So, his advice basically comes down to “have a good attitude and think outside of the box”, well! Thank you Doctor Obvious!
And yes, the reason that there’s only two people he knew left on staff has nothing to do with the fact that it’s an industry that requires long hours, crap pay, and is unstable as hell. Want to raise a family? Don’t plan to do it as an animator, that’s for sure! (Unless you happen to be one of the handful of star animators with the proper set of connections in the business. Which is about as likely as winning the lottery.) One of my closest friends has been in the industry for 20+ years now, and he rarely takes vacations because of the constant fear of work drying up. (Which it has before, and will likely again.) He’s one of the best in his field, and yet he lives with perpetual instability and worry. (And he doesn’t have a family, in part because of his job.)
That’s the side Mr. Hicker isn’t telling these bright young souls about. But then, every army needs cannon fodder to work.