The One Thing I Did To Get My First Job in Television Production

This post is from 2016.

I used to want my own talk show. For years, I just loooved The Oprah Winfrey Show. I was just completely infatuated with the topics she discussed on her show. I wanted to have the same kind of conversations with the people that I knew and I wanted to put it on YouTube in hopes of having ABC pick up my talk show one day. 

In college, I really started to wonder how I could make this talk show happen. It wasn’t until a year after I graduated that I decided I would try and work behind the scenes in order to, one day, have ABC pick up my show. Cool. I’ve figured it out. 

Kind of. 

The question is, “How am I going to get a job behind the scenes?” 

I started to look at the Wikipedia pages of people like Oprah, the hosts of The Today Show, Wendy Williams, etc. to look at the path they took. (People always say “Success leaves clues.”) After doing some digging, I found that Matt Laurer, Co-Host of The Today Show, was a television producer before he earned his spot on air. Cool. I’m down with that.

But now the question is, “How do I get a job as a television producer?”

I had to really sit and think about this one. And after doing so, I realized that my mentor’s good friend’s best friend, Stacy*, was a television producer for TLC at the time. Cool. I’ll just email her and set up a lunch. And that’s exactly what happened. 

We had lunch and she told me everything I needed to do to get a job as a producer. She told me since it’s my first production gig, I’d have to start as a Production Assistant. But the key piece of advice I took from her and pass along to this day is Maintain your relationships.

And that’s how I got my first job in television production. I would check in with Stacy every few weeks to see if she’s heard about any new production opportunities. When one finally came up, she sent me on the interview and I got it! Because of the relationship I had with Stacy and the relationship Stacy had with the producers, I got my first job in production with no experience. 

It was simply my relationship with Stacy. 

It’s so important to maintain your relationships. Check in on people from time to time. 

Support people at their events. Collaborate.

So please please, create new relationships and maintain them. 

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