Specializing and Sticking To It in a Job Search: John Anthony Hartman’s Story

Even people with really cool jobs and specialized skillsets can struggle in the job market. For John Hartman, the struggle came from employers who hesitated to hire him because they were afraid he’d get bored and leave quickly for a new opportunity. John stayed true to his passion for transmedia design and production, and used his network to land a job that challenges and excites him. Here’s John’s story.  

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

From feature films to interactive virtual worlds, I’ve crafted media experiences both commercially for some of the biggest brands on the planet, as well as for entertainment properties.

As a cross-platform or transmedia producer, I develop workflows and resolve technical issues while maintaining the project’s creative vision. As the Director of Research and Development for Elevate Pictures, I look to the future to understand the coming media landscape and develop solutions to address the problems of tomorrow.

I am currently building out the Story Atlas – a storytelling platform and methodology that pulls consumers into the intersection of brand and entertainment, integrated with industry tools of the trade to improve workflow. The Story Atlas integrates transmedia and production planning with creative assets to maintain the canon of the narrative. It runs on cloud services and uses A.I. to optimize media and maintain narrative control and is a solution that allows your story to flow while holding true to canon.

How long did it take you to find this job?

Ten months.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

My personal network led to this job. I started out consulting and then was asked to take this position. I used quite a few resources online in my job hunt but none were as powerful as my relationships. I did have success using Linkedin and was offered another position before this one but it would have required me to move so I turned it down.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

My struggle came from over-qualification and specialized media experience. More than once I was told that “they did not know what to do with me” or they were “afraid I would ‘get bored and find another job.’” I overcame this by embracing my experience and looking beyond the Northwest. I reframed the conversation to be about the BIG picture in media and got concise with my focus.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Do what you love! Follow your passion even if you have to learn more about it while you work your current role. Find the path to that passion and be specific about how you can achieve your dream.

Why do you love your job?

I love being able to create stories that reach and connect with audiences, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.