Aaaaah, looking back to the island where I spend 2.5 years of my life is kind of weird, but also super exciting! Can't wait to see what the future had in store!
As mentioned last week, this week is going to be about recapping on past experiences what went wrong and what I could have done better, I feel this is as good a time to get to this, because I am typing this out of my old bedroom where it all started not that long ago!
Here we go, let's recap on the stuff that I could have done better!
- Being more vocal
This was a thing I spend a lot of time thinking of when reading Extreme Ownership which talks about everything is your fault and you needing to take action instead of waiting around or blaming others for things that happened, you got to realise that a lot of the things that happen on a day to day basis you can change, or push in a different direction.
This directly filtered into me being more vocal about stuff, talking to people about these issues was never my strong suit and still isn't really, but I know that I have become a bit better in being more open and direct with awkward conversations. Which both Joe Rogan and Jocko Willink's podcast are big inspiration when it comes to this specific topic.
Joe Rogan Podcast
Jocko Willink Podcast
- Apply to companies at the right time
Another thing to keep in mind is something that I didn't really pay to much attention to but is still good to keep in mind and that because I was applying to companies throughout the 2 years I was working at Frontier (more towards the end, and particular the last 6 - 10 months) which made it so that when I was more seriously looking for a job when I handed in my notice at Frontier is that most of the companies weren't interested with reviewing my portfolio again, which makes total sense because I hadn't added something new then, and also because it was within the limit of a year (which is the normal limit from what I can tell that companies revisit your portfolio again should they be interested)
This made the search in the end more difficult because I got a lot of outright "No's" when I pinged them a message back, which makes total sense because they only reviewed my work recently.
So it's best (and probably way more logical) to condense the jobhunt to a shorter period with everything in place before you start mailing around, and next time I'm probably not going to take this plunge again and go through all the hassle that comes with it to and do it more pre-planned.
But hey, live and learn!
- Give better feedback, but also know when to stop putting time in
I got some people reaching out from me from time to time, and I realized that I like giving feedback and looking at other people and how they construct their work, deconstructing it and then seeing what can be improved and in what ways.
But this also made me realize another skill, is that you need to know when to not give any feedback because some people are still in the "defense" fase (which I also had and is so hard to break away from, it takes so much effort, so no excuses there) but when you encounter people that after a couple of rounds of decent feedback back and forth still are in this "mode" then it is better to just let them figure it out and wait untill they are open to change before spending more time on it.
This might be a bit harsh, but this is where I currently stand on that.
- Say "no" more often
Onto the next one, don't shy away from challenges, but don't be afraid to say "No" if you really don't want to do something, because it's your life and your decisions and other people should respect your decisions, this obviously doesn't really count for smaller things that everyone needs to get done regardless, this is more about moving to a different discipline eg. moving from modelling hard surfaces to Speedtree foliage creation.
If you are honest about this, other people responsible for these decisions on a team based level can factor these in when making them, and you don't put yourself in a spot where you don't want to be!
But if I am really honest, I think that I was always really honest with this, from my intro interview until my exit Interview, because I was always of the opinion that I can always help to voice all of these concerns to help others.
- Take more time to chill, explore and socialise with people outside of work
There is no denying this, I am a workaholic, most of the times I have issues with making time for other stuff and people (such as my girlfriend, although she mentioned a thousand times that the balance is good) I still think that this can be improved drastically, but I also have to admit that I start to miss sitting behind my desk and working really quick, even quicker then expected!
So I will be addressing this when we are moving over to Berlin, condense the time that I work on my personal work, basically doing the same amount of stuff but in a smaller time packet and more focused.
Also, I don't really feel like I'm working to much, but it might be something that sneaks up on you?
- Never give up and self-improve constantly
This is another big one for artists, you gotta be though and never stop pushing, this became really clear when I was mailing around for Interviews/jobs last couple of months, I thought naively that it would be easy to find a job now that the door was open and I got my foot in the industry, it was because of all the times I went for interviews and got denied that that made me realise my value and made me push myself further.
There was no denying that it was way easier this time around than getting into the industry. I send around 200-300 mails to get an internship where only 5 of them replied.
So lesson here is to take all the "bad" times and critiques and turn them into something that improves your art, keep pushing, you will get there!
- Be true, to yourself and to others
Lastly, this might be the biggest point that I can make and is addressed a little bit in the previous section, but it is just being true to yourself and people around you, for instance in my Introduction interview at Frontier Developments they asked the typical question "Where do you see yourself in 5 years" I answered it as honest as possible, I said that I wanted to travel around a bit, see different companies maybe even give freelance a try and later on give my own company a go, who knows! They were really open about this and they still took me in even when I mentioned all of these points.
This meant that I had a really good relationship with the people above me because they knew that that was the plan, and also made it "easier" when handing in my notice.
Ofcourse, this has probably cost me a lot of interview or job opportunities as well, but I rather be honest than go in with lies already clouding my personality, so taking this on is up to you personally!
I really hope this helps you all out there, and know that whatever you do, think about the long term, and keep pushing! and if you need any help or have questions, just ping me a message! :D