bittah.com!~ 26yo - Changing occupation?

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Post » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:35 am

26yo - Changing occupation?

Hi All.
I know probably most of you don't care but I need a bit of advice (Don't worry I am going to other people/places for advice too.)

Basicaly whats happened is during my teenage years I played around with alot of 3D modeling and texturing. I also dabbled in C++ and other creative programs. Photoshop etc. I became interested in the technical side of developing models however I also though that it fitted in with my artistic side aswell. Basically, I had a passion for it at a young age and tought myself the basics of 3DSMax and Maya etc. I brought tutorial DVDs from 3DBuzz over in the states. However during this time I didn't actively pursue any offical training. I just played around with it at home.
I then left school and got a job @ 18 at a company called Stainless Design, which I am still at today. I got this job by word of mouth and I learnt the programmes i needed to learn. I have been working as a CAD Draughtsman in AutoCAD and Solidworks, and have been here for 8 years now. This is all good as I have learnt alot about technical drawings however I am finding I am pursuring a direction that I don't find all that interesting and I am slowly losing interest in the work. I am battling with management to get further training and I am losing my creative edge when it comes to client work and everything just seems to be pushing paperwork these days. Nothings challenging me so I finally feel i need to move on. It has taken alot of stress at work and mucking around here that I could have spent going down a path that I initially wanted to do.
Dont get me wrong. I can apply these skills to help me in future. But I know that If i were to start some proper training by going though courses or university that I may be a bit behind where I should be.

I was thinking of leaving here while doing part time work, and then teaching myself again and doing online courses / developing a portfolio of work, and then looking for professional work. I feel being 26, i need to act now and start this before I get into my 30s-40s.

Does anyone have any advice as to what to do, where to start? Keep in mind that I have much know how, but absolutely no qualifications to my name. I don't want to quit my job if my pursuit is not going to lead anywhere if I cant get any work with my skillset.

Cheers,
Sin.
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Post » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:48 am

My advice is not to jump straight into a uni degree, it sounds like it's been a while since you've been in a learning environment and it doesn't work out you can really do yourself some financial damage. Depending on where you are you should speak to your local Tafe/Polytechnic and see what courses are available to you flexibly or if you can show you have adequate prior knowledge you might be able to jump into the course you want. You can also use this as a way to gauge whether it is something that you want to do at university.

Talk to your boss where you are at the moment, there could be an opportunity for you to do a qualification with a RTO while working as there are incentives for the business as well as a piece of paper for you.

Speak to your friends and family and see what they think you would be suited for as it may be something you haven't thought of.

Derp.
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Post » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:22 pm

I already have had people at my work tell me to check out the Polytechnic for a course in 3D Animation etc.

The whole talking to my boss to try and organize a part-time work/study deal. That will be a big no-go. The company wouldn't benefit for anything that I would be learning. Its a completely diffrent feild, more artistic CG/animation work for media, instead of mechanical drawings for engineering and fabrication. Also saying that, I don't find any interest in saying here. I would perfer doing a full-time course.

I am hoping that I can just jump in like you said, proving my skills etc.
Sinister
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Post » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:15 pm

apparently game design and 3d design in general is crazy competitive and u end of working 60hours a week for relatively low pay

get a job in sales and do design as a hobby :)
whitewhale
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Post » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:44 pm

We’ve all been in your situation – well a lot of us. I don’t really know of anyone who’s picked a role when leaving school and really stuck with it. My problem was that when I left school, I didn’t know what I was interested in. I’ve always had an underlying interest in writing, but until recently, never really followed up on it. The problem was, I then just worked my way through to my mid-30’s, still not having any direction and like you, no qualifications. Well that’s not true, I have some qualifications, but I don’t have a degree. I never saw the need for one, and while I have the life and work experience now for several degrees, I still wish I had gone to study one when I was younger.

