What to expect in 2024 (and how to prepare)

So on a scale from 1-10…

How are you feeling about 2024 so far (and why)?

If you’re one of the few fortunate ones who are employed, you’re now officially back in the trenches full-time after the holidays. How are you feeling about the work you’re doing and the people you’re doing it with? 1-10?

If you’re one of the many who are still unemployed, you’re also back in the trenches full-time…only your job right now is looking for a job. How confident are you that you’ll find projects you care about working with people you like and respect? 1-10?

Feel free to reply directly, I’d love to chat more with you 1-on-1 to see how I can help you make the best of what looks to be yet another challenging year.


Here’s What (I Think) We Can Expect In 2024

As much as we all thought January 2024 would shoot us back to reality with the safety net of regular work many were used to pre-strikes, so far things feel far from “normal” this year (and there’s no safety net in sight).


Unlike when the industry went back to work after the Covid lockdowns, things are not coming back with a bang quite yet. The reality is that 2024 looks to potentially be another very challenging year for those who do creative work – especially those of us in the entertainment industry.

Here’s the reality we’re dealing with:

  • Analysts estimate there will be 25-30% less jobs this year
  • Budgets will be lower so studios can (desperately) try to turn streaming into a profitable business model
  • With the gluttony of content already on streaming platforms, there’s no huge rush to create a ton more
  • Artificial intelligence is changing the way creatives work (and the number of people needed to do the work)
  • There’s even potentially another looming industry strike this summer!

Given all of the above, if the industry itself chose a single word as its theme for 2024, it would no doubt be 👉 UNCERTAINTY.

Yeah…I’m tired of all the uncertainty too.

I just don’t have the energy after the last 3 years to waste time focusing on the million-and-a-half factors that are outside of my control.

What is within my control are the actions I can take that maximize my likelihood of getting “lucky” and being in the right place when the right opportunities do present themselves.


Whether you’re looking for work – or if you’re already working but looking for a better way to work – I’d love to help you design the next steps of your creative career.

Let’s Prepare For 2024 Together

In last week’s newsletters I shared with you two simple exercises (that are far more effective than setting new year’s resolutions) that can give you a clear blueprint for 2024 so you can design an actionable plan of attack (and consistently follow through).

Whether you’ve attempted some, all, or even none of the exercises I shared with you above, I’d like to share with you seven different areas you can focus your attention to make the most of 2024, regardless of the present circumstances with your job (or lack thereof).

  • Optimizing Your Mindset (Increasing Confidence)
  • Optimizing Your Potential (Career Design, Setting Goals)
  • Optimizing Your Relationships (Networking)
  • Optimizing Your Story (Résumés, Bios, Websites, etc.)
  • Optimizing Your Finances (Workflows & Side Hustles)
  • Optimizing Your Creativity (Time, Energy, Attention Management)
  • Optimizing Your Lifestyle (Healthier Habits)

If you could pull the lever and significantly move the needle for one of the areas above, which area would make the most difference for you and why?

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).”