I was recently asked where one finds jobs. That’s a bigger question than it may at first appear. The most obvious answer are the job sites where vacant positions are posted – differentiated between employees and freelancers, but always a fairly clearcut service relationship. Here are some I can recommend:
But while a solid list, it’s is an unsatisfying answer. All of these jobs will be limited to very clearcut roles, largely at an entry level and often form a sort of minefield. You have to watch where you step and keep in mind what the possible motivations of the hiring companies are. Many startups will be among the offerings… to be enjoyed with caution. They can boost your career, shred your nerves, or both. Publicly financed institutions are required to advertise their positions search, so they might be authentically searching for qualified personnel. They may also be going through the ropes in order to hire their already determined candidate.
The human element is paramount and your network of colleagues and acquaintances is of course the greatest asset to finding a job. It comes right after a polished skillset. So its logical that fairs and industry events are great opportunities to build your own network. Online networks are… not there yet. I wouldn’t rely on them. They do seem to be a good compliment to the wetware networks of the real world, though – and are becoming more and more usable.
All of these are passive, however. Not that the applicants aren’t working their butts off to get a job, but rather the applicant is fitting him or herself into a job description as presented by the market. If you design your job search exclusively in this way, you may find yourself suddenly lacking access to the markets. The cg industry is young and things shift occasionally and dramatically; new techniques, new technologies, new production markets.
The most promising way of looking for work is by creating it. Call it proactive of you like, I call it “pursuing the passion of why you are working in the first place”. And passion has a great nose. It won’t necessarily steer you away from pitfalls, but it’ll lead you to job opportunities that balance out the stress of deadlines and man-handling technology with fulfillment and – hopefully – residuals. And residuals – the payment of percentages for rights held on a project over time - are the payback for creative participation. That’s what will accompany you to a non-panicked retirement. More later.