How To Make It As A Young Woman In The Entertainment Industry
The following is a guest post by Jackie Augustus. Her bio follows
The music industry is one giant experiment and there’s no textbook. There’s no right or wrong – it’s trial and error, which can allow for a lot of success, but also failure. I’m still learning each and every day, and probably always will be, and I love that. It keeps me on my toes. Here are five things I’ve learned as a young woman in the entertainment industry from my time at Scooter Braun’s SB Projects – a diversified entertainment and media company with ventures integrating music, film, television, technology and philanthropy.
BE A SPONGE
My biggest piece of advice is to soak in as much information as you can from the people around you. Yes, I have a college degree, but nothing has proven more valuable than my hands-on experience at SB Projects. It’s been such an incredible experience working with and shadowing my knowledgeable co-workers each and every day.
ASK QUESTIONS – YOU’RE NOT ANNOYING ANYONE
Ask questions. Lots of them. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. You will always wonder until you ask, and those questions usually lead to conversations that are beneficial for both parties. For example, as a millennial who was raised by the Internet (still love you mom and dad), I may be able to provide insight from a different perspective. In my particular situation, coming from the fan side of things (s/o @BieberArmy, my Twitter fan account that gave me a job), I am able to shed some light on how a fan’s brain works. This way, I can help make the fans’ experiences richer coming from the artist side and bridge that gap.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO PIZZA AND CHILL EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE
Passion is what fuels my drive. But so does sleep. The entertainment industry isn’t a 9-5 job, and while you may want to be the hard working overachiever (& you still can be), I cannot stress how important it is to find work/life balance. You will wear yourself out in no time if you don’t find time for other hobbies. My favorite days are the ones where I don’t do anything but watch Netflix and eat pizza. For the first 2 years that I worked at SB Projects I would sleep with my phone on loud and drop everything for an incoming email that could’ve waited for a response until the morning. I had to learn to prioritize and be strategic about the balance. It’s important to be selfish at times, or you’ll lose yourself.
FIND WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AND NEVER LET IT GO
Being a woman (especially a young one) in a male-dominated industry is a blast for me because I see it as a challenge. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing more and more women joining the executive ranks on the daily. It is genuine inspiration and motivation—although, it comes with its downsides. Given my age, one thing I have struggled with is receiving respect from elder, more experienced individuals in this industry before even giving me a chance to prove myself. Know that you’re never too young to accomplish your dreams. Take that as motivation to prove that you’re more than capable, even when some may doubt you. At the same time, on the other end of it, there’s nothing more amusing to me than when I finally meet someone who I’ve been conversing with over email or phone and they’re like “you’re how old? 21?! I thought you were at least 26…” because I still see myself as the 13-year-old fangirl that has Jonas Brothers posters on her walls.
GO WITH YOUR GUT
I’ll leave you with the best piece of advice Scooter has ever given me — “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” If you believe in something, don’t give up until you see it through. If you have an idea that others may shoot down initially, take it and run. If it doesn’t work, so what? At least you tried and now you know. If it did work, they’ll learn to maybe trust your gut instinct the next time around.
Jackie (age 21) has quickly risen up the ranks and is currently the Associate Marketing Manager for the Digital team at SB Projects responsible for overseeing social media and digital strategies across all SB Projects’ artists. Her duties range from coordinating social posts with the artists, to creating and executing digital activations, to advising on digital rollout for a single, album or tour. When Jackie isn’t coordinating with artists, she can be found creating fun content for SB Projects’ social channels.