career advice

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"I'm not setting you up to fail."

There's something simultaneously thrilling and horrifying about feeling that you're in way over your head. Jeremy Chernick, a special effects designer and creator who works primarily in live performance for J&M Special Effects, told me that newer employees often believe that he or a client, director or designer is making (seemingly) unreasonable demands. But, he says, after years in the business, he knows what they don't: "The project will be done. Everyone will work together. I personally will take responsibility for the work and protect them so long as they keep up the good work to protect us all." If you're all killing yourselves on a project together, unless your boss is exceptionally (and counterproductively) mean-spirited, he is invested in not having it (or you) fail.

Next: 6 reasons you're making less than you should