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How to know when you are ready to apply?

Toby3D
polycounter lvl 6
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Toby3D polycounter lvl 6
Hi everyone, I hope you are doing good! 

I'm currently working on my portfolio in order to start applying for work in the industry, and I've decided to give myself a deadline for when I'm going to start sending out applications. 

But something that I've been thinking about recently is, when or how do you know that you are ready to start apply for work? 
Your portfolio is never really done, right? You can't really say " Well, that's it, I am now 100% proficient in x/y/z " since there is always something new to learn. 

Am I simply overthinking the whole process? 

Keep safe out there! 

Replies

  • Popol
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    Popol interpolator
    Search on Artstation for junior 3D artist that got hired at mid sized / AAA studios. Once the quality of your portfolio matches theirs, you are ready. As simple as that!
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter
    I agree with the comment above, also take a look at this thread: https://polycount.com/discussion/187512/recently-hired-in-aaa-show-us-your-portfolio/p1

    You can also post your portfolio here on polycount once you have finished it.

  • Benjammin
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    Benjammin polycounter lvl 5
    Don't overthink it. The worst that can happen is you get rejected, but getting rejected isn't some kind of black mark on your reputation - you can reapply in the future when you've improved your skills and portfolio. 
  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky
    That. 

    Just apply. You'll get rejected a bit, it's inevitable cos there are hundreds of other people applying for the same job. 
    Ask for feedback, you'll get it from a few places and you'll have something to work from

  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    Same here.  I just applied.

    The feedback, in this case, will be if anyone replies back. And if they do, what kind of art are they capable of doing already.
  • scottycharly
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    scottycharly polycounter lvl 8
    Do you have an Artstation? Can you share it?
  • Toby3D
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    Toby3D polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks for the replies, I feel I'm just over-complicating stuff as usual. 
    scottycharly said:
    Do you have an Artstation? Can you share it?
    It's in my signature, but it's nowhere near in a finished state. Working on publishing 2 environments before winter 2021, when my deadline is due. 
  • Ripples
    It’s right that there wouldn’t be a black mark against your name if you are rejected, but I do sometimes get frustrated at sifting through numerous applicants who have put the bare minimum of effort into their application. Bad websites, lack of work, no cover letter, no understanding of the work we do and the skills required to do it. So I’d recommend doing a bit of research first on who you are applying to, making sure your work is presented well, having a concise cover letter. 
    I’ve had the same artist apply a couple of times with the same lazy effort. If they aren’t going to respect my time, then it’s already a bad sign. Compare that to someone who’s put some effort in but not had the level, then returned later with better work; I’m just naturally more inclined to look upon that person favourably. 
  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 5
    @Toby3D Your AS link doesn't work anymore btw
  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky
    Ripples said:
    Stuff I agree with...

    There's a lot of truth to what ripples says.
    I'm never particularly impressed when somebody's applied for every role the studio has open either - working with someone who doesn't really want to do the job is a miserable experience and most of the time you end up having to get rid of them anyway. 
  • goekbenjamin
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    goekbenjamin polycounter lvl 4
    A game-industry-job is no "usual" job,
    I guess the salary differs a lot between company and country...

    So I wonder when in the "apply"-phase do you know what your salary will be? The salary is never inside the job description.
    I know that a junior will not earn that much like an senior will earn, but that does also not help at all.
    A big part of my fear is I am afraid that I will go through all the hassle of applying just to learn that the salary is so low I cannot accept the job.

    What is your advice on that? 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    Until you have needed skills and can't be easily replaced people are going to waste your time and disrespect you. It's war and none of these employers are on your side. Don't let anybody fool you. Until the global culture of greed and selfishness becomes something else that's just the dumb reality we live in.

    I say demand time for time and if they won't match what you put in, the place isn't worth working at. Doesn't matter if it's Disney, Naughty Dog, whoever. A dream job is one you work at for forty years with the same great people and retire from. I don't think most these entertainment studios are anything close to that.

    I hate to hear people say things like, "I'm so thankful I have the privilege of working here." What nonsense. It's an equal privilege to have you on the team, isn't it? If you have this simpering attitude you're going to attract predators. You won't get far that way.

    Remember the artist job is to imagine how things could be. Not grimly accept reality like a peasant.

  • Ripples
    What do you mean by ‘demand time for time’? Genuine question, I just haven’t heard of that before.

    @goekbenjamin Glassdoor is good for getting a general idea of salaries, especially for bigger companies. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    Example:

    "A big part of my fear is I am afraid that I will go through all the hassle of applying just to learn that the salary is so low I cannot accept the job."

    Shouldn't be fear of wasted time. That's one sided, favoring employer.
    If people stop accepting one sided employment practice it will go away. Got to train others how to treat you.

  • Ripples
    I think unfortunately it’s a risk of any application. I once went to a recruitment evening, followed by application and job interview, only to be offered a salary that didn’t cover my living costs especially in the location. I had to turn it down. 

