I've got fired and now don't know what to do

After long searching i finally found job as 3D Artist, I worked here for about a year, but today I’ve been told that “We have to part our ways”, I’m getting fired because of poor performance, lack of commitment and initiative, too much mistakes/bugs/inconsistencies in my works, stupidity and inability to understand tasks correctly, overall - not good enough. That hit me hard. Now I’m lost, I don’t know what to do.
In general my models rated very good, but sheer amount of errors turned out too high by local standards.

The thing is, for some time past I was feeling unsatisfied with my job, office environment and tasks. Instead of something interesting i had to model houses and interior flats, i can make something beautiful, i can make characters, weapons, machinery, woods, beautiful stuff, but no, do 50 ugly houses. Work was slow, ductile and boring overall, because of that i was doing a lot of unrelated to work things.
People work here at least 12 hours every day, a lot of them stay and work whole night, sleeping in local couches is a common thing, while i was working only 8 hours every day, after that i don’t contact with anybody from office, basically unreachable, and if somebody will find error in my work, they’ll start looking for me, but in already at home, but as boss said i always had to monitor all chats and in such cases shall immediately respond, same for offdays, weekends and even for holidays. But even that time was too much for me, i had enough time only eat and go to sleep (commuting is at least 1-2 hrs), no quality personal time at all.
And i got to my holiday right before the storm, when people started crunching every day, sleeping in office for almost a month, and while they’re expected me to get back to work with them, i wasn’t, even those 8 hours wasn’t easy for me because i wasn’t happy with my work, it was tormenting me, because of that unsatisfactory i did only bare minimum and lack any initiative.
When i got my last payment chief pointed out - “Look, you got 200, while people here getting 2000, or at least 700, do you really think this is ok?”

Thing is, before it i was working for another company, I was doing different models, not my type, still, they were prettier, i stood in office for night, took initiatives, and was very welcome here, but i couldn’t keep working this way, so i decided to find another job, without crunches, and with objects to model that i like, I thought i found one, but i was wrong.

I don’t know who’s right here, maybe me, maybe them, can’t really say now, but i didn’t liked my job, and it influenced on my results. Is this a common thing in 3D industry? I’m devastated and don’t know what to do, there’s no other 3D companies here, but actually, what if this isn’t my thing at all? I started as animator and later learned 3D only to get money, because there’s no vacancies for 3D animators. Or maybe i didn’t liked models that i had to create. Or maybe i just have to completely change my speciality, which scares me, because it resets me to 0. My friends telling me that I’m a good specialist, and i don’t have to give up on it just because i didn’t fit this company, but, i just don’t know what is what anymore

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First off, as someone who has been fired before, let me just say- that is really hard. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this.

This is why you shouldn’t work in a field just because you have a hobby you’re passionate about. The reality is, most professional 3D work is drudgery. It’s rare that you’ll ever get to do what you want to do in 3D at a 3D job. Of course, that’s not what you want to hear right now, but my point is-

Then this possibly isn’t the field for you. If you can only take initiative at a job if you are happy - which is totally reasonable - then you need to find a job that makes you happy, so you can take initiative and do good work, leading to better pay etc.

For example, I work as a web developer. 3D is my passion, and I love it, but on the rare occasions when I’ve been getting paid for 3D work, I’ve hated every second of it. I hate clients telling me what to do, and I hate when clients have stupid ideas that I have to implement for them. I hate having deadlines on my creativity. I’ve learned that I will never work in 3D, despite how much I love it, because it’s not compatible with me professionally. I don’t love web development, I don’t really care one way or another about it, but I can happily do it for 8 hours a day without feeling burned out.

There’s this deeply stupid idea that gets tossed around- “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life!” This is a bald-faced lie, invented by some motivational idiot who probably sits on a yacht all day and has never worked a day in their life. You should enjoy your work, but if you’re only willing to work if you love the work, you will never work a day in your life, because you won’t have a job.

The fact is, the only way you can do exactly what you want to do for eight hours a day and get paid for it is if you’re working for yourself.

Instead, find something you can enjoy for work and then do 3D on the side. Keep it as a hobby, so you don’t get burnt out by the professional aspects of it. The more you love something, the easier it is to get burnt out doing it professionally. I firmly believe you should find a career that’s interesting to you, and that you can find fulfilling or at least satisfying, but love is a strong and dangerous word here.

