Not until I began working did I have an idea of the insane ways that people get hired.
I mean, you think that job X comes open, the opening is made public, people are interviewed, and the best candidate is chosen.
But that’s not how it happens, is it?
- Most people are hired internally.
- The most attractive person often gets the job.
- People are hired because their parents went to high school with the CEO.
- They are hired because someone liked their attitude.
- People often get hired because they worked with someone at the company before.
- Customers frequently hire suppliers, and suppliers hire customers.
My dad always joked that in the military you sometimes just promoted the tallest person.
Heck, I applied for 300+ jobs to no avail once. My (soon to be) father-in-law heard about a position, called a guy he knew, and I had a job 48 hours later.
Don’t fight these quirks of life. Move with them the best that you can.
My biggest piece of advice is to foster relationships. And don’t burn bridges.
Understand: Relationships trump competency.
ONE THING THAT continues to amaze me about the movie business is the haphazard way people in it go about hiring screenwriters. A particularly intriguing aspect of this practice is the hiring of scriptwriters who have not the slightest intellectual or emotional link to the project in question. I don’t think there are many screenwriters who are qualified to write a script about just anything. Eric Roth, who adapted Forrest Gump, can do certain things, Diana and I can do some things, but none of the above can successfully do just any old thing.