslist liked my resume. Other people might get work from a friend or family member in the industry, and even more people just give up and have to go back home. I was about a month or two shy of doing that if I hadn't found anything because I couldn't have afforded to stay here. My advice is don't beat yourself up about it, keep your goals general and achievable, and be open to them changing. 

My life has totally changed now, it's still surreal. When were all standing on the roof of the office and they flew one of the bigger drones in front of us, we had to confirm with each other that this was real. We had all just landed a dream job.

This year has been insane and it's starting to show in my face and my voice. Even my parents are rubbing in how I'm getting older. It's the first time I'll be away from them and the rest of my family for the holidays. None of us were very broken up about it though considering I finally got what I was working for. Everyone's kind of moving on and doing new things, it's a bit contagious.

Cheers to a new year :)