If you love your work, all it takes to stop loving it is a bad boss, a bad client, or a bad company. If you’re neutral about your work (but find it fulfilling) and save your passion for your hobbies, it makes you a lot more resilient.

If there’s no other 3D companies around, you’re not going to find it easy to get hired at another one. Getting fired from a job with close-knit circles (all artistic jobs have close-knit circles) is a big problem- these industries have blacklists that circulate around between all the companies and all the managers, even rival companies. I hate to say this, but honestly speaking, you’re going to find it hard to get re-hired in this field now. I know, that’s also not what you want to hear, I’m hoping by saying things the way they are now, it’ll save you a lot of pain and heartache later.

If you’re doing something just for money, it will never be fulfilling. Some people can find the money fulfilling enough to offset this - I can’t, and it sounds like you can’t either. As to changing your specialty- yeah, I think it would be a good idea to explore other careers and other industries. Keep 3D animating, just do that for yourself on the side. Share your work on social media, and someday, if it’s good work, you’ll get noticed by a recruiter and end up with a 3D animation job. If you’re good enough for a big-studio 3D animator job, you don’t apply for that job. The company finds you and courts you.

(That’s true generally, actually, the more advanced you are in your field, the less likely it is you will be the one initiating contact at your next job.)

So… find a “holding pattern” job for now, something that lets you pay the bills and that is fulfilling enough to not burn you out, so you still have energy to do 3D animation. Then, do your 3D animation and share it with the world. Build up a portfolio and a presence, and give it time. Eventually, you stand a good chance of getting exactly what you want- a 3D animation job

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Look into freelancing for a while. upwork has a fair bit of 3d work out there, and you can pick and choose your projects.

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Hello Lemenus and I’m sorry for that bad experience,
It’s always harsh when you’re told that you’re inappropriate.
At least by reading what you said it wasn’t a 100% match in both sides. Maybe it’s natural that it doesn’t turn out very well. But that doesn’t mean you lack talent or aren’t able to work in CG.

We could consider our job like any other job : we’re payed to do boring stuff. There is truth to that. Even in the best gig it can’t be 100% fun. But I find important to be able to stay motivated and always find back the joy of working when it goes away for some time. Even in modeling boring house you may find yourself like a child playing with his toys, maybe not you right now, but I’m sure some of us might do.

It’s important to be able to find that energy and motivation back, especially because the end result really benefit good motivation.

One solution for that is to have some personal projects, you might do boring stuff at work but sometimes you do a little something that you really like, and where no-one is here to tell you what is wrong or not. This helped me a lot to cope with boring work sometimes.

But for now, I suggest you to take a little break and find back what you really wanted and liked about CG.
Do some personal projects just like if that was your dream job. That may be the first step toward something that will fit you better, in which you’ll be much more motivated thus being more appropriate to the job.

I think it’s common to feel a bit down from time to time in your career, I had some moments where I really asked myself what I was doing here. It’s really important to move away from that zone and find the energy back. At least if you like being driven by passion.

At some point I started to do some rigging which was super cool in the beginning, that lead me to a lot of very cool projects. But after some years of doing mostly only rigging , and being called mainly for that + some events in my life, I started to feel a bit depressed by this job. I really wanted to do something else but didn’t know what would that be or how to orient my career differently.
Then I started to be interested more into rendering, shading, compositing and after a few personal projects I moved naturally toward other kind of projects professionally. And doing new things helped a lot to find my motivation back, and from there I did really very different things and I always find pleasure in these projects , even if some of them weren’t super interesting, that’s part of the life too.

Good luck !!

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@ [josephhansen,

I’ve only read the first few phrases of your reply, and again you are great at explaining things…

I didn’t become what I wanted to be, but was successful enough at something I was good at (software dev) - -so, I could keep doing my love (music recording) as a hobby.

Thankfully I loved writing software too, and couldn’t believe someone would pay me so much to do it… :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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I know, this wont be too helpful, but there is always a job waiting at wendy’s, tim horton’s or McDonalds. It pays the same, you don’t need to have worked at Nasa and you get benefits. Alternatively, learn something new.

cheers!

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This is remarkably useful life advice, I wish I’d known you six years ago, but I got there eventually :wink:

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20 years before my first software gig…, God - or fate - or whatever you want to call it - tried to show me that I was good at it, when it was the only “A” I got during my short time as a university student. (Fortran)

But I didn’t notice it.

