Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jack of All Trades, Master of How Many?

Given the state of the economy and layoffs or hiring freezes, many Gainfully Employed are now expected to take on additional tasks if they want to keep their jobs, often for no additional pay. Employees are stretched thin and/or asked to do things not in their bailiwick. While some may balk, others will see this as a positive change, a chance to become more valuable to their employers and develop new skills.

Many Gainfully Unemployed are already familiar with this process. Specialization can limit opportunities in today’s multi-tasking, time-pressed environment. When you get booked by a client, the hope is to have him/her return with future projects. In order to make ourselves more marketable and expose ourselves to a wider range of potential clients, the GU should consider adding more services to their offerings. Because the more people you meet and work with, the more people you can meet and work with. And some clients also prefer a one stop shop instead of having to make arrangements with multiple vendors.

I mainly do voice and on camera work, but I also offer script and copy editing and writing. I do some print and improv, and present a variety of workshops. Other examples: a choreographer who also casts variety acts and talent for her shows. Voiceover talents who also do demos and coaching/teaching. A writer who can also do graphic or Web site design.

Sometimes I meet GU who are unwilling or perhaps afraid to expand their repertoire. Perhaps they’re happy knowing what they know and don’t want to make themselves uncomfortable by going outside of their boxes. Perhaps they don’t want to do the extra work to research and market new products.

The key is balance. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin or offer services too far outside your wheelhouse. It can be tempting to just say yes if a client asks if you can do something you haven’t done before. More work! More money! But consider thinking it through before you commit. Consider taking classes to hone skills related to your main services. Every so often, consider stepping back from getting your work done and think about new ways to make clients want to choose you.

No comments: