Use What Ya Got

Edward writes:

Recently, a new member of my family offered to introduce me to some people and help me get a job as a PA in L.A.  (She works as a marketing executive for a major network.)

Now, this sounds wonderful to me, but there are plenty of factors that make me think this must be some kind of mistake: I am from the East Coast, I don’t have a college degree, and I have no experience in the entertainment industry besides community theater (if you want to count that).

When I voice these doubts to her (trying not sound unappreciative, mind you, but with a healthy dose of skepticism), she offered to give me a place to stay and get me in contact with a friend of hers from HR that could help me take classes part-time while working.

(She also set me up with the PA Bootcamp to address the experience issue, but after reading their posts on and the comments on your own blog, this did little to assuage my fears.)

So my question is this: does nepotism really work this way, or am I setting myself up for a big let down after a big move? I know she hasn’t exactly guaranteed me anything, but can people even pull favors across departments?

Yup, that’s pretty much how it works.  Count yourself lucky.

See, just because she’s in marketing now, that doesn’t mean that’s all she’s ever done.  Maybe she used to be a production coordinator, or a costumer, or a set designer.  She could have all kinds of connections you wouldn’t know about from her job title.

Then again, she might only know the people in cubicles next to hers.  But I’m assuming she wouldn’t offer to put you up if she didn’t think she could get you a paying job sometime soon.  This sounds to me like you landed a pretty sweet opportunity.

So here’s the most important part– don’t squander it.  Your sister-in-law (I’m guessing) might get you a job, but she can’t help you keep it.

Remember, “I’m a new PA” is an excuse that works for about the first half of your first day.  After that, you’ll get by only on your own ingenuity and hard work.

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3 Responses

  1. Nope, no one cares. You might like to have a degree for the general education it provides, and in some programs the access to expensive equipment, but in this business, a degree is not considered qualification for anything. (In my experience)

  2. Correct me if I am wrong but…

    Nobody cares if you have a college degree in the industry anyway.

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