Business and Inspiration

Is Production Your “Happy Career”?

By October 1, 2020 No Comments

This BTS was shot by Ty Milford and captured prior to COVID-19. 

Since shelter-in-place initiatives began back in March, there’s been a lot of talk about mental health practices, and for good reason: there’s reassurance in maintaining everyday routines, getting fresh air, and keeping in touch (virtually) with friends and family. Meanwhile, #TeamGreyHouse is spending a lot of time considering the elephant in the room: our altered production approach. For so many people in our industry that are furloughed or laid-off, there’s certainly a heaviness and fear of the unknown, but we hope you also take the time to step back and think holistically about the career we’ve collectively chosen. In starting to process it all, we were reminded of The Happy Career project, which we learned about a few years ago (s/o to Creative Mornings!) and wanted to bring it back to the table.

Get to know the eight Ps

The Happy Career project is an aptly named method for helping people to consider whether or not they’re happy in their careers, based on consideration of eight “P”s: People, Pay, Projects, Progress, Purpose, Passion, Perks, and Personal. Give yourself time to think about the eight Ps, and how they translate to what you’re doing — or what you’d like to do. Consider taking the Happy Career’s online quiz, too, to help steer the right way.

Happy accident

For me (Hannah, here!), production has always been — and still is — my “happy career.” Even though I’d planned from a very young age to be a photographer, the combination of a college mentor and a serendipitous internship exposed me to the magic of production, and I haven’t looked back since. In a way, I found my happy place almost by accident, and went with it. It’s why even now, when our world is upside-down, I know this is what I’m meant to do.

Solving for an unknown

In a way, the COVID-19 lockdown has brought out the most producer-y aspects of producers. By nature, we’re not afraid of problems. They’re what we deal with all day, every day. But, solving for the unknown target can be really difficult. We don’t know whether this pause is going to last 5 months, 15 months, or even longer. Personally, when there’s a moving target, I love the challenge. But an unknown target, it makes me stir-crazy. I’m trying to solve this thing, and I can’t because I don’t know where to aim. In quarantine, psychologists tell us to focus on what we can control. But for producers who are used to controlling everything in our environment, this is especially hard. The question is, is it too hard? That’s what the Happy Career project hopes to find. Is your career the good kind of hard? Rest assured, solving for production during the coronavirus era is a good kind of hard for our team.

Listen to your subconscious

As a society, we’re afraid to take the steps to say something out loud, because then we can’t unsay it. Situations like a shelter-in-place period force our subconscious to come out. We’re not as busy, so we can’t quiet our thoughts in our work, at the gym, or by filling our calendar with social events — which is why this is the ideal time to explore what a happy career means to you. Either you already knew this career wasn’t what you loved, and now you’re ready to move on; or, you’re willing to work through all of the scary stuff, and can’t wait to get back to it. 

Find your happy place

So, what about you? Maybe you’re a freelancer who’s been doing this for a long time. Maybe you happened into production after college, loved it at the beginning, and now you’re just ready for a change. Maybe you’ve been going to work with a rock in your stomach for months, and this break has been a welcome relief. No matter the reasons, know that it’s totally OK to find your own happy career even if it’s not in this industry. And if you are here to stay? Speak up! As producers, we’re here to advocate for our crew just as much as our clients. Especially now, we need to take care of each other and lift each other up.