    Most times applying for a job isn’t that time consuming, and if you don’t have the skills you’ll likely hear nothing from it and you’ll have lost maybe an hour or two. If you do go through interview etc then it may take up more time, but I’m still unsure what you mean by ‘time for time’. Do you mean the company should pay you for time spent on the application? If we had to do that each time we’d likely just interview less people. 

    For my own part, we tend to ask artists in the job application form what their salary/rate expectation is. This helps us filter out the people we either can’t afford or feel like they will ask for too much relative to their experience. Alongside that we ask for ArtStation/website link and CV. A cover letter can help too. If I like someone’s work then the interview is usually a half hour call to check the artist has some technical knowledge or to ask any other questions, and just to meet the person and see what they are like. So the time burden there isn’t huge fir the individual. Entirely different matter when talking about art tests etc, in which case as an applicant I’d feel justified in asking about potential pay ranges before accepting to do an art test. I generally am not a fan of them and only resort to asking applicants to do them in very particular cases; I’ve only requested one in my time so far. 

    We simply don’t have the hours in the day to give people a lot of time, or reply to unsuccessful candidates. It takes up a large chunk of my day reviewing candidates and looking through portfolios, and then there’s more time spent by the talent team. There have been times when we’ve had to stop our interest in someone due to not being able to agree on salary; that’s lost time for me as well, so we try not to get into that situation. If people start the process making unreasonable demands about the application process itself, rather than just being firm on what they want from an employment, or haven’t put any effort into their application, then it’s a bit of a red flag for me. 

    Apologies for long post. 
  • Neox
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    Neox high dynamic range
    Do you have an Artstation? Can you share it?
    It's in my signature, but it's nowhere near in a finished state. Working on publishing 2 environments before winter 2021, when my deadline is due. 

    i would argue for using this link vs the "website" thing. it just contains for info in case a recruiter wants to know a little more
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    Ripples said:
     but I’m still unsure what you mean by ‘time for time’. Do you mean the company should pay you for time spent on the application? If we had to do that each time we’d likely just interview less people. 

    It's not on companies to be any nicer than they have to be. But if you want the best employees there are things you can do to attract them: Be straightforward about compensation in job post. Shouldn't be any important questions left unanswered. Busy people don't got time to play fuck-fuck games. Get straight to the important parts so nobody has to waste their time. Employer has a problem that needs solved. What are the skills you need, and what you gonna offer in return. It's that simple.

    If employer is suggesting right off the bat that they value their time more than mine - why I want to collaborate with that?
    Employer who doesn't play all the petty leverage games is somebody the professionals will flock to.

    Art test should be paid. It is criminal that they aren't. But this is not for employers to change - it's a shame that there is a common problem plaguing a small community and there is no common solution.
    I realize there is people applying for jobs in 3d from all over the world and from all walks of life but come on, we got the internet. A bunch of gullible rednecks can storm the capital building, certainly a bunch of geeks who got more than two brain cells can demand fair compensation for a common problem.





  • Ripples
    Well, I think I made it clear that I don’t engage in ‘fuck fuck games’ but I’m sure there are plenty of places that do. Can’t disagree with the concept of art tests being paid either, that’s why I don’t like asking people to do them and rarely do. 

    The issue there though is the amount of people desperate to get into the industry. For example, we don’t offer unpaid internships but we get a steady stream of people offering to do them. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    Ripples said:
    For example, we don’t offer unpaid internships but we get a steady stream of people offering to do them. 
    Yeah that is why I am always going on about this. People, especially derpy college age kids, don't have any notion of dignity. They are like young chimps, eager to win approval from the violent alpha male. 2021 and all these people think they are woke but they still playing the same stupid chimp games. And how easy would it be to organize so that all people can have fair compensation.

  • birb
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    birb interpolator
    Alex_J said:
    Ripples said:
    For example, we don’t offer unpaid internships but we get a steady stream of people offering to do them. 
    Yeah that is why I am always going on about this. People, especially derpy college age kids, don't have any notion of dignity. They are like young chimps, eager to win approval from the violent alpha male. 2021 and all these people think they are woke but they still playing the same stupid chimp games. And how easy would it be to organize so that all people can have fair compensation.

    I don't think most people making such offers are chasing anyone's approval—if anything it's a calculated move born out of desperation. When most job listings include "X shipped games and Y+ years of industry experience" being right out of school, possibly in debt and acutely aware their skill is still lacking, how can they even hope to compete against seasoned artists to start to gather those sweet experience points?

    There's this popular notion that either the best candidate or the cheapest gets the job. People seeking unpaid internships know they can afford to be the cheapest at the time they're applying but won't in the future; that not only they'll have worthy CV padding but they'll also get to learn on the job, besides the hope of the internship leading to a paid position.

    It sucks to compete against this? Certainly! Does it have an negative impact on the others working in this industry? Yep. But it's simplistic and unfair to ascribe the maneuver to lack of brains and a primal urge of looking cool. In a saturated market those kids are trying hard to leverage the single advantage they have when competing with their older peers. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky
    whatever the individual motivation is, the result is the same.

    Common problem requires a common solution. Helping the children will help the adults, and vice versa. Problem is people competing and not cooperating. If it's war then everybody loses.
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