All I wanted to do was record and produce the next “Sgt. Pepper”. No matter what!

And the rest, as they say, is history…

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Usually not even then IME. I’ve worked for myself most of my life, but I still had to take on jobs where I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted to do. Unless you’re very well established in your field or there’s a glut of jobs and no people to do them, you’ll have to make compromises. Plus I don’t like all parts of my work equally either, and not all clients are equally pleasant to work with. And of course there’s a whole bunch of stuff freelancers have to do that has nothing to do with the actual work – book keeping, marketing and market research, project management, networking, etc.

And I loved programming and loved freelancing; once I started I never wanted to go back to work for somebody else. I did make my hobby into my job and it worked very well for me. But it’s not a panacea for somebody who doesn’t put in 100% when they don’t feel like it. For a couple of days, maybe, everybody has down days, but not for weeks. You can’t afford to slack as a new freelancer, even less so than in a full-time job, because the deadlines are usually even tighter, and if you don’t deliver, you don’t get paid. And what is this “8 hours a day” of which you speak? :wink:

That said, freelancing might actually work for @Lemenus, if they read themselves the riot act and realize that making only models they like isn’t how any of this works for anyone. We all have to do the boring stuff. I much rather do a boring job in my field for a while than work in the underpaid, thankless service industry, which saps all your energy and gives nothing back. And the boring job well done might get one a glowing reference, so it pays to take it seriously. References and word of mouth matter. And there are plenty of tricks to keep up one’s spirits through the inevitable drudgery – for one, trying to see the best in it, milking it for all one can learn, networking with other people around one. For another, improving one’s personal portfolio after work, building one’s skills in other directions than maybe one’s work is taking one, so the next job might well be more fun.

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This is very correct, I agree with it in terms that is reasonable for a very high-skill-demanding field such as 3D (or many others) that personal development along with technical, should be a top priority, in order to advance skills and become more clever.

It goes without saying that the first 5 years do not count at all, is only after that years that skills becomes high enough and things get interesting. So is reasonable that someone without so many years weighting upon them, not be 100% sharp on the job. When the HR usually hires a new employee, they do it with the prospect of “investing”, not so much in terms of skill but in terms of a combination of “good-will” and a progression. Also if you are the nephew of the boss kinda seals the deal. :+1:

However I disagree entirely with the mindset, that these criteria can be used as a discriminatory factor especially for young employees that still build experience, or if for example they can be an easy excuse to hide other more problematic internal issues of the company.

The point is that the company has the technical right to choose who stays and who goes, this is correct. However if the company by mentality accepts only elite employees and thus discriminates new employees without experience, it means that either they can’t get elites (statistically) either they can’t afford them. But the motivation is to play the lottery, and if by 1/10 they might come across someone who is really good for their years and accept a really low wage (regardless of skillset that is high, but low due to lack of working experience) the high executives will throw a party and laugh among themselves for hitting a good deal.

I must very-candidly say that you found yourself in a toxic and unhealthy work environment, and that maybe you should have walked away from it much sooner “on your own steam.” If people are working twelve hours a day, sleeping on couches, and being called at all hours when they’re trying to “live their private lives,” then something is very wrong, and it is probably with the management. (Or, the lack thereof.)

I predict that the customers of this company are generally not satisfied.

In the computer programming world, this situation is unfortunately very common and it is very-aptly referred to as a Death March. There is no “healthy” end to it – eventually you have to break away from it just to save yourself (and your marriage, if you have one). It is an abusive social relationship which can do a lot of damage. But some people have never experienced anything better, so they think that it is normal. It is not. It is dangerous. There is a better way.

Eventually, though, you find yourself in a well-managed situation. They are hard to find, yes, but they really are out there. Although you’re working just as hard, “competent project management makes all the difference.” It feels like a breath of fresh air.

Shake the dust of that place off your sandals, tally up the “lessons learned the hard way,” and go back to work. It’s bound to get much better from here. And, yes, I do speak from experience. (In my case, I was the one who turned in my notice: there are some things I simply won’t take.) There must be many “nodding heads” around here. Don’t try to save the situation – you probably can’t – just save yourself.

Also – don’t blame yourself for having gotten into that situation. Sometimes you don’t see the problems during the interview process. Sometimes, they hide them well. Now, you’ve learned a lesson that you will never forget, and that is a good thing. Never take it personally. It is not a reflection on you.

