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Getting Work Without Experience

Working for free has a super bad stigma.

That’s because most of the time, it’s a bad idea.

I know the catch-22 you might be finding yourself in…

“I don’t have experience, therefore nobody is going to hire me.  So I HAVE to work for free!”

Here’s good news – you’re actually wrong.

How do I know this?

I have neither a degree in computer science, nor have I formally developed software – but I’m about to join one of the world’s most famous game studios.  To work with audio and develop software.

I didn’t work for free.  I didn’t even work from the bottom.  I developed a skills set that I knew, eventually, someone would pay for.

Now, if you’d let me, I’d love to walk you through how I did this.

Continue reading Getting Work Without Experience


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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The Difficulty of Adding Value

A friend of mine is in the middle of negotiating a business deal.  We spoke last week, as he’s really excited about the opportunity but the terms are currently below his standards.  He wasn’t quite sure what to do.

The middle of the conversation went something like this:

Me: “So what you need to do is let him speak, ask good questions, listen well, and based off what he said – find ways to give him more value”

Friend: “Okay, but how do I do that?”

His question was good, and one that I’ve definitely had myself before.  In fact, this seems to be a bit of a repeated theme for me.

So what does it mean when someone tells you add value?  You know it’s important – but how about we go through some actual examples you can sink your teeth into…

Continue reading The Difficulty of Adding Value


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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Show Up

This tweet challenged me real hard:

Ed’s a boxer and author with a vast array of controversial opinions.  I follow him precisely because his words are hard, and I do better when my environment encourages challenge.

What’s funny is this – the day after reading that tweet, I’m struggling super hard to come up with a “good” post.

Whatever “good” means to me is an entirely different subject and post – but know that I’m struggling to put out any content at all.  Despite this, I know the key to mastery over time is simply the practice of putting out any content at all.

The truth of it is – I don’t have a hell of a lot of “meat” to put in this post that I’m excited about, for a variety of reasons.

But I hope that you can read this and see a few things:

  • When you’re learning and putting in practice, it’s not okay to not show up.
  • You can suck today, so long as you show up.
  • If you keep showing up, you will suck less over time.
  • You will always have days where you suck, but show up anyway.
  • Don’t stop showing up.

So when you’re putting out your own work and you’re not feeling it, make sure that at the very minimum you put some effort in.  Maybe you don’t get the results you want.  Maybe you call it a day a bit early and rest.

But always show up.  Be lenient on yourself with the rest.

 


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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Add Value

Have you ever worked incredibly hard and in a moment of tired desperation had this thought:

“Is all this work even worth it?”

Undoubtedly you have, right?  I was in that headspace just the other week.  Just past that moment – I found my answer.

Yes, it is totally worth it – so long as you’re striving in the right direction.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you missed my announcement about this:

It’s been a week since I could publicly say that, and yes I’m still excited.  The position and team seem like a great fit.  It also fulfills two big goals for me: to work in a development studio, and program/script audio (not sound design).

From the moment I started the programming work on my own – it’s taken 9 months to put a body of work together and find the team that was looking for that body of work at the right time.

Prior to that, I’ve been paid to do audio work professionally for over a decade.

So what’s the takeaway for you?

MAKE YOURSELF VALUABLE.

That 9 months I mentioned was all on my own time, outside of work hours.  Putting in day after day of effort on things I thought were fun, cool, and interesting.  I didn’t do it because someone told me to, or promised me anything.  I did the work because I enjoyed it, wanted to create more opportunities for myself, and held out hope that I would win the war of time and attrition.  Usually, so long as I don’t give up, some cool shit happens.

In the process, people began to value my work.  Most people don’t even tell me the value they find!  But all of the effort, on my own time, gained enough interest so that when the timing was right the opportunity was there.

If you’re in a bad situation and looking to get out, or looking just to find work and clients period then you need to ask yourself a simple question…

“What am I doing to make myself more valuable to people I’m interested in working with?”

It’s a super difficult question – but if you answer it, the rewards are very high.

Get to work!


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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Community Giving

One of the best parts about games is the community which they create.  This goes doubly so if you work in the industry.  Some fantastic people not only put out fantastic work, but are also wonderful humans.

Due to this community, sometimes wonderful things can happen when tragedy strikes close to home.

If you haven’t seen or heard, great member of the game audio community was displaced by Hurricane Irma.  Tony Porter and his family (with 4 kids, if the image above is anything to go by) had to evacuate their home and have since been living out of a hotel room.

Some very phenomenal people jumped at the opportunity to give back to Tony individually, which has since spawned a gofundme campaign.  As of this writing, they’re a little north of $3.2k raised, with a $10k goal.

This post has one message – if you haven’t given of yourself (be it time, money, etc) to victims of any of the recent natural disasters to hit the US, now is a great chance.  If you have, thank you, and also consider helping out one of your brethren.

You can check out a large sampling of the rad things Tony has worked on here.  Here’s just a small list:

  • Power Rangers: Legacy Wars
  • NBA Live 18
  • WWE 2k
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare/Black Ops (Nintendo DS)

If you’ve been touched by his work – give back!


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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Teach

“Those who can’t do, teach.”

– Some asshole

I used to very seriously stand by that quote.  I figured if you’re busy doing, you’re way too busy to teach what you’re doing.

I was wrong.  If you’re too busy to teach your craft, at some point you need to change priorities and teach your craft.  Now, I think teaching is one of the most important things we can do.  It’s a giving act, can be selfless, and generally helps the student as much as the teacher.

Today, I’m going to make a case against the following arguments:

  • I’m not good enough/don’t know enough to teach.
  • I make too many mistakes to teach.
  • I don’t really know what I’m doing, how could I teach?
  • There are so many people who are better than me, I can’t teach yet.
  • You have to really have something mastered to teach it.
  • I’m just not quite ready to teach yet.
  • I don’t know how to teach.
  • I’m not a good teacher, I really suck at it.

Alright.  Are you ready to have all of your thoughts and opinions debunked and start teaching?

Let’s break into it…

Continue reading Teach


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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3 Types of Non-Skeezy Self Promotion

Now that we’ve already touched on making cool things and why that’s important, we need to discuss promoting the things you’re doing.

For a lot of people, this is a super uncomfortable thing.  I get that.

Here’s the good news for you if you feel that way – you just need practice.

To solve that problem without completely wrecking your moral compass, I’m going to throw some ideas and perspectives your way.  I hope you’ll take advantage of them.

Continue reading 3 Types of Non-Skeezy Self Promotion


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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Why You Should Make Cool Things

Last post, I discussed what you need to do when faced with option paralysis prior to picking your next project.

Now you need to know why this is important.

Normally you’d think “well, yeah Adam.  I need to make something cool and fun – what else were you thinking I’d do??”

Well, I tend to think you’d watch Netflix.  Or complain about how hard it is to actually finish making something really awesome!

So I want to encourage you to start and finish.  The best way to do this is to remember why you’re starting in the first place.

Continue reading Why You Should Make Cool Things


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

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Make Cool Things

Have you ever had option paralysis?

Like you’re between projects, or just starting something new – but you have a horrible, awful conundrum.

You have no idea what to do.

There’s all sorts of possible reasons for this.  For example, writer’s block, where you seem to have no ideas.

You also might be putting a load of pressure on yourself because you want someone to think your work is awesome, but there’s no guarantee of that.

So what do you do in this situation?

Continue reading Make Cool Things


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.