Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Entry Level, eh?

The film & TV industry seems to have a problem with definitions. Specifically with the definition of what constitutes an "entry level" position.

In most pay scales that I have encountered, a job that is listed as requiring 2 years (or less) of experience, would be an entry level position. Someone who has held a few small contract positions, or maybe done a little time on some sets. Enough to not need a babysitter, but ultimately still on a learning curve, and the pay will/should correlate with that.

Now let's break down a TV job posting from February 17th, 2012:

Position: Research Coordinator
Year(s) of Experience:<---------ding! ding! ding!
Hours: 40hrs/week, overtime as required

  • Identify trends in the advertising, consumer, and competitive marketplace.    
Okay, so far this seems fair, a bit of Google and a bit of industry reading... 
  •  Provide strategic insights for sales, technical and editorial sides of the digital businesses.
This seems like a bit of a tall order for someone with only 2 yrs under their belt...but hey, I love strategy...

 Qualifications: (here's where the fun starts)
  •  Familiar with syndicated reporting databases and software including ComScore Media and Video Metrix and Omniture. 
  •  Familiar with television measurement systems and software including Nielsen and BBM as well as hands-on experience with other relevant internet tracking software and reporting systems
  • Knowledge of broadcast and digital media reporting
  • Deeply familiar and passionate about interactive marketing concepts, practices and programs
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, orally and written
  • Strong organizational skills and proven ability to manage multiple projects, clients and vendors simultaneously
  • Self-directed and enthusiastic team player with ability to meet tight deadlines
  • Strategic: Able to provide inventive, but measurable, solutions for client challenges
  • Creative: Able to think “outside the box” and go outside of job description to build solutions
  • Bachelors Degree, preferably in business, math or computer sciences 
  • Expert in all MS Office products, especially PowerPoint and Excel. Knowledge of HTML and other internet technologies

How in the hell is someone who falls in the entry level category supposed to meet all the criteria for this? More importantly, assuming that in the past 2 years they have been building their skills...who the hell would allow them to develop reports, or work with the software when they had ZERO experience?

THE WORST PART OF ALL? I don't even want this job! All the things I want to do are jobs that aren't really even advertised for. I can count on one hand the number of job postings for a TV-writer I've seen, and all of those require hours of produced on-air content, or a stint at the CFC (hey if I had someone bankrolling me for 5 months I'd go...but I gots bills ta pay).

I'm not saying that I, or anyone else should get to jump the queue. But it seems like mid-career jobs have become entry-level, and entry-level jobs have become unpaid internships...with no way to move between the two. By effectively barring anyone new from entering the industry, there's no way in...except maybe the casting couch, but you have to be asked to sit on it first (...in all seriousness I would never, I have SOME dignity left *stuffs handful of smartfood into mouth*).

All I'm sayin' is, while I may be young and I have no experience with  ComScore Media, or Video Metrix software, I'm not a moron. If I can jailbreak my iPhone, PSP, and my DS, chances are I can learn your software... and if you want someone with 5+ yrs of experience SAY THAT & pay them fairly. Don't lie and call a low-paying job "entry level", when it isn't.


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