Thursday, 25 March 2021

Why Animators Should Apply for Jobs Twice

In the short video below, I explain why student animators should apply for animation jobs more than once. 

Rejection is normal; not getting a job is always frustrating, but you should never be downhearted.  Instead, wait a while, update your demo reel, and then re-apply.  

Back in the '90s at Disney Animation it was said that no-one got into Disney the first time around - you had to apply two or three times for the company to believe that you really, really wanted the job. Being rejected is never a reason to give up; keep applying until you land that crucial first job in the industry. 


Be The Rhino
Durer's Rhino

Rhinoceros have thick hides, and animators need thick hides too, because applying for work in the creative industries can be frustrating at first.

Even though the animation industry is 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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