Job satisfaction and success don’t always go hand in hand, but wouldn’t it great if they did? As a voice over actor who’s been in the industry for 22+ years, I can tell you that I’ve seen both sides of it. I’ve known people who are very happy with their job, even though they’re not making the money they would like. Conversely, I’ve seen actors who are raking in the cash, but their job satisfaction remains low. So how do you get the best of both worlds? Well, unfortunately, I can’t answer that question for you because everyone is different! But I can tell you what’s worked for me, and what I think are some of the best things you can do for yourself to find happiness AND success in the VO industry.
1. Make positive connections. Success in this field is largely tied to who you know - so get to know as many people as you can! Making friends and developing positive connections with colleagues, clients, producers, and anyone else who plays a role in VO should be a top priority for any actor. You may be wondering, “How do I do that? Just go up to people and start talking?” Well, yeah! Go to places where you know like-minded VO people will be, such as conferences and networking events or classes, and start talking to them to build your list of contacts.
2. Never stop learning. View yourself as a lifelong student, always thirsty for more knowledge. Even after so many years in this business, I’m still learning every single day. Not only does this help me grow as a professional, I’ve found that being a lifelong learner makes positive impacts in every other part of my life, which in turns helps me with everything VO-related. Take some classes, attend theater productions, and listen to people (and I mean really listen) - you may be surprised at what you pick up.
3. Be yourself - no matter what. Your personality plays a HUGE role in your quest for success in voice over. How you interact with others, your work ethic, and even how you view yourself are all key factors in both your success and job satisfaction. If you’re trying to be someone you’re not, others will notice and will more than likely be turned off by it. People like sincerity. So, don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be yourself - end of story, full stop.