Take Your Opportunities

Running a business - even a relatively small one like mine gives you a remarkable vantage point from which to observe certain parts of life and one of the things that I enjoy most about my specific job is the opportunity it gives me to spot/develop talent. It’s thrilling to see someone join the team and grow into a valuable, formidable professional who’s at the very top of their game - in fact no other part of my job is more rewarding.

However, on the flip-side, a source of constant disappointment to me is how few people take the opportunities that we give them.

Being the only game studio in 50 miles we get a very large number of both applications for jobs we advertise and speculative enquiries from students and grads. I personally review every single one we get and pride myself in looking for the potential in everything even when the overall portfolio we’ve been sent is a bit poor. If there’s something that I like, I’ll often respond by suggesting that the person concerned do a bit more work and come back to us in a few weeks time or perhaps get them in for a coffee and a chat, give them some tips and send them on their way in the hope that they’ll come back with something really impressive.

But here’s the thing… Almost no-one does!!!

I know that sometimes there are reasons for this - some people might decide that we’re not the right company for them, others have personal issues to deal with, and others still just don’t have what it takes but no-one? Seriously? What’s with that?

So, for what it’s worth, here are some tips in case you get yourself into a similar position sometime:
  1. You need to be resilient to work in the creative industries, this means taking-on feedback, acting-on it where relevant and (without being a total pain) being persistent - make sure you get that meeting you want and, when you do, be prepared.
  2. I know that getting a cool job in a creative company can seem like an insurmountable challenge at times and it can be tough but bear in mind that:
    1. 90% of the people who approach us are, sadly, not suitable for one reason or another. You only have to be as-good or better than the remaining 10%.
    2. The people who are interviewing you will have almost certainly been through the same thing - they want you to succeed - but they also need you to make it happen.
So, in summary, if you want to be successful (which I would define as getting close to fulfilling your potential - not a arbitrary financial measure) then please, please, please, take your opportunities! They’re all around you all the time, you just have to be listening out for them and put a bit of work in. I assure you, those that do NEVER regret it.