On Professionalism


I’ve got just a few weeks left as Supervising Producer on a show at a Burbank company that I’ve really fallen in love with over the past few months.  What makes it a joy to come to work there every day?  The level of professionalism within the company.  The execs let you do your job, discuss changes instead of just hammering you to do things their way, and thank staff individually for good work done on a tight time frame.  My story department is easily the best I’ve ever had.  The editors… don’t get me started.  Solid gold rockstars, all. 

What you bring to each production, in addition to your skill set, is your ability to function as a professional.  You’re on time, you’re dressed like you don’t live out of a glovebox, and you know how to integrate into a team.  These don’t sound like huge things until you wind up working with someone who can’t manage reciprocal respect for the talents and personalities of his or her coworkers.

Over the years, I’ve dealt with editors who’d physically (no joke) lock me out of the bay and cobble their own stories together while leaving coffee rings on my paper edits.  I’ve worked with people who bring their dogs to work and let ’em roam (I love dogs, but it’s really gross-out city when the pups leave little presents you don’t run into until after the owner’s taken them home). 

No matter how talented you are (or think you are), you’re going to leave a dozen or more people behind at the end of every job who can either help you find work later or endeavor to ruin your name for being a self-absorbed jerkwad who shows late, leaves early, and discounts everyone else’s opinions as garbage.

Given the choice, work hard not to be the latter.  Be appreciative of your team, respect the folks above and below you who all share the same boat, and above all, do a great job.

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3 thoughts on “On Professionalism

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  1. I need to show this article to some of my fellow full sailers/co-workers. They’re great people but I think they lose sight of how lucky we are to be working in an amazing industry. An industry that I was on the outside looking in on at one point. How easy we forget.

  2. Okay, but what do you do when you are working with a jerk or worse? If you’re their boss, sure, you can fire them. But what if they’re your co-worker or even boss?

  3. Bad bosses generate their own reputations and eventually have trouble attracting good people. Why do you want to work for the guy who berates everyone? Pretty soon, his or her job listings are met with indifference by experienced folks on the hunt. Good talent defects for kinder pastures.

    As for people who are jerks (not the same as a bad boss… a jerk can still get things done), I’ve learned that sometimes under all the bravado there’s someone who knows what they’re talking about. Egos and thick skins don’t bother me as much as straight up self-righteous dumbth.

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