Simple Rules for Assistants With Big Ambitions

Whether you're a wanna-be Hollywood mogul or Wall Street kingpin, you'll likely begin your career ascent at the lowest rung, where fetching coffee and answering phones are de rigueur. (Take heart, the long list of assistants-turned-zillionaires includes David Geffen, Simon Cowell and designer Derek Lam.) It takes a stand-out to parlay a lowly gig into career springboard, according to Hillary Stamm and Peter Norwalk, both one-time assistants who authored Hollywood Assistants Handbook: 86 Rules for Aspiring Power Players. Here, essential rules that apply to up-and-comers in every industry:

1. Thicken Up That Skin
"You may hate it when that agent from Endeavor thinks you'll be more likely to have your boss return the call if he calls you 'babe' over the phone, but it's really not worth getting your panties in a bunch. Why? He could be the same guy who recommends you for the job at Scott Free (Ridley and Tony Scott's company…) As they say, sticks and stones will break your bones…The exception? Slut, No one is ever allowed to call you a slut."

2. Make Them Show You the Money
"If there is anything working in the Biz has taught us, it's to ask for what you want…As an assistant, even when you've proven your competence, you might find it harder to ask for things. Stop it right now. If you don't get yourself noticed, no one will notice you. It's that simple….Just don't, and we can't stress this enough, sit back and wait for the good karma to come your way. Make your own karma."

3. Build Bridges, Don't Torch Them
"People are going to tick you off. That's a given. Your boss is going to inspire thoughts of brutality and torture. Certain assistants will make your skin crawl. Even the interns are going to give you a case of 'the rage.' Still, it's the law of probability that some of the very people you hate will become wildly successful. If you're lucky, they'll forget why you didn't like each other and the two of you will partner up to make a movie that takes Cannes by storm."

Read More 6 Simple Rules for Assistants With Big Ambitions Here
By Yael Kohen - Marie Claire blogger


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