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CGCircuit Interview: Mark Pope of Jolly Good Jobs

For those of us in the entertainment industry, at some point looking for a new job is either something we have to do or want to do. While it might sometimes seem there is a dearth of jobs matching our specific skills, there is no shortage of sites dedicated to trying to help you land that next gig.  A new games industry jobs search site, Jolly Good Jobs, tries to take the pain out of pinpointing the job that suits you best.

Mark Pope, founder of Jolly Good Jobs, sat down with CGCircuit to tell us what makes his job search site different and how it can help you hunt down that sometimes elusive prey: Employment.

Jolly Good Jobs

The Interview

Mark, could you briefly describe your current job and how you got there?
I’m a console and mobile game programmer. I’ve been working in games for 17 years, and have got to work on lots of games, including Spongebob Squarepants and Pixar games, such as The Incredibles and Up. I studied Software Engineering at University in England, and worked up from junior programmer to Studio Technical Director at my previous employer. Along the way I also moved to Los Angeles.

A year ago I decided to start in my spare time, which launched recently.

What is Jolly Good Jobs, and why did you make it?
The games industry is unstable. Projects and companies come and go frequently.
When I would get worried about losing my job, I’d start looking around online for what other options were out there. I’d find a few options, and perhaps hear that some company was hiring, but I knew there were more companies I’d not heard of.
In my mind I had the job finding website I wanted to use, but it didn’t exist. I decided to be the one to build it.
I love working in games, and I like helping people get into the games industry so that they can love it too. I figured that Jolly Good Jobs would be a good way of helping people.

What’s different about Jolly Good Jobs, and why the name?
The first difference is the number of jobs. We currently have over 1600 jobs on the site, which I believe makes us the biggest in those terms. The aim here is to give people more options.
The second difference is that I wanted the jobs to be shown on a detailed map. I’m hoping people will find ‘Hey, there’s a games company really close by – I can ride my bike to work!’
Finding a name was tough. I made a list of over a hundred names, and all the good ones were taken. Eventually I found Jolly Good Jobs. I liked it because it echo’s my English background.

What have you learned, and do you have any tips for other budding entrepreneurs?
I’d say the main thing I’ve learned is the power of consistent effort. I decided to spend 8 hours per week on the website, and I’ve stuck to it. At times it feels like I’m making little progress, but if you stick at it, you can accomplish great things.
I also recognized that the single most likely cause of my project failing was me getting bored and choosing to stop. Previously when I decided to work on projects, the question I would ask was something like ‘Does this sound like a cool project?’. When I started Jolly Good Jobs, I instead took a few weeks to decide ‘Do I want to work on this for a minimum of two years?’. It’s a harder question, as the commitment and scope of the challenge become clearer.

Any parting thoughts?
I’d love feedback. Please try out the, and use the contact page to tell me what you think. Also, tell your friends about it. The more people that use the site, the better it will become.

Additional links:
Jolly Good Jobs —