You may remember a post by Daniel Schier (a.k.a. Waveybrain) from earlier this year where he talks about how to get started on your career in animation. It’s a very good post and well worth your time reading if you have not done so already.
However, the one part that stuck out for me was the following:
One thing you may learn as I have, is that predicting where you’ll be is futile. You’re better off living in the moment while aiming for your goals. But, having goals and taking the right steps to attain them has been pretty key for me.
This is the 100% absolute truth. You can try to map out a career (think Carton Banks’ master plan of his life) but in the end, circumstances are constantly changing, and you may end up spending more time trying to plan around them that you neglect where you’re currently at.
Daniel’s right in that you can’t predict where you’ll be either. I certainly couldn’t. Five years ago if you’d tolf me I would be where I’m at today doing what I’m doing I would have probably laughed at you (in a good way). But that’s the truth. Life has a habit of throwing challenges at us that can pull us in different but ultimately satisfying ways. Don’t be afraid to take those challenges on you will probably surprise yourself with what you achieve.
Having a goal is an absolute if you want to have a career. Saying you’d like to work in animation is one thing, but what if you said you wanted to become a feature film director. Well now you have the necessary direction to know that you first need to get either the education or experience together and then to hone your craft while playing the political ball game. In time, you’ll be well placed to helm a feature.
Without a plan or goals like these, you might well flounder in a lower position, and animation becomes a ‘job’ rather than a ‘career’.