Student Services Blog
& Featured Stories

Making Yourself Valuable

When you’re first starting off in any industry you’re constantly looking for ways to make yourself valuable. To prove that not only do you deserve to be there but also that you’re bringing something unique and of value to the team that no one else could. When you’re first getting your foot in the door, be on the lookout for opportunities to lend your talents, not for the purpose of getting your ego fed but to make you someone hard to replace.

Don’t discount skills that aren’t exactly what you’re focused on growing as a means to help get you where you want to go. For instance, if you want to be an actor but you’re good at photography, volunteer to be a set photographer so that you can meet the people on set. If you play guitar and are curious about audio engineering and someone asks you to help record, maybe play a riff or two, go for it. Show up and do what’s asked of you. You never know where it could lead.

In all of these situations, even the super casual ones, make it apparent that you’re a go-getter and a hard worker. This is of paramount importance. Alexa Cooper, a Recording Connection apprentice and aspiring singer and audio engineer, had this advice to give, “I took it upon myself to make myself stand out.” Just days into the program, Alexa impressed the studio owners where she was apprenticing with her social media savvy. That and the fact that she’s a solid photographer has led to further opportunities doing media for a local musician co-op and getting paid work. Now, she’s entrenched in the scene as a performer, audio engineer, and is known as someone who can get the job done. Everyone knows Alexa.

Former Recording Connection apprentice Chris Locke also took a similar approach that paid off bigtime. “I got involved with photography and video after I started engineering, and I started going to shows,” says Chris. “And every single show, I would stay there the whole time and take everybody’s picture. And when they would come and talk to me, I would pretty much tell them, ‘Hey, this is what I actually do,’ and I would show them my studio and get them more involved with that. So the camera became like a business card to me.”

Showing up and creating value for the people you want to connect with is an approach that can get you going fast. Making yourself valuable can mean leaning on sub-skills but isn’t that better than letting those skills go to waste? It’s far better to use these skills to further your primary ambition and make you valuable to the very people you want to like you and depend upon you.

Finding opportunities for yourself is great. Making opportunities for yourself is even better.

Sometimes you have to create the doors so you can walk through them. You have to be indispensable, likeable, and you have to work harder and longer than anyone else.

Got what it takes to make those opportunities happen?

Learn more at