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Working in the industry (for those interested in making a career out of this)
2008-07-06 20:55:44 by Stuart-Hart
Today I briefly talk about what it's like making Flash content for a living.
So far, personally, I think it's quite great. But, I imagine you'd find a lot of varying opinions on what it's like working in a company. For one thing, a company may treat their employees quite poorly. Or you might have an unfriendly boss. Perhaps you're forced to work long hours, being forced to miss lunch to meet ridiculous deadlines.
Fortunately, none of these things apply to me. I feel I'm treated fairly well at where I work, I get along quite well with my boss, and it's vary rare I have to work even just 10 or 15 extra minutes at the end of the day. Other perks I get is the free Coca-Cola (among other soft drinks), free fruit every day, MSNing/Skyping/whatevering at work, flexible starting times in the morning and free alcohol on Friday nights in the office. Most importantly is I don't ever need to think about work once I've stepped out the door. My work in the office is work. Anything outside the office is my time. I'd prefer to keep it that way. As things are now, I'm more interested in what I'm going to cook for my dinner than what I'll be doing at work tomorrow.
But then I think that depends on your mentality (perhaps you just love your job that much to think about it so frequently), or even the nature of your work. I'm not unhappy with the work I do - I generally try to do as good a job as I can - but the truth is that I don't have a ton of creative freedom. Not to say that I don't have any at all (someone's gotta make that layout and someone's gotta animate it all together), but most everything I create is not my own original IP. It doesn't bother me a whole lot. If it did, I would have left and found another job. However, If I left and got a position in some random design agency, more than likely I'd be doing things specified to a clients desires or be adhering to strict branding guidelines. But say you did land a position where you were always presented with the opportunity to create something unique and to innovate - something that is yours, your own creation. Then sure you'd think of it outside the office. Afterall, that should be the sort of work you're more passionate about doing, being your own thing and all. It's not just work's work anymore, but it's your work. But what's going on now? Are you suddenly bringing all your work into your own home? Is your life now your work or something? Again, I think that depends on your mentality. Personally, I don't enjoy the thought of having a deadline hanging over my own IP, but on the other hand I would be very happy to do what I want. For a company though? I'm not so sure... wouldn't my work belong to the company? Yikes - I definately don't like the sound of that!
The truth is, as things are now, I mostly enjoy my job and I'm really happy with all the benefits I get from it. I've met some great people along the way so far, I've learnt a ton of stuff I would never have learnt on my own and it's generally stress free.
That's not to say that the job is without it's fair share of stress, but no where near enough to break you down into tears or anything. Most headaches come from when someone on the Marketing team suddenly believes they're a better designer than you and start dropping "suggestions" (which are actually just demands) on the creative. Usually I'll do what they ask with little to no question, coz it's normally faster to show them they're wrong, rather than trying to explain to them in detail in an e-mail why you think their suggestion is a bad decision only for them to reply saying something like "Well, let's see what it looks like anyway". Just make sure you make multiple saves of your work.
Perhaps I'm sounding a bit negative? I think as long as I have the evenings to myself to do what I want then I'm satisifed, but if I were making original IP at my job and it had the companies logo slapped onto the finished product... that'd throw me in weird space.
Hmm... maybe things could be better.