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Hey,

I consider your description to be that of an abusive workplace. That… will grind anybody down, starting with the most passionate of us. It feels very familiar, if it’s any consolation. It took me a long time to find my niche, and for a while I was torn between the feeling that this was what I wanted to do on one side, and the understanding that it wasn’t necessarily going to be this easy dream job I had imagined on the other. I have friends who dropped out because of disheartenment much similar to yours. I was almost going to take landscaper training two years ago -and I wouldn’t have been any less happy if I had, that’s not my point, but whatever treats you right is right. In any case, keep your confidence -don’t dig yourself in a mental hole. Sometimes things ultimately take shape in ways we couldn’t have predicted.

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I would model maybe one ugly house before running away screaming.

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Well, that’s a problem if it’s true.

You can’t do something well that you don’t believe in.

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Yes, but “abusive job situations” do exist. And, you need to be very alert to them. While you cannot save the fortunes of the company that you just escaped (or: “were escaped from…”), you can escape.

A well-managed company will be able to analyze the incoming workflow, properly train the employees, properly partition-out the work, implement quality control, and balance what is asked of any one employee so that the entire group operates as a functional and efficient team. Without burning anyone out. Yes, “it’s a lot of work,” but they are doing it together.

Of course it is understood that the work might be boring and tedious. That cannot be helped. But a company can determine how it manages itself, and some of them fail utterly.

Success requires: “effective project management,” as well as “effective customer relations and project specification.” If any of these things are absent, the result can be pure-hell for both the employees and the customers. And, there might be nothing that any “line employee” can do about it, except to realize that “(s)he is in hell,” and to follow the rats down the ropes. Of course it is no fun to fling yourself over the side without having first pre-arranged a lifeboat, but sometimes that’s what you have to do.

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If you say that is 50% that you believe in (and interested) it and 50% that you can do the job (you have the technical knowledge established).

I think that in general creative jobs, should diverge into the fantasy genre (artistic) and the technical-industrial genre (design). Just as book categories did, everything has settled into categories and everybody knows what to write and how to write it.

In the same aspect if people who are interested in very creative genres such as fantasy or fashion-characters. It would be very difficult to switch to some practical context (such as aircrafs or industrial design or architecture). These categories of designs overshadow creativity in favor principle and functionality. For a creative person this is a struggle but for a scientific person is just a job.

But this is only the aspect of personal interest. The other aspect is about how the company rolls and if the working conditions are OK.

Thank you, all of you for your supporting words, I’ll be honest with you and myself and say that I’m not that strong person, that can take slaps of life like nothing.

At first moments i was at desperate state, but thankfully, i wasn’t alone, my friend comforted me in a time of my fall into despair, thanks to him i do not think anymore about… bad things like harming myself, but now I’m thinking about ways out, planning next steps, with this he helped too, I’m glad i have such friend, I’m thankful for for him for being with me in my lowest of moments, after all, “The light of the mind alone can’t burn away all darkness”, sometimes we need help and love, and we shall not only accept it, but not afraid to call for it.
My mother also helped in a way, differently though, we’ve been talking about different things, but really influential was her words “Over the years you didn’t really developed yourself, in many ways - except maybe professionally, but not emotionally, socially, as a person and in your life overall”, that was harsh, not what i expected in such moment, but there’s truth in her words, and it actually makes me move in certain way (she’s not bad person in any way, she had to go though many things in life, which hardened her as person, and sometimes she’s being painfully honest), but what my father gonna say… still feel those bruises, though they’re gone many years back.

Turns out they actually gave me two weeks to “fix the situation”, and i don’t even know, yesterday I was sitting basically first or second day of work after vacation, and i already feeling myself completely drained, i have to eat bunch of antidepressants to get my nerves to some acceptable state before going to work (though I’m taking them for a too long time already so they’re not really working as used to). My friend even suggested that all of this was just a management tactic to scare me to increase my efficiency. I don’t think it is true, but i heard management had similar talk with other employees, but I’m the one to terminate. I don’t even know what to do here, should i go to this work, or even try to fix something, i mean, i need money, at least for some time after termination, but i have bad experience with nerves and psychological state in bad shape, which in the end lead me to real problems with my health, that was bad, thankfully i got out of this (I had prediabetes).
Or maybe i should go, go to county side, lay down here for some time, reflect it all, and go back and begin again differently.

