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Career Coach: Spring into Action

The Career Coach gives six tips to help you spring into action and strut your stuff.

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kills update. Sign up for classes, seminars, a conference or attend a user group meeting. Find Internet discussion groups where you can post your work for feedback. Anyone working in the visual effects, computer graphics and animation industry knows that learning is an ongoing process. You cant grow in your career unless you learn, so do your homework!

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urge. Remove old or outdated material from your portfolio or demo reel. Update your breakdown sheet that details what you did on each shot. Check to be sure that your name and contact information, including your e-mail address, is on every piece that you would send to a possible employer. Freshen up your résumé and have a friend proofread it. Highlight your accomplishments and list your skills. Be specific. Dont say you know a variety of software. List the software you use whether its Maya, LightWave, Photoshop or flame.

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econnect. Renew your acquaintances and old friendships and update your address book. If you havent talked in a while, e-mail or send a note.

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nnovate. Dont be afraid to try something new. A class in acting, dance or sculpture might give you a fresh perspective. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright dropped out of engineering school after one year and was down to his last 20 cents when family connections helped get him a job as a tracer with an architectural firm in Illinois. Be open to suggestions and new paths to success may be just the corner.

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etwork. Dont be shy about asking for help, but share information in return. Others might appreciate a tip about a great Website or a job opportunity or perhaps the name of a great chiropractor, masseuse or babysitter. Your colleagues and friends will do the same for you. Introduce yourself to new people at work, in a class, or in your neighborhood.

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et organized. Finding work takes effort, energy and organization. Keep track of your submissions and results. List where you have submitted, when, who the contact was and what the status of your submission is. When you follow up, make notes about your conversations or e-mail correspondence.

Spring is a time for growth. Do something to grow your career every day.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter/hiring strategist and career coach. Her most recent recruiting clients include Paramounts feature film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Toybox, a Canadian visual effects company. She speaks regularly at schools and industry meetings and is looking forward to her presentation on résumés and demo reels at this years SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles.

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