Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Why Rejection is Information

In this short video, I explain why animators should not be discouraged by rejection. Not getting a job is always frustrating, but you should never be downhearted. Instead, consider why you didn't get the job, and ask what you can do better next time. Better yet, ask the company why you didn't get it; they are very likely to tell you (few bother to ask), and the information they give you can be very valuable. For example, they might be looking for expertise in a certain kind of software, in which case - download the trial version and start learning. Or, perhaps, they just weren't hiring after all - in which case you can re-apply. Whatever the reason, being rejected is never a reason to give up. The information you gain will help you to keep persisting until you land that crucial first job in the industry. 

Be The Rhino
Durer's Rhino
Animators should learn to be like a rhinoceros, because rhinos have thick hides, and animators need thick hides too, because applying for work in the creative industries is not for the faint-hearted.

Even though the animation industry is still booming (despite Covid-19), and there are many opportunities, searching for work can be a dispiriting process.

Once upon a time you'd get a rejection letter; nowadays the most common outcome is silence - just being (and feeling) ignored.

But it remains true that the single most common reason why animation graduates don't get jobs is a very simple one:
They don't apply for them.

Apply early, apply often
Applying for jobs is a numbers game. You need to apply for lots of jobs and keep applying for them, even if you get rejected.  Don't take it personally, and remember you can always ask the company for feedback - why didn't you get the job? Most likely it's because your demo reel wasn't quite what they are looking for. So, ask them what they are looking for, and then start working on that to update your reel.

Why don't students apply?
Mostly, students don't apply because they don't think they are good enough. But this is a terrible reason for not applying; it is a self-reinforcing certainty that you won't get a job if you don't apply for it. When studios are hiring in quantity - which happens quite often - they tend to be a lot less picky. The best way to break in to the industry is when a big project is crewing up.

Rejection is normal
If you get rejected, you shouldn't feel bad. Persistence pays off in the end, especially if you keep working on your reel and build up a solid body of skilled work.  Sooner or later, an employer will give you your first break.

Ask for information
Don't forget you can always ask why you didn't get the job. Do this in a positive way: "how can I improve my application so as to do better next time?" will likely go down well with most employers, who are usually happy to give feedback if it is requested.

Apply a second time, and then a third
Being rejected doesn't mean you can't apply a second time to the same company. It used to be said at Disney that all applications were rejected the first time around - just to see if the applicant really, really, wanted the job. Apply a second time. Apply a third time. Make a nuisance of yourself.

If you aren't applying for dozens - even hundreds - of jobs, multiple times, you're not doing it right.

Jobs Resources at Animation Apprentice
We have many resources available at Animation Apprentice aimed at helping our students find work in the animation industry. To get started, see the blog posts below:

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