It can be incredibly hard, at least in my case. Since high school I wanted to do 3D animation and/or it's related jobs, took classes, which aren't always necissary but they gave me great insight into story creation, writing, traditional animation and the arts, and film making.
I graduated with a BA of fine arts and an above average demo reel. Though while I've gotten great experience in AAA games and major films while interning for 2 and a half years, I found that studios were more than willing to let me work for free, but when I ran out of savings and needed a PAYING position, they said they had nothing. I passed my reel around to places big and small in games, tv and film for over a year while working a fucking retail tech job until I was diagnosed with cancer.
Now that I'm recovering, it's been about 3 years years, my reel isn't up to date, I need to learn a bunch of new techniques and software that became popular since I had to stop for a while and need to make a whole new current reel with new animation and models, which could take a whole year.
In my case, just a big stumble can leave you behind while current fresh younger artists just starting out have the advantage and I don't know if I'll ever get where I want to be. You need to be quick and start early. Now I'm bummed