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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > Archive: Everyone is now a producer — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

Archive: Everyone is now a producer — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

February 7th, 2014

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The world is changing as it always has and the work world is no exception. There are careers available today that have never existed before while careers that have been around for decades are rapidly disappearing. Today, though, I am seeing deeper changes. Not only is our work changing, but our very concepts of work and career are changing. In fact, in some ways, I am seeing 180 degree changes from the past. The old rules are failing to apply to many of us and the new rules are only just forming. This column is my attempt to better understand these changes and give you some idea of where we are all headed.

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As you may know, I have been involved in podcasting since its earliest days. Over the years, this has led to much more computer consulting work that is podcasting-related. Along with my computer knowledge, though, I am starting to actually assist others in producing their own podcasts, working more on the creative side than with the technology itself. My conversations with these new clients have helped me develop some interesting ideas about how work and career are changing. I am finding, though, that these changes don’t just apply to creative careers, but are beginning to effect all careers, regardless of the type of work you do.

1. Increasingly, you drive your work and career, not some external force

In the past we may have accepted whatever work presented itself and been happy. Actors would listen to their agents and managers and high-tech workers would seek out any company that had a job opening in their area of expertise. We always looked to what others were offering us and chose between those options.

Today, though, I can see a 180 degree turn. As the costs involved in starting your own company, producing your own television show or writing and selling your own book drop to almost zero, there are fewer and fewer reasons not to pursue these careers. Why search out a job working for someone else, when you can develop your own projects, or your career, working at what appeals to you most?

Sure, not everyone will want to start their own company or develop their own projects. There will always be traditional jobs and careers to fulfill their needs. Those people who want to move beyond these traditional roles, though, are seeing immense new opportunities, with lower and lower risks, allowing them to pursue their career dreams, whatever they might be.

2. You must become responsible for developing your own projects

In such a changing environment, one of the most dramatic changes is your focus. You are now responsible for developing your own projects. The era of “the pitch” is rapidly coming to an end. In the past, you could develop an idea for a television show, book or high-tech project or product and then “shop” that project around to producers who had the cash necessary to implement it. Hopefully, you would find the funding and your project would become reality.

Now the situation is much different. In most cases, you are expected to have a working prototype, a completed episode, an independent version of your film, before others are willing to take a risk on you. You have to have more than a proposal. In some cases, you need a complete product, Where before others drove this process, you are now in charge, for good or ill. You need to conceive your own projects, fund them and implement them on your own,

Just as before, not everyone will want to take on this new role, even though there are significant benefits to be found. These people will, at the very least, need to find others who can assist them in what I call these producing roles to make their creations a reality.

At its very core, for you and I, this means that instead of looking for others to “give” us a job, we must take an active role in creating a career and not simply letting a career happen to us. We have to find those things that are most interesting to us and then develop ways of making them happen, whether through the traditional methods currently in play or the exciting, new and a bit scary, world in which we now live.

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