*a snapshot of a panel called "Job or No Job" from the 2008 Platform Animation Festival in Portland, Oregon. Left to right: Heather Kenyon (moderator), and panelists Fred Seibert, Jason McHugh, me, Debra Blanchard, and Frank Gladstone.
A very nice (and talented) former student recently ran into trouble finding work after his long-term job ended. Hearing his story brought back memories of my first animation layoff some 15 years ago. Lay offs are like rights of passage in this industry. Before they come along we work under the illusion of stability and consistency. My first lay off forever changed me, making me realize I was responsible for my own experience in this industry.
To try and help my former student, I first rounded up 10 links to past Animondays entries dealing with the subjects of finding work, keeping a job, and building a healthy and rewarding career in this industry. This is hard-won information, based on my experiences (mistakes and all) along with observations on others. Since it could be of use to others as well, I'm using this blog post to present those links.
Even with ten essays, this is far from the whole story, so feel free to add your own additional links in the comments. It might be fun to follow this next week with a round up of similar links from Richard O' Connor and Mark Mayerson, who have also written extensively on the subject from their own areas of expertise.
On the role and importance of relationships to your career.
On the difference between a job-to-job existence vrs. having a career plan.
On the difficulty of breaking in to the business.
On techniques you can use to give yourself an edge in the market place.
On avoiding bad mentors and bad advice in the workplace.
On what's missing from unsuccessful job hunts.
On surviving downtime.
On the role of staying connected and staying in touch to ensure continued employment.
On the importance of being able to juggle all the aspects that make up a successful long-term career in animation.
On how your non-animation related work can teach you lessons that are also applicable to this industry.