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Taking Care of Business
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Old March 21st, 2009, 08:37 AM   #1
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How much truth about future business plans in application

Hi,

I'm just about to finish school and I'm planning on starting a small business offering niche video production and rental services for a particular under-served sport. I've been doing a lot of research online and offline (books, presentations, meetings, a course on small businesses for creative types). If I had the money to start I would be doing it now - but I have to make payments to all my student-related debt. I'm also aware of the 3-12 months of expenses I should have saved up to tide me over just in case I don't made so much money initially. So I was thinking of getting a job at a production company where I can get experience, pay off my debts, and save up for a new computer to replace my powerbook G4 FCP editing system (and upgrade to FCS 2), and get a second camera. This will also let me do jobs on the side for my new business to establish some clients before I start legally. So I'm wondering how much I should tell any employer about my plan to start my own niche production company in a cover letter, interview, or day-to-day talk if I get the job. Should it be secret? How many out there would hire someone who put these plans on a cover letter? Thanks! I just don't want to blow some job opportunities due to some faux--pas...
Tim
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Old March 21st, 2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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Tim... I wouldn't even say anything, let alone put it in writing because you'll be less desirable to a prospective employer if they think you're only looking for a temporary gig. Companies want complete commitment from their staff for their business efforts. The truth is that companies do not care about an employee's efforts outside the workplace. Staff within the company might after they get to know and like you, but companies make decisions in their own self interest. If you don't exhibit complete commitment to a prospective employer, they'll choose someone who does over you. I offer this as someone who's been a worker and a boss in small and large corporations for over 30 years.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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Ah, the exuberance and optimism of youth... Let's not tell him that within 6 months of starting a job, his dreams will be crushed to dust....

I'm normally a huge advocate of 100% truth, all the time (it's just easier to remember) but in this case, your hobbies are none of their business. A lot of companies like to ask about extracurricular activities just to make sure you don't jeopardize their business, not necessarily in terms of competition but to make sure you don't kill one of their employees (you) skydiving or hang-gliding or something like that. Get whatever job you can to help you learn the business, and do what you want on the weekends.

Of course, if they do something like pay to put you through advanced training or MBA school or something like that, you owe them your loyalty for a certain period of time. It would be pretty unethical to take your shiny new degree or certification and then quit to go compete with the people who gave you the ability to do so.

But it doesn't seem like that's what we're talking about here. Keep your future plans to yourself... they'll probably change anyway.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Ah, the exuberance and optimism of youth... Let's not tell him that within 6 months of starting a job, his dreams will be crushed to dust....
Whoa, that's harsh. Without youthful exuberance there's be no Star Wars or even no rock and roll. The great thing about youth is that at that age you can completely throw yourself into something, and even if it tanks completely there's still time to start over with something else.

Success and failure are inexorably linked and working through failure is a key to eventual success. Go for it and don't be afraid to fail. It's much better than the regret for never having tried in the first place.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
Without youthful exuberance there's be no Star Wars
Tripp, sweetie, lighten up. It was a joke. I was generally agreeing with you.

But Lucas was 33 when Star Wars came out; he was 10 years out of film school. Hardly a valid analogy -- he never worked corporate. And some might say, given the current state of the franchise, it might have been better if there had never been any Star Wars at all...
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