Home › Forums › Imagination Forum – Theme Park Attraction Design & Imagineering › Theme Park work in the current economic climate
I’m entering the business when I graduate in May, maybe freelance, possible full time somewhere, so I’d love to know what those already working are experienceing right now.
I can’t speak to where I am in particular. But I will tell you that as far back as August I was hearing that shops all over town were laying people off, and that everything had slowed down. Our industry has natural ups and downs that follow the economy… maybe a bit in advance of it hitting the news. It may be difficult to get a job in the first 6 months of next year… I have a feeling it hasn’t all shaken out yet in the industry, and it may get a bit worse before it gets better. The economy usually bounces back, though, and it would be good to start getting yourself out there to meet people, so that when things do pick up, they know who to call!
The industry is usually dead in late November – January. But there is enough diverse work out there that it’s almost recession proof. There’s always something happening.
that’s good to know.
So If I purse the industry, I won’t be homeless every time there’s economic panic?
It depends on what you plan on doing. I’m more of the artsy side of things entering via theatrical design and there are some “issues” becoming apparent in the current economy. Some places are cutting back, others are shutting down.
You know what though? The big guys are still around and doing well. They need people, right?
In my world there’s two distinct groups of “possible employees” that are pretty easy to differentiate. There’s really talented people and mildly talented people who schmooze a lot. It’s probably the same in the business world and many other fields.
In my experience, being (or trying to be) the really talented person may not always get me the easy break, but it gets me kept around when the foo hits the fan. When jobs are scarce I may no be the first one called because i’m not the son of the producer’s great aunt or somethin, but i’m the first person they call to “consult” when things aren’t going right and it usually turns into me assuming the responsibilities and position.
I don’t kiss butt and i seem to never be unemployed. So, my advice is just be god at what you do 🙂
kingslyZISSOU, you definitely shouldn’t be worried about being “homeless”. Most people in the industry do fine… it’s just wise to save up enough income that if you run into trouble, you can survive for a few months while looking for the next project. That’s actually good advice for any industry. The veteran designers that I know are fine in this recession, it’s just harder to find work… I would recommend not only being good at what you do, but to not be too picky about what you do. Doing “odds and ends” projects are not always as exciting as doing the high-profile stuff, but if you are willing to do odds and ends and you do them well, you will still have work when the big projects get put on the back burner…
I will second that Holly…the place im working is a bit slow right now, but its just cyclical as those ive worked with have told me. And like you said, we dont always get to work on the “cool” stuff, but you just have to learn to take what you can get in order to make it to that next great project. Scenic shops like where i work do alot more than just theme park stuff, so that helps in the slow times.
The other thing to consider is that there is much going on globally – things are taking off all over Asia (China, Singapore, Korea, Japan…) and in Dubai. There seems to be lots of money flying in some of those countries. It just means hooking up with the companies working on those projects.