The dream network that leads to your dream job…do you know who’s in it?

Over the course of the last 48 hours I’ve had over 100 different conversations with people struggling to clearly identify the next steps in their careers. Between my “How to Connect With A-listers and Land Your Dream Job” panel for the Editor’s Guild last weekend plus being a featured sponsor at EditFest this weekend…I’ve heard it all.

When you have the same conversation over and over and over (and over), you start to recognize patterns. Every conversation went something like this:

“I’ve been listening to your podcast and it’s really inspired me to work on projects I care about with nice people. I just don’t feel connected with the stories I’m telling now…and I kinda hate my job…but I don’t know how to make the jump.”

My response was essentially variations on the following theme:

“If you could be working your dream job, what would it be?”

And they would name projects that best-case-scenario if the stars aligned and they won the career lottery, they’d be working on those projects in a decade. Or more likely 30 years from now. Funny enough, almost nobody mentioned projects that could realistically be their dream job in the next year, or 6 months, or even tomorrow. Because we don’t think about our “dream job” in those terms.

We instead think of a “dream job” as some amazing opportunity that perpetually lives in the mythical, magical land called “someday.” But as I discussed in last week’s newsletter about defining your dream job, there’s no reason your next job cannot be your dream job with a slight shift in perspective.

Once the people I talked with realized they could be working their dream job in a matter of weeks or months (as opposed to decades), a new motivation instantly arose and they had a new energy.

Until they hit the next major block….

“So if I could be working my dream job next, how do I make that happen? I don’t know anyone doing those jobs.”

Not knowing the right people who can open doors to the next stage of your career is probably the biggest barrier I see to success, and the excuse people so often use for why they aren’t successful is because they don’t know the right people, and:

“It’s all about who you know.”

I have bad news…this is 100% true. But it doesn’t have to be an obstacle.

Instead it can become a mission.

And your mission friend, should you choose to accept it – is to get to know the right people.

Which of course brings about the next hurdle:

“Who am I supposed to be reaching out to then?”

Should you be reaching out to the people hiring you? Studio executives? Producers? Recruiters? Facebook Groups?


Or can it be simpler than that?

Having conducted over 300 interviews to better understand the fundamental steps to becoming successful (in any industry), and having witnessed countless student success stories in my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program, I can confidently and unequivocally state that in the vast majority of cases, people don’t become successful on their own.

Everyone has an advocate that at some point had to help them overcome the barrier of having the skills but not having the experience.

And that advocate was not the person hiring them.

That advocate was the person doing now what they wanted to be doing next.

Yup, it’s that simple.

No matter the career transition you want to make, if you focus on building your network of people doing now what you want to be doing next, the game will COMPLETELY change for you.

It won’t happen overnight, but then again you can’t win a game of chess in two moves.

But if you consistently focus on developing the skill of networking and surround yourself with people who are at the level you want to be, the time will come when you get “lucky.”

And that “luck” will simply be the intersection of your hard work and opportunity.

I’d Love to Know…

If you were to start building your dream network tomorrow of people doing now what you’d like to be doing next, who are they?

And more importantly, how can I help you connect with them?

Be well.
Zack Arnold
Creator, Optimize Yourself

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”