Growing Your IT Career In The Entertainment Sector
It’s more enjoyable and rewarding doing work you love. If you have a technical, problem solving background, and love entertainment, there may be more career opportunities than you think.
Many people think of cubicles and humming server rooms when it comes to pursuing a future in an IT career, but the reality is the use of technology is so widespread that you can find a job in almost any industry, from education to healthcare, commerce to entertainment.
If you love film or TV, games, comedy, music, publishing, or fine arts, you owe it to yourself to investigate the possibilities. Put your valuable skills to work in an area you love, instead of grinding along in a sector you don’t care for. An IT professional in the entertainment sector doesn’t need performance skills to make a difference, just a willingness to work with unconventional colleagues in more diverse settings.
In fact, growing your career, whether you enjoy working as a member of a team or an agency, or own your own IT business as a freelancer or contractor, can only benefit from narrowing your focus to a specific niche.
Being an entertainment sector IT professional is actually still too broad a target. Zero in on an area that most interests you, or that you have some experience in, such as film, or games, and also choose a technical specialization. For instance, in the film industry, ensuring color profiles are accurate and aligned across all equipment is a very specific skillset, and is distinct from supporting the corporate website and online media, or maintaining databases and file stores.
The best way to grow your career in any sector is to become an authority in your niche. You want to be the best, the go-to person for whatever it is that you specialize in. In order to create that professional identity for yourself, you scale down your niche as much as necessary in order to achieve the top spot.
There can be very good opportunities in the entertainment sector, with massive budgets evident in international filmmaking and gaming, but it is also an industry that is quick to shift and adjust to changing fortunes. If you’re a contractor, working with an umbrella company can add some stability and security to your experience while reducing risk and administrative effort that takes you away from more lucrative uses of your time.
Contractor pay is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many independent IT professionals. If you have a studio or entertainment company that neglects to follow through on their responsibilities, what may be a negligible sum to them can be a significant barrier to your success and well-being as a professional. Umbrella companies offer professional assistance with documentation, payments, tax, and other paperwork-heavy tasks.
Focusing on entertainment sector clients could be an incredibly successful move for your IT career. Try to narrow your area of expertise to a specific sector within the broader entertainment world, as well as to a particular technical area so you can become the go-to expert. Then use appropriate support services to handle the overhead efforts of running the business so you can deliver excellent work and bring in a healthy income.
Image by G. Crescoli