Often a mere notch above a paid intern, being a production assistant can be a thankless job. PAs can work up to twenty-hour work days in all aspects of production, and not just the glamorous parts. Even so, this job is often the doorway to another, better position. I’m a firm believer that being a PA could very well be the turning point of your career. Here are 5 Things Every PA Should Know-
You should never be caught sitting unless it’s lunch time.
Even if all of your superiors are not working, make sure that all of the things that you’re in charge of are taken care of. Is the crafty table full of food and drinks? Is there a task that you can learn and be responsible for? Prove that you’re a hard worker and people will want to work with you again.
Be friendly like you’re trying to win a high school superlative.
And not fake friendly, but genuinely nice. Do whatever it takes to remember the names of those that you meet. On down time, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. People enjoy telling their story, and you can learn more about someone’s journey to where they are in the industry.
Have a great attitude even if you think that no one is watching.
I won’t sugar coat it. Production assistants often get the jobs that no one wants to do. If there are coffee orders to take and deliver, it could be on the PA To-Do List. Be humble and smile as you bring the best coffee they’ve ever had delivered to them. At least it’s not trash duty (but if you were asked, you’d take names with how well you take out the trash).
On the opposite hand, don’t ever forget your worth.
There is a difference between having a can-do attitude and being a doormat. Know that you bring skill and competency to your job and deserve to be valued. When it comes to the most important issues- your health, safety, or dignity- keep things in perspective and know your limits.
It sounds cliche, but have fun!
Being a production assistant can be the most rewarding job. You have an opportunity to get real world experience and the people that you meet will more than likely be the same ones that you work with in the future. I’ve made some friends for life while deliriously picking up award show debris off the streets of Brooklyn.
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