“We have a saying in the film industry,” Hugh began. “Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in!” If the reference to The Godfather wasn’t enough of a hint, Hugh has a passion for working in television and film that has translated to a number of different positions in the industry over the years. Whether it’s been in North Carolina, Florida, or California, Hugh has worked as an associate producer, as an assistant director, as a scout manager, and more.
But when Wilmington’s local film industry dried up in the last few years, Hugh was forced to decide between uprooting his family’s life here to follow the industry elsewhere or to find another job. “I didn’t want to drag my family across the country again chasing the film industry. My daughter was getting older– she was in high school then–and we didn’t want to do that to her.” Hugh and his family stayed in Wilmington, but finding work outside of the film industry was a challenge. “When I’d talk to employers, a lot of people didn’t understand how my film skills translated to different jobs.” However, things started to turn around for Hugh after a friend recommended he give StepUp Wilmington a try.
“What StepUp helped me to do was look at my own resume and rework it to apply for jobs that might match my skills and that I might be interested in. Every different person is unique with their needs; StepUp was great at identifying that.” Hugh continued, “it’s funny: I’ve interviewed other people, and now I was on the other side of the coin after so many years. [StepUp] was almost like a refresher course; they re-taught me how to walk in and present myself.”
Even after the pandemic struck and StepUp Wilmington moved its services online, Hugh was still positive that he was making the right choice by participating. “[COVID] didn’t slow StepUp down at all. It always seemed to me that Bruce or Ashley would call at just the appropriate time. It just reaffirmed that it was the right decision to come with them.”
After graduating from StepUp, Hugh finally found a position that was a fit for him and his work history: in the transportation industry. “The transportation business is new to me, but what’s familiar is how it’s set up: working with vendors, coordinating people, and documenting tasks. Even though film and transport are different industries, in certain positions, there is a similar skill set. Everything’s going really great here!”
Hugh says that he would recommend StepUp to anyone looking for work. “You just need patience. Have the patience to go through what they suggest. Listen to all the people you’re introduced to. And just take it all to heart. It’s all correct, it’s all appropriate, it all works, and the big thing? StepUp communicates. And communication is the biggest part in anything.”
Whether you’re looking for work in a familiar trade or looking for the best way to translate your experience into a new field, contact us at StepUp Wilmington to learn how we can work together to find a strategy that works!