“Obtaining a job in any career field requires a set of skills that remain pretty standard no matter which company is interviewing. The A/V industry requires all of the same skills, whether tangible or intangible, depending on which department is being discussed.” Says Katie Pahira of CSAV Systems in New Jersey. For instance, a sales person requires a great deal of “people skills”. Negotiating price, suggesting alternate plans, and creating long term relationships with clients can be tricky, sometimes tense, however learning how to talk with people, understanding the concept of empathy, and always being conscious of voice tone can build a strong intangible skill that will be attractive in any sales position.
Many companies now-a-days are concentrating more on their marketing efforts and the A/V industry, again, is no different. A marketer must be a good communicator and empathetic negotiator, but also must be creative and have the ability to adapt in changing circumstances. Whether a marketing agent is working on a company website, social media platforms, or other campaigns, the ability to make their company stand out above all the others is the goal. Imaginative marketing and advertising will achieve this goal and allow for the ability to adapt to new trends. These are the best skills for a marketer to employ.
The A/V industry does, however, have a unique department that requires a whole different set of skills. Of course, this is the technology department. Audio/Video technicians must have not only the intangible skills that the sales and marketing team possess; they must retain elusive skills of their own as well as physical skills in the field.
As a technician, the most obvious skill to be acquired is knowledge of the equipment. This skill, although apparent, requires constant self-educating as technology changes almost on a daily basis. Being aware of the newest technologies not only assures the client they are getting the latest model of a piece of equipment, but perhaps the most cost effective one. For instance, a new LCD screen TV could cost double the price of the previous model, while the technology isn’t that much better. Knowing this saves the client money while gaining their trust in having their best interest in mind, therefore making knowledge of the product a skill of value for a technician.
Since half of an A/V technician’s job is the A – audio, having acoustical expertise, or developing an “ear” for any given project area is attractive to the client, and in turn, attractive to a potential employer. Every environment has a different way of absorbing or bouncing sound. Being able to recognize these differences, and having the knowledge to work with them, allows a technician to better outfit the room or area with the proper equipment for the best A/V system.
In the Audio Video Industry, it is not only important to retain these skills, but to know when and how to use them. Whether looking for employment, or simply looking to excel in the field of technology, refining these skills is vital to be an attractive candidate, and provide the confidence needed to be a five-tool player in any job, no matter in what field or industry that job may be. Intangible skills take time to refine, and a lot of the learning, whether hands on or impalpable, takes place in the workforce. But as professionals, we should always strive to keep active, keep learning, and keep acquiring any skills we can.