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Being Indispensable in 2020

January promises fresh new beginnings. It seems to really light a fire with up-and-coming professionals seeking guidance and advice to catapult their career. 


As both a business owner and teacher, I’ve had some interesting conversations lately and wanted to share my thoughts with others in case it sparks new ideas or goals with individuals looking to make themselves indispensable in their current or new position.


IDENTIFY POINTS OF GROWTH


Today’s industry is looking for post-production artists who are not just motion designers, editors, animators or colorists. What is really needed are multiple skill sets to first be marketable and eventually become someone whom the team can look to for answers to any given problem. 


To do this, an artist must take inventory of what they already know and then research what peripheral knowledge can expand what they bring to the table. This often consists of having a working knowledge of everyone else’s job in the pipeline, from start to finish. Informational interviews are a great way to gather that information as well as following trade publications and newsmakers. 


The best way to learn is to actually do the work. You can quickly accomplish new goals by taking on more responsibility or completing personal projects after hours.


STAY IN FOCUS


While it’s tempting to be a human swiss army knife, it’s still a good idea to lead with your strongest skill. In the current state of the industry, it’s easy to get side-tracked with the trend du jour and the panic around it to get up to speed quickly. 


That’s not to say it’s off-limits to do something completely new, but in order to reach a final goal as a company or individual, it’s important to make sure that the finish line is always in sight. Staying focused is essential to both a successful company and a well rounded professional.  


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING


The pendulum always swings one way too far before it starts to swing back. Technology was getting cheaper in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to allow small companies to start doing higher-end work and bring costs down for the customer.  

Today, technology has become so cheap and innovations are happening at breakneck speed, it’s hard to sell the older tech on eBay because shipping it is hardly worth the return. These new price points have allowed anyone to enter the industry and undercut the quality content makers for the sake of quantity. 


COMMIT TO THE CRAFT


An artist must follow their interests or risk being miserable in the industry. Through mentorships and never turning down an opportunity to do a lot of free work, it’s possible to learn these essential new skills. Continue seeking out inspiring teachers, new experiences and ways to try out new skills. It’s an ever-evolving creative process and results can and will lead to new and unexpected opportunities.


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