Q. Can I ask my boss for a raise two-weeks after I start my job?
Probably not a good idea unless you want to keep your job.  Not getting the information you need to make the right decision BEFORE you accept a job, including what the job pays, is not your boss’s fault.  Asking for a raise when you get there signals you really don’t want the job, think the job is not worth it, or that you are too good for the work.  If you don’t think the job is paying you what you deserve better to start looking for a new one otherwise you will likely not last long at the one you have.
Q. Is there any money in working as Production Assistant?
Production Assistant positions are great entry-level opportunities to gain experience in a field that will ultimately lead you to a job as a producer, writer, editor, etc.  The starting salaries for these positions vary and they can start as low as $10 per hour and up.  Usually what you want to do is look at the fast track possibilities and determine whether this job will lead to other areas and how quickly other PA’s have been promoted.  This will give you a good idea as to job progression and ability to move up.  Accepting entry-level jobs even at a low salary may help you in the long run.  Don’t think of the short-term think of the long term potential and make your decision based on that.
Q. I just took a job with a big entertainment firm.  I’m not sure the job was accurately represented to me because I have not had one of the tasks handed to me since my interview-it feels like a completely different job?  What is the best way to approach this with my boss because I can’t afford to lose the job since I quit my other one to take this, but it does not sound at all like the job I was told I would be hired to do?
The best thing to do before you jump ship or panic is to book a meeting with your boss AND the person that interviewed you and get an updated job description for the position.  If you have one from the interview, make a list of the duties you are doing now and have a meeting to discuss the differences just so that you can get “clarity” and direction on what you are suppose to be doing.  You don’t want to come off like you are complaining so make sure you keep the meeting proactive and upbeat and that you are interested in making sure you are doing the job you were hired to do and nothing else.  This will take any concern of anyone feeling you are complaining and make sure that you make the meeting a positive one.
Q. It’s been the worst year of my career ever!  Financially I’m broke, I am in debt up to my ears and I can’t seem to find a new higher paying job?  What are my chances given the job market?  Is it really picking up or should I plan to wait it out.
The past year has been difficult for 9 out of 10 people I speak with-not that it helps your situation any but truly you are not alone.  The bubble burst Q4 of 2008 and 2009 was a rough year for everyone.  2010 is getting off to a slow but steady start in the media & entertainment industry and there are definitely more jobs created and more listings for positions than ever before.  Knowing that this is not an overnight fix means you do need to be a little more patient in your job search than in other times when the economy was stronger.  Speaking to a financial advisor to get a better handle on your budget and planning for 9 to 12 months salary in this market is not a bad idea.  It’s better to over budget than to find your self struggling to make ends meet. The job market is picking up and I believe that September & October will be good months for more job creation and companies looking to fill remaining openings through the end of the year.  Keep interviewing and applying and no there is no need to wait it out.  You will need to have patience with the process but by all means the job market is looking up.
Q. I’ve been out of the entertainment industry for awhile and have been working in the non-profit sector. I want to get back into the industry because I’m just not making enough money.  What’s the best approach given my contacts are over 10 years old and not sure how I should approach them at this point?
Resurfacing after a long break in an industry you once worked in can have its advantages.  Given your current work in non-profit and the new contacts you’ve undoubtedly made over the past 10 years gives you an edge and advantage in helping leverage your expanded skills and experience. Making the most of your contacts now and from the past will help you get back in front of the people who can help you find a new job back into the entertainment industry.  People move from place to place and their contacts increase.  You can take advantage of that given your absence by setting up meetings and getting referrals to people in positions who are able to offer you employment or even a consulting assignment.  Don’t be shy and ask for introductions to people and companies you would like to get a meeting.  People are willing to help and this is the time to ask for that help particularly if making a transition back requires you to meet new people and make new contacts.  There is no better way to achieve that than by leveraging the ones you have now.