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Olliepm

When does the failure end?

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I've just heard back about a job I applied for, and I have not been successful.  It was my first opportunity in the games industry and I feel quite depressed about failing, if I'm honest.  I wondered if some of the more successful members of the forum had some words of encouragement, or stories of similar experiences they had before succeeding.  Anything really, I'm just bummed.

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I remember applying for my first job. I can't remember the name of the company. It was my freshman year in college. I sent in my resume, then got a call to come and interview. They asked me some basic questions, but to be honest, I didn't know much about version control systems at the time (I had used CVS a little, and knew of SVN, but I didn't really know them), which was unfortunate because a lot of the things in the job had to do with version control stuff and managing it all. I didn't think the interview went awesome, but I thought it went decent enough, and they were generally positive throughout the whole thing.

 

After the interview, they had me tour the office with them, and showed me some areas and kept talking as if I had the job. "This is where you'll be working" and things like that. I ended up getting really excited by how they were talking so positively and making it sound like I had the job. When I left, they told me they'd send me all the final paperwork. Afterwards, I went home and bought myself an icecream thing to congratulate myself and told my family that I had gotten the job (because by the way they worded things, I had).

 

A few days later, they called me and told me that someone else had come in and interviewed who they thought would be a better fit, and they were going to go with him. They said that at the time I was pretty much the only person that applied, but this other guy applied a little while after me and they said they wanted him. I was pretty bummed.

 

Later (by about a month or so), though, I got a waaay better job. It was way more flexible, slightly better pay, more interesting work (actually programming instead of managing a version control system), better connections, etc.

 

Moral of the story: failing once doesn't mean you have failed forever. I don't know what the future has in store for you, and I can't promise you you'll get the next job you apply for or that it'll be everything you ever dreamed for. But I will say that as long as you haven't given up, you haven't truly failed.

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Only one person can get that job. So if more than 2 people applied, everybody's chance of failure was higher than their chance of success. No amount of positivity can change that - you just have to come to terms with the hard mathematical facts.

 

On the one hand, this is a positive thing. Everybody should expect to be turned down most of the time - but obviously someone gets the job. So it's not hopeless.

 

On the other hand, there are usually more people than there are interesting jobs for them. There is no guarantee you will ever get the job that you want, and the more uncommon the job, the higher this probability is. That's another thing you may have to come to terms with - adjusting your expectations if the kind of employment you want is not the kind of employment that is practical to get.

 

So I'm afraid I don't have any real words of encouragement. I would just suggest that you need to accept that you will be turned down most of the time, and carry on regardless, while tempering that with a sense of realism.

 

EDIT: I would also add that if you haven't gone into higher education yet and don't have any commercial experience then your idea of having enough experience for a role is likely to be well short of what an employer will look for. Luckily the first problem is fairly easy to solve, though time-consuming. The second problem will probably require you to take on some independent jobs, but that's par for the course for creative workers.

Edited by Kylotan
stupid error in first sentence!

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I'm not sure if you intended to post in the Music forum, sounds more like a Breaking In Topic. Unless you were applying for a musician job and you did want to post here. Also, some background on your education and jobs would be helpful. I can relate to Kylotan's words on the harsh reality. My own harsh analogy is, each interview is like taking a college exam, where the "teacher" will only pass the top 5% who take it :O

 

I recently intereviewed to a (non-gaming) developer job in which they commonly used a framework I am not familiar with, but my knowledge of MVC and other frameworks/CMSes using the methodology would make me good at learning it quickly. They were accepting of that fact, and would provide ramp-up time. Unfortunately, and perhaps not surprisingly, they interviewed someone who did know the framework, and he was hired.

 

So although on-the-job training and ramp-up to get working with the tools the company uses is not an impossibility. But with competition that can bypass that, it becomes more and more improbable to get in that situation.

 

Honestly, the closest I've ever gotten to get into the games industry (even if it was just QA) fell short, for what to me a pretty dumb and disappointing one- I have no car and their location was out of my reach, so I could not plan an interview in person, much less travel every day to work there. I was in college at the time.

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I meant to post here because audio is my area, and I feel it may be a tougher job market for us than say a programmer.  I currently still in education.  The job I applied for was a one off, due to the fact I felt I had the skills described as 'essential'.  I've done to HNC level in music, and being HND sound production in august (2nd year).  Also own, but haven't really started the game audio tutorial book.  I was planning on getting through that over the summer.  After next year, it's a choice between job seeking or continuing to honors level.   

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The way I look at it Ollie is that there can't be the good without the bad. Everyone gets knocked back and we all go through it. 

The best thing to do is keep your head up and know that the people who just knocked you back missed out on a great sound designer. Get back out there with twice the enthusiasm and I'm sure a job will land on your doorstep :)

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My spirit has returned - huzzah!  Thanks all smile.png

 

@Cornstalks  That must have been horrible for you.  I hadn't reached the interview stage yet.  Instead, I had been sent a test where I was to create MIDI data, and was given a week to complete it.  Rather than do so, I completed it for the following day (hoping I'd gain some extra points for returning it so early) but in the end, it turns out I should have spent a week on it.  Once reviewed, they didn't want to take my application any further.  It sucks to know I didn't fully get the chance to show them what I'm really capable of, but what's done is done.  Where about's was your first industry job?  

Edited by Olliepm

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Where about's was your first industry job?  

To be honest, I've worked very little in the game industry. My first job was doing video compression software. My second job (which I currently have) is focused mostly on mobile software (not games). Buuut. My company got an Ouya dev kit so we've been working on a game for it, actually, and I've been one of the programmers for it. So that's my first taste of doing game development and actually getting paid to do it :)

 

I'm not really trying to work in the game industry professionally, though, as it's something I'm more interested in reserving for a hobby.

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This kind of work doesn't happen over night. It takes a long, long time. And even after someone "makes it" they still get turned down for jobs. Sometimes it's related to politics, other times it's budgets and other times it's a style conflict. Perhaps someone else just matched their needs more than someone else.

 

You need thick skin for this industry. Thick skin for losing out on gigs and thicker skin once you get a gig and then have to work with negative feedback from a client. Just because you don't get a job now doesn't mean that connection you created is fruitless. I've been approached by producers/managers later after being turned down to work on their next project. So, keep your head up. Keep learning and keep striving. Also - when you do get turned down, don't take it personally. Be polite and professional. I often send a basic "Aw, bummer! I was looking forward to working with you! Hopefully next time - and best of luck on this project." kind of email. That is... if the client is polite enough to let me know I didn't get the job. :P If not, I just assume I missed out after a certain amount of time.

 

Best of luck man!

 

Nate

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'Aw bummer'?!  Haha, my response was relatively emotionless.  "Thank you for your consideration.  I would appreciate any feedback." was how I rolled that day....  I know it's a hard industry to get into, but I'm also faced with the financial issues when I finish my education, and will have to relocate.  I have no idea what I've got in store for me if I need to move to America.  There ain't much going on here.

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