interstate - is it possible for a first job?

Basically I'm sitting here, waiting for Ratbag to call me back. The interview went as well as I could have imagined - but still, what if I don't get the position? With the recent loss of a possible contract and no job at Ratbag, I'd be stuck here without work in Adelaide. No other job oppurtunities as far as I can see.

So I'd need to move interstate to get work. Has anybody experienced relocation for their first job? Does it even happen?

If you've had to move interstate for work please share your experiences [:)] Is it common for the employer to help with funding the relocation?

I'd prefer to move to Melbourne, as far as I know it's the busier city for the games industry, and I've got a few mates there who could help me out too. I'd be moving in six months or so, as I'm enrolled for evening drawing classes at [URL][/URL] and am guessing I'd need to spend that time building my portfolio as well.

inglis's picture

Yeah it does happen.
Just have to prove to the company you are worth it.

Im currently in the process of getting a US working Visa- the company has got a lawyer to work on it. Im sitting here waiting like you- waiting for immigration to let me in the gate in my case.

So if they want you they will do what they can to get you there.

jacobt's picture

Wow the US! Good luck inglis :)

Generally for a role interstate or overseas, would you say that the "normal" procedure of email/post applications is sufficient, or would you need some other means of communication with the employer (eg a friend who works there, etc)?

Yep, proving to the employer that I am worth it is definitely on my agenda. I'm sure that with some careful planning I could put together an interstate-worthy folio [:)]

Daemin's picture

jocobt - You might be waiting a while for Ratbag to call back, I know from expereince. Tho I didn't get the job this time because I still haven't finished uni. Oh well, not all is lost, now I have the opportunity to start a game dev house of my very own, a risky endevour none-the-less.

Johnn's picture

I have 2 friend that moved to Melbourne a few years ago to work in the games industry. They both had professional graphics/illustration experience but neither had any experience with games developement, 3D stuff etc. So it does happen :)

Expect to go over for interviews though. I'm not sure if interstate developers hire people 'sight unseen' if they can help it.

J I Styles's picture

Ok, a few myths being thrown around here, hope this helps

My first industry job had me relocating interstate; moved around a bit for my education to begin with so it wasn't a huge shock really.

The only "common" time relocation costs are offset by your future employer are under very uncommon circumstances - eg, you're shit hot, they're desperate, you've got a lot of bargaining power, and they've got the cash to throw away.

You'll find more often than not you'll be able to sort something out though either way. I know a few companies that I'm familiar with that don't care about seeing people before they hire - they have the skills, they get along fine over the phone and through other correspondance, and they fit the company mold from everything they can see then that's all they need. Common thing is for a 3 month "trial" period, so if they stuff up in that time, then they're under no obligation to keep them around -- out the door they go.

And don't forget, it's the same thing with importing people too.

jacobt's picture

Daemin: yes, I know that from experience as well. While I can be relatively patient, and I am remaining confident, I guess you still have to weigh up the possibilites, anything could happen, right? Yep, even from an industry "outsider" viewpoint it seems that creating a startup is a difficult endevour, even for industry veterans.

JohnN: There is a slim chance I could get some multimedia work in the meantime, but having spent around 12 months working almost purely on game art, it's a daunting idea to have to go back and recreate a folio for a different field... My point is that I virtually cannot go back and work on my folio to enter another field, even it helps as leverage to getting a job in this industry. I know you weren't recommending this, but I'm just throwing around ideas.

Joel: very insightful, thanks. Being shit hot would be quite nice... and a 3 month trial period would be quite nice as well.


Thanks, this is helping to map out possibilities, as well as giving me another reason to keep working on that folio, while I wait.... damned telephone [;)]

yurtle the turtle's picture

Hey Daemin, did you actually get an interview with them or not? When you thinking of starting up your own company?

Daemin's picture

I have a rather longish history with Ratbag, originally I had an interview years ago, but I was crap then (I admit that), since then I have had another two interviews, the last one being last year, which got me into an "informal chat" which was a second round interview. I also had a bit of a chat with them at the Big Party night at the AGDC, and I was told that if I was not at Uni (still got 1/2 a year to go) that I would have gotten the job.

Currently with regards to my own company, myself and a couple of friends are tinkering with a prototype of a game and are throwing ideas around. Right now I'm trying to arrange tickets to the GDC in hopes of maybe showing the game off a bit, or geting contacts.

Johnn's picture

Good to hear that it's possible to secure a contract without having to fly around oz doing interviews.

Jacobt, if you can get the multimedia work in Adelaide do it. Nothing beats professional experience on the resume.

Gibbz's picture

hey ive been thinking about starting a game dev studio(im in adelaide) too... Also applyed ofr the job at ratbag and havent heard anything, thojacobt you put my work to shame ;)

Gibbz's picture

ok i actually started a thread, feel free to post questions you may want in there too :D

jacobt's picture

John, yeah if I can't get work in Adelaide in games then I'll definitely try for some multimedia work instead. For that I will have to do some portfolio changes though... Not sure about job availability too, I have a few graphic designer friends who find the industry here to be very quiet (and their work is of high standard imo). The most successful guys I know have either started their own company's or are doing freelance work.

It's good to see some ambitious guys here in Adelaide. I would love the scene here to be able to compete with the likes of Melbourne and Brisbane! Go boys [:D]

And Gibbz, I first applied at Ratbag about 10 weeks from finishing the diploma, and didn't hear back from them. Use your time wisely and I'm sure they'll need you at some point.

Johnn's picture

I've found Adelaide a bit sleepy as far as design work is concerned too. I've also found that quality of work is often not the deciding factor of sucessful businessses and freelancers! being able to run the business and find the work are maybe more important skill.

ratbagratbagratbag.. are there actually any other games developers in Adelaide?

jacobt's picture

Yeah there are a few other developers in SA I think, one is [URL][/URL] and I also know of a startup who aren't ready to announce anything yet. I think there might be some more smaller developers as well, but I don't know who they are or where to find them...

If we had the same government grant opputunities that the Melbournites have and some more game art focused education we would be a lot better off.

Gibbz's picture

10 weeks, whew thats a long time not to hear anything, do they give feedback, as i find noones seems to give feed back, you usually get a generic, your not right for us at this time.
Tho i do have a contact at ratbag now which should help a little ;D

jacobt's picture

woa hold your horses there mate [:)] No work for me just yet.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... use forums to gain feedback on your work. Make a thread in the exhibition forum and I'm sure people will help you out. Many heads are always better than one.

Daemin's picture

I've also heard of r3 Interactive, they're heaps good and heaps relaxed guys there. Quite a lot smaller and laid back than Ratbag from what I saw and talked to them about.

I also know of one other startup - this one formed with some Ex-Ratbag people, we could be talking about the same one.?

jacobt's picture

I would assume so :)