Three proverbs for Tech Artists considering career changes
Tech people often talk about the importance of transitions. Usually this is within the context of cues, as in one song to the next, one lighting look to the next, a pattern of camera shots, etc.
But what about career transitions?
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men” – Proverbs 22:29 NASB. I’ve quoted it before on Controlbooth.tv. From the very first time I read it I’ve thought, “wow, that is so true!” The verse not only brings to mind Daniel (who was chosen for his gifts to serve King Nebuchadnezzar) and Joseph (sold into slavery by his brothers, eventually serving in the court of Egypt’s Pharaoh for his gifts), and the principle holds equally true as I look at the careers of others today. Those who have advanced, who are doing the types of things I would like to do are very skilled!
How do we then leverage our gifts? How do you get to the king’s court (aside from being dealt treacherously and sold into slavery by your own brothers!)?
A few weeks ago I posted on Controlbooth.tv the article How Do I Get On The Crew? In it I list the ten qualities I look for when hiring. These are the qualities I’ve seen the people who get on the best projects exhibit consistently. If you haven’t read it, take a look.
But thinking back on it now I realize what is not addressed in that article is the importance of taking the initial career leap, a leap of faith. People tend to pursue their passions, but is what we are passionate about always what we are truly gifted at? Looking back at my own career, in college I wanted to be an arranger and a musician. I was passionate about music. My formal education was in those areas. Even though I was passionate about music and I was good at it (but admittingly not great), was music really where my gift was? Later in life I worked steadily as an audio engineer. I was making an ok living and supporting my family. I was good at what I was doing, but was audio where my gift was?
The transition from being a working audio engineer to a video engineer and director was a scary one! Would video clients want what they perceived to be “an audio guy” doing their video? Would I lose audio clients because everyone knows video people know little about sound? Could I make the leap, musician to audio tech, audio tech to video guy, video engineer to director?
The fear of pursuing that which we are truly gifted at for the security of that which is known can be immobilizing. Solomon phrased it, “the sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside; I will be killed in the streets!’” – Proverbs 22:13. What career choice is your lion? Practically speaking, doing nothing because of fear is not afar from doing nothing due to laziness. The result is the same.
The Bible says, “a man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” – Proverbs 18:16. “Making room” is dynamic phrase. Are you allowing your gift to make room for you? To do so may require a leap.
What is it you’re good at which is taking the place of that you could be great at?
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.”Proverbs 22:29
Tom D’Angelo has worked in television production and AVL corporate theater for nearly four decades. He is Emmy Award nominated (Best Director category, Mid-Atlantic) and has been part of various teams nominated or winning national Emmys. As the Media Director at a megachurch in the 1980’s he developed a love for the Church and church performing and technical artists.