Things I Learned From Working That Might Help You Too

2:14 PM

Now that I'm no longer employed, and are on the other side where I employ people I finally understand when other people tell me that it's difficult to find people with substance. Having substance does not mean you have to be super smart, an Ivy League graduate or someone with years of working experience but it's the level of knowledge and life-skills you have to allow you to be resourceful at work.

In the current world, everything moves really fast. In our line, we're always hiring people who can manage themselves as we would not mostly have the time to micro-manage. It's more difficult to train people now that time is restrictive, and most of the things you learn are from life experiences. However, I've put some of the things I've personally learnt throughout my years of working and hiring people on the go so I hope it helps some of you.

Do what you love, love what you do and it will show.

1. Read and follow instructions.

I've had a few people asking me why do I put my hiring criteria in sentences and not bullet points. Isn't it harder for people to read?

This, is your first test - reading instructions and following them.

I noticed throughout the years that people hardly read and take their time to digest anymore. They take in the first few words i.e "Hiring Now" and right away e-mail or personally message the person in charge and asks many questions in which they can source themselves via the internet.

Firstly, you might not follow the simplest instructions of 'e-mailing your resume to the mentioned email'. If I can't rely on you to follow the simplest instruction, I might not want to rely on you for bigger tasks.

Secondly, I might be the person posting it but I might not be the person who will be going through your resume and hiring you. Imagine if I'm posting on behalf of a friend, and you message me instead on my Facebook or other social media platforms. In this case, I'd reply you back and tell you what to do but what if it's someone else that doesn't care and just leaves you hanging? You probably just blew your chance of employment right there.

2. Ask relevant questions. Keep your intentions clear.

Sometimes I get people replying me (without their resumes) asking unrelated questions i.e. I'm hiring for a producer but someone asking me if I'm looking for talent extras. I understand that you're trying your chance right there but if my inbox is flooded with unrelated questions, most of the time I won't have time to entertain.

If you want to e-mail something unrelated to the job vacancy posted, do it as a separate agenda. Keep the heading of your email clear i.e 'Subject: Freelance Male Talent Portfolio' and not 'asking for job'.

3. We want to hire proactive people. Be resourceful.

My biggest pet peeve are people who wait for instructions and only do one thing until told for another. Not everyone can micro-manage and not everyone likes to be micro-managed. If I tell you that I need help with finding a location for a specific shoot, I'd expect you to come up with a few and possibly one or two for contingency in case if the weather fails on us. Now that would make you valuable as an employee (will discuss that in point #7).

4. Understand the company and what they do (even if its basic). 

When you're sending out your resume to a specific company, do a background research on them. At least view their past works, clients and understand (even if its just basic understanding) their core business.

All of these informations are readily available at your fingertips (a.k.a Google it!). I've had people send in things such as "I want to send my resume, but I don't know what your company does" on our Facebook page. Little do they know that if they scroll a little down south, they'd find our work and updates on what we do.

You don't have to stalk the company and the people in it but it's not helping you get brownie points when you text "i want the job but i'm not sure what you do".

5. Be comfortable. Do not be someone you're not (it shows).

When we assemble our Avengers team, we look for people we want to work with. This might not apply to other companies but if it's a small one, it matters. I do not want to be stuck with a person who would be grumpy all the time, or someone who has no tact when talking to others. It would reflect back on us and our work. 

When someone pretends to be the hottest shit in town, even when he/she is not it actually shows. Be definitely give the benefit of the doubt, as long as the work gets done but we'd expect improvements. 

6. Accept your flaws, play your strengths.

I'm okay with people who aren't experienced enough. However, it means that there's so much room for learning and there's potential to grow. However, in order to do so you should know your strengths and your flaws. Admit your flaws, and ask others to help out. Do not be arrogant and ignorant about it. Everyone around you would help you if you ask for it. In fields you're more experienced or have better knowledge, offer help to those in need. 

It's a balance, and that creates the dynamic in the team. 

7. Increase your value.

By increasing your value, I don't mean putting a price up for no reason. Your value comes when you're irreplaceable. People will have so much respect when you do your job well, and it's more difficult for employers to find someone that could match up to your quality of work. I'm personally working on this, but in order to do that, point #6 is vital. It's a learning curve, take it a step at a time. 

8. Do not take on responsibilities you can't handle. 

Knowing your limitations is key to a good dynamic in a team. If you can't take some responsibility, let it go and don't be greedy. Do not be afraid to say that you're having difficulties. It's only arrogant  and selfish when someone can't do something and keeps quiet about it. Best thing to do is lay out the issue, and ask for help to find solution. 


I can't believe I've sat here for an hour writing this down but I hope it helps you in the journey for self-improvement in the workplace or when you're looking to be hired. I'm still in the learning stage myself but as I've been told, life is a learning curve until the day you die.

I'd love to hear your experience too - what you've learnt as an employee or employer so it would help me and anyone who reads this so leave a comment in the comment box below =)

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  1. Anonymous12:33 AM

    It has been a while since Im here and this is a really good write up and it is such a coincidence too as I am having my very first permanent job interview next week. Learned a lot from this, thank you Hanie :)

  2. I like your this post! It's sensible, I used to do only when people ask me to do. And I learn this lesson during my internship. It was during my internship that i learn I need to increase my value, as in irreplacable.

    and all of the advise really helped! esp the quote the relevant title when senting an email =D

    thank you!