The problem is, the older you get, the less opportunities you have. I know that’s only partially true, but realistically, once you’re bogged down with rent/bills/mortgage/car payments/wife/kids etc, you can’t easily study, and full-time study is really only for those still living at home (DOX) or those who somehow have the energy to study afterhours. I myself get home from work often so stuffed that I cant for the life of me think of then studying.

Also the thing about not just launching into Full time study – particularly something like a degree, is really good advice. You want to take on some short courses, or some online short courses and see how it feels. Also see whether you’re going to have the willpower to stick it out to the end or you might really shaft yourself financially. I myself know I cant just undertake any old online course (ie like a longer term diploma/cert iv etc) as I have a habit of not finishing things I start.

And the other thing is what WW just mentioned – you’re interest is an industry which is ridiculously competitive. You’re either an absolute natural gun where you will find your way into a decent company, or you’re just very good, in which case you’ll find it difficult to get work other than the stuff you’re already doing – unless you get really lucky.

You’d be better off finding a day job which satisfies you more, perhaps even the same type of work but for a company that’s different – different location, different product, different people – you’d be surprised what change can do to freshen things – while skilling up on the side and looking for opportunities.

I myself had the problem of just not knowing what I wanted to do, and it could become really frustrating and depressive. To get out of a rut, I ended up living in China for a year, teaching English, doing something completely different, and way outside of my comfort zone, and I swear it changed me in many ways. It changed my perspective on different things, and hell, I’d gladly do it again. I cannot recommend doing something like that enough – but to a country as foreign as China, or somewhere where English is not the primary language – you need to be challenged, not just comfortable.

Anyway in the end I knew that my lack of degree limited my options, and I sure as shit didn’t want to stay in IT which is where I started out. I instead looked at my skillsets, looked how they were transferrable, then thought about various other industries which interested me – such as publishers, and education. So now I am working a job which I actually really enjoy, awesome location, great people, decent salary and work on smaller writing projects on the side. One day I’d like to see those smaller projects become my main focus.

It’s difficult changing your situation, but you will. I agree that you want to get onto it before you get too much older. For me, I just see 40 coming down the track, and not being in a chosen industry before then..that freaks me out – thankfully ive mostly solved that.
Deepjay
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:31 am

What happens if you goto various 2 year courses websites, and you look at their students finished 'showreels' after those 2 years, and it looks like something you can shit out in less than a month?

Do I play along, maybe pick up on various things that I didn't know before (of course I am going to learn things), yet spend 2 years of my life to get a certificate?
Sinister
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:16 am

Still haven't seen any evidence of what it is you want to do though. Sounds to me like you don't enjoy what you're doing now and want to move on to "something else." And that can be more dangerous.

What sort of roles are you interested in, and what exactly aren't you doing now?
KFC
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:14 am

You say you could do better than their reels or what not - do you have a reel?

This is the thing..finding the motivation to create one might be the thing stuffing you. It's really damned difficult to create something like that without real reason (ie its a requirement of the course you're doing). When you add stuff like the stress from not enjoying your job, tiredness from working, yadda yadda - end of the day, it's one thing to say you could whip up better in 10 minutes- real question is, why havent you then?
Deepjay
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:06 pm

I have only just decided the other day that I am going down this path. However, good/valid points.

I don't think my job is soo stressful, What I meant was stress overall, over a period of years. Not day-to-day stuff.
I believe I have the motivation to go home and sit back down at a computer and produce even more work.

Challenge accepted!

Oh and KFC:

Type of work I produce currently (technical drawings that require everything to measure spot on):

Image

Type of work I want to produce (artistic 3d animations/rendors, that allow you to explore your creative side rather than too the T):

Image

As you can probably tell. very different fields.
Sinister
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:38 pm

Do it mate! Jump the ship. You'll have times when you hate it and it's all too much, but overall it'll be worth it.

I left a full time job at age 24 and started my med degree (I'm now 26 too). Relying on other people financially is shit, but I'll be able to pay them back one day, and so will you!