I’ve got some sort of plan, but want to know something - such working conditions are going in all IT related field? Because I want to try myself in coding, and while I’m learning it, i could work as a tiler, or any other field not related to I.T. at all, or some job where i could have enough time for myself, so i could collect some life experience and reflect deeper what i really want to do in my life. Don’t know it’s this a good plan at all, but i think it’s better than sit and do nothing, and maybe even also picking right rope for hanging self

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If you weren’t going to leave on your own they did you a favor forcing you to leave. I’m serious, aside from the fact you were miserable working on that kind of 3D work to the point your quality was down even as you were gaining experience, the toxic Death March-style expectation of constant crunch and no personal life would’ve made you miserable even if you working on models you liked. Is this a sweatshop or a career for technically skilled people? People deserve better working conditions either way.

Not all IT is soul crushing, but it will depend greatly where you work. The company I work for values work life balance (no for real, they’re crazy expecting me to be able to leave my desk right at 5:00, actually stop working during my lunch break, etc.). Don’t expect that at the big tech companies or startups looking for “ambitious” or “competitive” people (that means they want your work life to be your only life).

In tech you’ll typically find higher pay at the jobs that want you to sacrifice your personal life (unless they’re greedy AND stupid), but if you want of work to live not live to work, aim for the smaller, more “relaxed” ones. Or get an IT job in government or for school district.

I have a cousin who works in maintenance. He likes it. He did it in college, and when college didn’t work out he went back to it because he likes it.

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I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better and that you had a good friend who took care of you. No job is worth ending it all over, seriously. No job, ever.

No. It does happen in some sectors (the film industry is rife with tight deadlines not just for artists), and in some types of businesses (start-ups are often very demanding of their employees and try to take over their lives), but in general, working all hours of the day and sleeping in the office isn’t done. And many IT jobs outside of high-pressure industries are quite cushy; I remember especially my University jobs with fondness. Though maybe local conditions are tougher where you are? I’ve only worked in Western Europe, the US, and Canada.

Furthermore, I agree with several other people who said your working conditions as described were actually abusive. Nobody should ever be on call 24/7; that isn’t even done in professions where actual lives are at stake. So they’re not right in demanding over-the-top dedication to the job from you. 8 hours, with occasional overtime in a crunch, that’s normal, and that’s what they should stick to.

But you’re also not right in letting your dislike of your work affect the quality of the work. The person you really hurt with that is yourself. Know for the future that if you hate a job that much, quit it before you end up with a black mark in your references, because that can follow you for a while. I disagree that you can’t do something well if you don’t believe in it – you absolutely can, at least for a limited time. Work can be a pure exchange of labour for money, and if they pay you on time you ought to try to deliver your end of that contract – and if just for long enough so you can find a better place where you’re more excited to work on things you find more interesting. Count it as a learning experience.

You need to have an open talk with your supervisor – if they’re giving you two weeks to fix it, what exactly are you expected to fix? Ask for concrete goals and feedback. If you just get vague lip flapping, or admonitions to adhere to the abusive conditions, then get out of there. If you get concrete goals that you could fulfill if you applied yourself during the daily 8 hours you’re obligated to work, then you have to decide whether you want to try that. I would probably stick it out for a few more weeks if there is a chance that my work relationship improves and that I might get a halfway decent reference from those people. But you might not want to, and I wouldn’t blame you. Taking the hit and moving on might be better for your mental health – I quit one job like that myself after letting them use me much too long, and it was SUCH a relief. If you do stick it out, you gotta stop yourself from moaning about how ugly the models are – just do your best work, find something to like about it all. It’s better for your mental health too.

If the bridge is already burned, then so be it. I don’t know that jumping ship to a completely different profession is a good plan though. I’d first do some research on how you could use your present experience to freelance, or to find a job that allows you to telecommute (so you’re not limited to jobs in your own town). Take some time off if you can afford it, to think carefully over your options and seek out potential government and other help to help you decide.

Best wishes!

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I think many people have had the “been fired” experience. So don’t be too hard on yourself.

The comment someone made about “making a hobby a full-time job” is somewhat accurate. There are many examples in a number of industries where people have the same complaint (a long-time complaint of of some traditional cell animators).

If you feel the content you make is good, then consider selling it in a marketplace and derive income from that. In some cases, you may get some commissions for work through that route.

These are just suggestions and I’m sure a lot of people are chiming in on this.

But if you’re like me, then you probably need to seek a therapist AND not give up the thing you love doing.