Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So this is the real world?

I'm about 1/3 of the way through my 4-week "personal leave"/job hunt in LA. So far I've applied to plenty of jobs which I may or may not be qualified for, had 1 final-round interview (which I think went well, but it's hard to say, really), revamped my website when I ran out of jobs to apply to, and endlessly slipped into a state of despair as I questioned this life I'm living.

I really do enjoy programming, but I've come to realize how much really boring programming there is out there. I see openings for jobs I really want, but I'm not nearly qualified enough for them to be considered over hundreds of professionals who are far more experienced in those areas. I wonder if I just failed miserably at taking the right classes in college, or if I simply graduated at the wrong time.

Finding a great job is difficult!

Ideally I want to work on some kind of user interface, a website or tool or game that I might actually use or at least show off to my friends and family because I am proud of it. I want to work at a small company with that innovative and passionate start-up-y feel but without the fear of going belly-up. I want stability without that corporate bureaucracy.

Companies like that either aren't hiring, or are only hiring people who are already proven awesome at it (published game titles, online portfolios, 5+ years post-grad experience). Has it always been that way, or is that just a sign of the shitty economy? Is it always going to be that way, or do I just have to suffer through a few years/jobs I feel meh about until the economy improves and thus the need for developers in more interesting fields is great enough that they'd take someone like me, someone who knows some, has dabbled in such things either briefly in college or here and there as a hobby but reallllllllllly wants the opportunity to further develop professionally if only someone would give her the chance.

More and more I really want to be involved in video game (or at least the entertainment sector) development. I had a shot in college to switch from Computer Engineering & Computer Science to Computer Science Games, but decided not to because I wanted to leave my options open, to not be too specialized. While I like not being locked into a niche field, I am kicking myself for not at least making an effort in college to break into that industry that is so incredibly difficult to enter.

I guess I'm fearing a future of the daily grind, showing up to a job I don't particularly like because I'm not particularly enjoying what I'm doing or particularly proud of what I'm/we're producing, just to pay the bills.

I know what I want to do, I just wish I knew a more possible way to get Can't everyone else want something else so I'm the only one who wants to do that so they'll hire me?!

Dear Economy,

Please improve super duper fast so I can have a better perspective of my life and the future and whether or not to regret what I'm doing with it.




Well, I apparently kicked enough ass on Monday at my interview, because they emailed me an offer letter a little while ago. It's a little less money than I make now, but they have stock options and match contributions to an IRA account, and "more money" isn't really my biggest selling point at this time in my life. I have 1 week to decide.

I'm incredibly jazzed that I have a ticket to moving back down here, now. But I'm scared.

I'm scared of letting people down -- my old company/co-workers, my parents (who don't want me to move away from them again, and who partially think it's a bad career move), and myself if this doesn't turn out well.

I'm scared that this won't be the job I want it to be. But I have to realize that I am only 22 years old, and I will have many jobs in my life and may not find *the* job for a while. A job is what I do 8 hours a day 5 days a week, not everything I do or everything I am.

I'm scared because it means I'm moving again. I know, this is what I want -- the biggest reason for me taking this unpaid time off work to job hunt down here was because I want to move back down here! But I always get nervous about big change, and I know this about myself.

I can finally drink that bottle of champagne I bought months ago for celebrating a new job in LA.


  1. Do you know Jeff Magers? He does video game programming (did some work on God of War III). He'd be a great resource on finding a good way to break in.

    Good luck in your job search! :)

  2. Kristal: yeah, I took some classes with him and messaged him last week on LinkedIn basically asking if he knew of anything. The videogame industry is super tough to break into -- you just really need your starting opportunity for someone to give you a chance, so you can get experience and titles attached to your name. Jeff, for example, has interned/worked for like 3 or 4 different video game companies already, so he's *in*! Kevin got his job because his USC video game class professor started a game company and gave him an internship to prove himself. It's all about who you know and lucky breaks!