(editnotwastinganotherpostonthisbut - Goz, you know I be bringing the donuts for the nursing staff!)
Last edited by Dimmer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:48 pm

med student

pffft
GoZFisH
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:26 pm

yer i'm similar to dimmer. gave up being an IT proj mgr to start a full-time law degree (age 25)
deadpixel
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Post » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:50 pm

What happens if you goto various 2 year courses websites, and you look at their students finished 'showreels' after those 2 years, and it looks like something you can shit out in less than a month?

Do I play along, maybe pick up on various things that I didn't know before (of course I am going to learn things), yet spend 2 years of my life to get a certificate?
this thread is tl;dr, but as someone working in the creative industries, i can say a certificate doesn't mean shit, it's 70% who you know, and 30% how good you are.

dont drop out of whatever it is you're doing (again, tl;dr) to study full time for a certificate. come home from work in the evenings and dedicate at least an hour or two each evening to your chosen pursuit. focus on improving yourself and putting out content you can be proud of, and then getting it out there for other people to see. if somebody likes your stuff, engage with them, talk to them and become e-buddies. make more stuff, make more e-buddies, repeat process. it is very important that you actually finish things and get them out there instead of leaving a string of half finished projects, even if they are shitty at first, which they will be.

i don't play video games any more, and it's not because I got a life, heavens no, its because I prefer now to dedicate my lack of life to photography, filmmaking, and video editing. pastimes that produce something for me to look back on and be proud of, something that isn't a level 10 armour set of +10 fire resistance.

the point is you have to find something you enjoy dedicating your spare time to, and just do it and do it until you're really good. getting a certificate and adding a bullet point to your resume won't do shit.

allow me to again dig into my archive of web talks for a relevant video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5qUR3tpEdA
Shakey-Lo
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Post » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:23 am

Finding an opportunity can also come from who you know too. If I was you, id be asking around all your online haunts to see if anyone happens to work in an industry that interests you, and whether they know of a way in or current vacancy - even not in the desired role but a step in the door.
Deepjay
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Post » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:14 am

Cheers guys
Sinister
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Post » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:34 am

by the way I should say that I don't mean to dismess creative degrees, I think mine was great, but I acknowledge that the actual qualification doesn't mean shit. It was a way for me to be forced to produce creative output, to experience a variety of roles, to work under pressure, to meet likeminded people and share ideas, and learn about a variety of things I would have never otherwise heard of. I think higher education is awesome but the idea of seeing a degree as a financial investment you should make in order to reap more money later is proven bullcrap.
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Post » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:33 pm

something relevant came up in my rss reader

http://calnewport.com/blog/2011/08/13/d ... happiness/
Shakey-Lo
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Post » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:00 pm

thats pretty damn good sinister

i still think do it as a hobby and get a job that is less hours and more $
whitewhale
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Post » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:06 pm

I think higher education is awesome but the idea of seeing a degree as a financial investment you should make in order to reap more money later is proven bullcrap.
Never go into a uni degree for anything other than the love of the subject matter. If you go in for money only you're looking forward to at least 3 years of tedious hate filled work, something it sounds like you get at your current job!
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Post » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:44 pm

I used to be like that Shakey, until I decided I wanted to do something that had no real alternate avenues other than Uni. Unfortunately you can't be a lawyer without a law degree and you can't be a doctor without a medicine degree.

I am loving Uni though now as I see there is more to offer than just 'training' per se. After 6 years in the IT industry it is certainly refreshing to be using my brain properly again.

But I agree with you and Dimmer that if you're only after training then it is probably not the way to go. I would imagine if you have some basic skills you might be able to get a job at the bottom and get paid while you get on the job training and experience. At least with most IT related things that is the case.

edit - wait you think higher education is awesome... I guess we agree completely then! Although I think higher education should start at age 20 after 2 years of working after completing high school.
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