Saturday, May 11, 2013

Visiting Speaker - Tom Evans

We had a visiting speaker come in last week and talk about his work and journey in the digital industry, going from companies to now working as a freelancer. Below are the notes I took in his talk:

Freelance creative in the digital industry 
No experience is bad experience 
Much easier to sell yourself if you can sum yourself up in a sentence
More time to concentrate on your speciality 
Diversify - have a look around at other opportunities and always have a back up plan
Don't expect to get a job instantly - work experience is really valuable, meeting people, work on live projects and get your foot in the door
You get out with what you put in with work experience. Make an effort, ask questions, start conversations, get feedback from people etc, need to make an impression 
Don't expect your first job to be glamorous - prove what you can do, do everything to a high standard 
Practise being fast - need to learn to work fast, the more you push yourself, the more you learn 
Keep learning - don't stop learning just because you've started work. Be a sponge and absorb everything. Keep asking about the stuff you're interested in and you can move towards it 
Think about what you want - make sure you know what you want and what you're going for is right 
Freelance is a lot different to full time work
More creative control and freedom going freelance and has the time to make games in spare time
Got the time to do the stuff you want to do
Downsides: no sick leave, no holidays, has to constantly keep working to get money 
Learn to talk about what you do - need to have good communication skills and be able to talk about your work intelligently. Need to be confident when talking about your work 
Know your audience and learn how to write - do some research before contacting a company
Find out the name of the person you're emailing
Tailor portfolio to the company and position you're applying for
Don't send out bulk emails 
Be proactive - don't sit around waiting for people to come to you
Do anything off your own back, looks good in your portfolio 
As a freelancer, got a lot of the work from the people you already know
Meet interesting people, go to networking events etc
Actively listen to what people have to say
Everything that Tom mentioned has been reoccurring through each speaker that we've had in to talk. It just makes more of an emphasis that experience is key and it's about the people you know. A lot of this I already knew about (first job won't be glamorous, be proactive, know your audience) but it just reinforced it in my own mind. There's a lot of take in and it's quite scary knowing that I haven't got long before I finish my degree, so right now I'm trying to as much as I can to ensure that I'm prepared for that time. I've been emailing places about work experience and any internships available, as well as connecting with other people to see about potential work collaborations which could help me out next year. I know I need to make more connections so I'm planning on going to more networking events and other festivals in the near future.

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