Tips and Tricks - You Got Your First Job, Now What?
With such a surge in job opportunities out in the marketplace, there are alot of talented creatives getting their very first jobs.
But now what?
First of all, CONGRATS. Getting your foot in the door, no matter where or what the job is, is HUGE! Take a minute and be proud of yourself.
While school prepares you to make a portfolio and apply for work, school (or self learning) is very different than what you will find as a new employee.
Here are a few tips for preparing yourself to be a great new employee and put yourself on the right foot.
1. Be Available
You want to seem eager and excited to be there. As a new artist, it's important for your lead or supervisor to know that you are ready and willing to do the job. How you show this is by being at your desk and ready for work. Crazy concept, but I cant tell you have many times I've had to look and search for artists, afk from their chat for over an hour at a time.
Now, yes, take breaks, get up and interact with your coworkers. Have a life! BUT, the primary goal of work is to get work done. Letting your team know you want to be creative and support them will go along way.
2. Be Humble
With your first job, realize you will not be the best person in the room (nor should you be). Come into this opportunity with the mindset of being open and willing to learn and adapt.
On my first job, I learned more in the first 3 months than I did in my entire last year of school. I struggled with imposter syndrome (I'll do another seperate post about that) and took critique personallly. I had to approach all the feedback with a new mindset that my coworkers wanted me to succeed and were trying to show me how.
Even if you were the most skilled in your class or college, the working world is a whole new environment. Dont be too hard on yourself if you work slower, need more revisions, or sometimes if work is taken from you. Make sure to ask questions instead of struggling on your own for an entire day.
A career is a journey and as long as you learn from mistakes and failure, you will thrive.
3. Be Open
This is a 2 parter. First, be willing to speak up. Even as a new team member, if you see something that seems off or inefficient, ask about it and suggest your own ideas.
Alot of times, artists in a studio can work a certain way show after show, and it just takes a pair of fresh eyes to point something out and have people realize that a strategy should be changed. BUT, if you point out or suggest something and it is not adapted, thats ok too. Know that you attempted and maybe there are other reasons you aren't aware of for that inefficient pipeline (maybe its important for another team or department for things to function that way).
The other note of this is be willing to help out on things that may not be directly what you signed up for.
Does your studio do fun events or tournaments that promote team bonding. Sign up. Even if you suck at Mario Cart, you will meet people and bond. What if your department is really slow for a week but another team is swamped? Offer and be willing to see if there's anything you can do or if you can cross train. Not only will this make you a great coworker, it will make you more desirable since you have more skills.
4. Be Kind
Approach every day and every situation with kindness and empathy. This applies to yourself and others. Times will be frustrating. There will always be some stress, or conflict, or miscommunication. Remind yourself not to take it personally, brush it off, and let yourself be the most awesome person you can be. If you approach your career this way, and treat others with this mentality, no matter what, you will be someone I want to work with and probably anyone else.
These are just a few tips that are easy to remember and simple, yet super important.
Do you agree or disagree with these? Does anyone have other tips that have served them well?
Thanks for reading!