The Reliability Factor

It will not only be crucial for you to master new tasks with each new job, but also to establish yourself as someone who's reliable and dependable, a person others can count on, no matter what. If, on the other hand, you tend to be a bit flaky, too free spirited, don't take direction well or are less than punctual, your days in this business will most likely be numbered.

When you're given a time to show up for work, be there on time, or preferably early. (Coming in early and staying later than expected will always earn you extra recognition.) Your supervisors and co-workers will be relying on you to help get the day started, the scripts out, the calls made, the appointments set, the phones answered, the conference room set up for a big meeting. Few things make a worse impression on an employer than tardiness, unless it's habitual tardiness (although it rarely gets to that point, because people get fired all the time for being late).

If you know you're going to be late, call your supervisor as soon as you realize you won't be showing up on time. If you have a legitimate reason, and it's a rare occurrence, you should be fine.

Being reliable entails having a well-running car, a dependable alarm clock, an accurate watch and the ability to find your way around without getting lost. It means having taken care of as many personal obligations as you could before starting your new job, so you don't have to try to squeeze them in or ask for time off once you're on the job. Whether it's for doctors' appointments, having your car tuned-up or taking off early to attend a class, asking for personal time off isn't as accepted in most entertainment jobs as it is in other lines of work, because the work is generally intense, and your not being there could be problematic.

Being reliable is following through on tasks, no matter how many road blocks you encounter along the way, anticipating the needs of others and possessing a general ability to take and follow orders (without complaint, argument or attitude).

Another way to earn a reputation for being reliable is by offering to help others with any special skills you may have. No matter where I end up working, because of my lack of computer skills, I'm always in search of someone I can rely on to help me with my computer. It's the same way when a co-worker speaks a foreign language and becomes indispensable when working on a location where that language is spoken. It's easy to become reliant on those with special skills and abilities as well as those who are just always there for the people they work for and with.

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