The holidays are coming soon, and it’s a good time to reflect and give thanks. Think
of all the people who have helped you in the last year. And while you
are at it, remember those from previous years, too. Who comes to mind
first? Make a list. Honor those who have helped you by aiding others. Give back by teaching
a class in postproduction or mentoring an animator who is just starting
out. Help a colleague or acquaintance by giving some encouragement or
assistance in achieving his or her goals. Give some feedback on a
beginner’s reel or portfolio.
Acknowledge those who have inspired you, and thank those who have taught you — teachers, parents, mentors, friends. Appreciate what you have, and cherish the time you have here by showing those who touch your life that they are important to you.
Nurture young people’s interest in art. Give them encouragement, and share some supplies. Introduce them to a local art museum or gallery. Share a book of art or animation, or give some time to a children’s art program in your community. Reap the benefits of knowing you’ve made a difference in a future artist’s life — networking can happen when you least expect it.
Keep the spirit of the holidays alive all year round, but especially at this time. Attitude is contagious, whether you are in a bad mood or a great one. So stay upbeat. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to give a compliment or smile at someone who you don’t know, and it just might be what that person needs.
Spend some time with someone you’ve been thinking about. If the holidays are too busy, make a date to meet after the New Year. Send a note to someone who has helped you, whether he or she gave you support, encouragement, or advice. Call someone you care about to let the person know how much you appreciate him or her. It might be the best gift the recipient gets this holiday season.
Write letters thanking teachers who made a difference in your life — not only those you met at school, but those you’ve met at work. Thank your mentors and others who help you, whether you’ve met them through an online discussion group or industry function. Spread good feelings now, and they will carry you into the New Year.
Keep Thanksgiving as part of your life all year round, and you’ll find your life richer for it.
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson thanks Computer Graphics World and Post for giving her the opportunity to write this new monthly Web column. Pamela is a renowned expert in the field of animation and visual effects. She is a popular speaker at schools and conferences all over the world, including the Animation Workshop in Singapore, FMX in Stuttgart (Germany), the Kalamazoo Animation Festival International in Michigan, and SIGGRAPH conferences in Boston, San Diego, and Los Angeles. She has been featured in US News and World Report and was named a top recruiter by Animation Magazine.
A career coach since 1999, Thompson helps clients achieve their goals by developing strategic career plans and effective marketing materials. She is an expert on career transitions, demo reels and portfolios, resumes, cover letters, and interviewing techniques. She guides her career-coaching clients through the complete job search process. Her recruiting clients include Lucas Animation (Singapore), Technicolor (Beijing), LAIKA, Blue Sky Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Macromedia, Framestore, Digital Domain, Simex Digital Studios, and Click 3X.
Thompson has worked in television and feature films, as well as commercials and video games. Her production credits include The Simpsons (Fox TV), Family Dog (Universal), and Bebe’s Kids (Paramount). She produced LA SIGGRAPH’s Career Boot Camp and taught Career Realities at Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Thompson is an active and contributing member of the Visual Effects Society, LA SIGGRAPH, and Women in Animation.
Thompson (http://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelathompson) has written and produced training films for AT&T and IBM, and her articles on careers and management have appeared in over 40 publications. For a speaking engagement, personal coaching, or recruiting services, she can be contacted at PamRecruit@q.com.