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The Career Coach: Hanging Tough When Looking for Work

"You'll never make it in this business, so you might as well get aregular job at a bank or something." If you are still reading, that'sgood because you are going to hear that a lot, whether you're new in thebusiness or a veteran. From anyone, anywhere, anytime. If you havepersistence and drive you will make it in this business...

"You'll never make it in this business, so you might as well get a regular job at a bank or something." If you are still reading, that's good because you are going to hear that a lot, whether you're new in the business or a veteran. From anyone, anywhere, anytime. If you have persistence and drive you will make it in this business.

Do not give up your dream. One person I recently spoke with wasn't sure she should pursue animation because ONE PERSON told her that she couldn't get a job at the studio she applied to. It takes a lot of work to work in the entertainment industry. Don't take one "no" for an answer. There are plenty of doors to knock on.

Where would we be if Glen Keane listened to an animator at Filmmation who told him he couldn't draw and to consider another career? We'd certainly have a different view of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and scores of others.

And where would we be if a certain actor listened to a casting director who had years of experience tell him he should give up acting and do something else because he would never make it? He didn't have the looks, he wasn't tall enough, etc. We would be without Rainman and Ratso Rizzo. And Dustin Hoffman would be without his Oscar.

If you can't think of doing anything else, keep at it! No matter what someone else tells you. But if you are interested in animation or another entertainment job merely because of the money or fame you might get, consider another career. This industry is not an easy one to break into and once you are working, it may not be what you imagined. But that is the topic for another article!

Stan Lee spoke at a Comic and Animation Fest at the Central Library in Los Angeles and told about the invention of Spiderman. He had to come up with a new character or he would lose his job. He was sitting at his desk when a bug crossed the room. He started brainstorming--Bug Man, Cockroach Man, Mosquito Man, Spiderman! Spiderman--he has some powers, let's make him a teenaged hero with problems. He pitched the idea to his boss who looked down on him from his desk. His boss had a lot of problems with his idea: 1) no one likes spiders 2) there are no teenaged superheroes 3) he's a hero, heroes don't have problems. Stan's advice is that the experts are not always right and don't listen to them. If you have a fabulous idea or a great dream pursue it no matter what. You will either end up successful, or greatly frustrated.

If you still have that dream, that ambition and that drive, and you can still remember why you chose to pursue this career in the first place, keep at it. If you can't remember, take some time at the end of 1999 to think back and find the passion and excitement you had when you first started. If you have a hard time doing this, make a goal now to spend some time mentoring a young person who wants to break in. That will help you rekindle the passion you once had and appreciate what you've attained.

Don't give up what you really love. It's never too late to pursue your dreams until your life is done. Go for it!

Resources: Success is Never Ending-- Failure is Never Final by Robert H Schuller, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

If you have a question you want answered by the Career Coach on AWN, let us know.

Pamela Thompson is a career coach and recruiter who has worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Fox Feature Animation, Dream Quest Images, Digital Domain, Simex Digital Studios and Lucas Learning. She is currently recruiting for Big Idea Productions.

To find out about Women in Animation call 818-759-9596 or write:

PO Box 17706 Encino, CA 91416. www.women.in.animation/org/la

Chapters are in New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

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