06/04/2012 MM: "How To Get Your Dream Job"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I just had a flashback: the same Venn diagram as in the beginning of the article on the door of a "Professional orientation" room in a Soviet school in 1987, only with words in circles being simply "Want", "Can" and "Needed".
At risk of being a killjoy, I'd like to point something out. Any time a famous person with an awesome job says "Take risks to land your dream job!", my first thought is of the thousand people who took those risks, didn't get the job, and are working in a cube farm for an obscure government agency instead. Of course you're pro-risk - taking those risks got you where you are, and that's great. Most famous people can tell the same story. But a lot more people try and fail, and the thing about dream jobs is that they tend to be very unforgiving - either you get them or you don't even come close. There's a lot more rock stars who never play a venue better than the local pub, or ball players who never get past the A leagues, than there are superstars in either field. You'll never hear them telling you how much risking it all for your dream sucks, because they don't have the podium, but they certainly exist. 

Of course, that's probably not a story that you want to tell a class full of middle-school kids. 
Oh, I strongly suspect any future career I may or may not have at Wizards will be cut quite short for punching Rosewater in the face when he spouts some sort of "players need terrible cards" nonsense.
I want to say that I enjoyed the article much more than I expected to (the personal stories I usually find a bit hit and miss -- this one was definitely a hit).  It was quite inspirational and mostly well thought out.  That being said, I think Alsadius above has a pretty good point, which is also worth mentioning.
At risk of being a killjoy, I'd like to point something out. Any time a famous person with an awesome job says "Take risks to land your dream job!", my first thought is of the thousand people who took those risks, didn't get the job, and are working in a cube farm for an obscure government agency instead. Of course you're pro-risk - taking those risks got you where you are, and that's great. Most famous people can tell the same story. But a lot more people try and fail, and the thing about dream jobs is that they tend to be very unforgiving - either you get them or you don't even come close. There's a lot more rock stars who never play a venue better than the local pub, or ball players who never get past the A leagues, than there are superstars in either field. You'll never hear them telling you how much risking it all for your dream sucks, because they don't have the podium, but they certainly exist. 

Of course, that's probably not a story that you want to tell a class full of middle-school kids. 



I don't think that's quite fair.  If he hadn't tried, he definitely wouldn't have the dream job.  So taking risks is part of the way to get there.

The article wasn't entitled "How to optimize the chances of obtaining a not-terrible career", after all.  I think that's what you're referring to - i.e. what's the backup plan if the dream doesn't come true?

For MaRo's example, after focusing on communication, writing skills, etc., it seems like there are still plenty of career opportunities available - for example, editing, marketing, maybe technical writing.  So there's not a high risk that you'll be left with zero real world skills if the dream doesn't happen. 

MaRo's plan was not high risk, compared to people who plan to be professional athletes - some of those people really have no safety net.
That's why they're called risks and not assurances.  There is no guarantee.
Lathspel, that's certainly true. There's not many people who go to work at McDonald's and have their boss offer to add a zero to their paycheque and  put them on beer-tasting and test-driving attractive women duty. If you want your dream job, you need to take risks somewhere. I'm just looking at the flip side - taking risks is no guarantee of a dream job, and can sometimes leave you worse off. As Ange said, that's why they're called risks. 

What can I say? I'm just a depressing person.  
The advice here is very good

1. Doing what you love -- You know, if all else fails, at least you're doing what you love. ^^ That in itself is a dream. This is enough to be happy even if you don't become rich and famous.

2. Doing what you're good at -- Yeah. But especially, become good at something you love. Like Maro says, you have to earn your dream job. Why should you get it and not somebody else? And the only good answer for that is because you're going to be excellent at it. This leads right into three...

3. Doing what someone will pay you to do -- There is not a single skill in this world that when performed at the highest levels, is not valuable to someone. So as long as you master something, you will get paid for it. Often a lot. But you do have to master something. And yeah, that means learning, and working at it, and failing, making use of the opportunities, etc. etc. everything he talked about.

Which I think he forgot the most important part -- listen to people who know what to do. ^^ The reason most people won't ever get their dream job, is just because they never looked for good advice on how to get what they want, or when they found that advice they ignored it rather than follow it. I know you say, but what is good advice? The advice that gets you what you want is good advice :p Seriously though, you won't always know beforehand. You have to make a "decision" sometimes, gasp. And decide how valid that advice is, and whether or not it's worth the effort. But listening to someone who's already done what you're trying to do is generally good advice. And almost always, there is someone who has already been there in a similar situation, so just have to find that person.
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Not much new in here.

.) Taking risks

Yes, true, yet obvious.

.) Throwing every idea at the Duelist

Not sure if that was such a good idea. 95% of my ideas are rubbish and only 5% are worth pursuing. I'm wondering about the quality of the old duelist. Probably wasn't all that well made.
Interestingly, MaRos "throw everything at it" approach resembles the current state of magic. A lot of flashyness, not much substance.

.) Take advantage of opportunities

Oh really? Who would've thought?

.)Here's the trick. Humans function better with focus. If there's a reason to do something, it's easier to stick with it. For example, I love to write. I know I'll become a better writer if I constantly write. One of the ways I helped make sure this was going to happen was to get myself into a situation—this column—that forces me to write every week. Having a deadline and a goal each week ensures that I keep at my writing.

My writing is rubbish when my head is empty. In this state it is usually a bad idea to force myself to write something. It feels like unlearning rather than learning.
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Reading this article comes at a great time for me, personally. I just graduated with a degree in marketing and about 1-1.5 years of applicable work experience, including a market research internship at my FLGS.  I've been debating trying to get to GenCon this year to see if I can't rub elbows with some of the right people to break into the hobby game industry. Does anyone here on this board know anything about maybe being able to volunteer at GenCon? Are there any official channels for that?

I'd love to be able to get involved in any way that I can with Wizards to eventually work my way up into their hallowed ranks. 
Hallowed ranks?

Prepare to get your mind like blown, man.

I managed to get my first novel published, which was the fulfillment of a great dream, yes. But with this also came disillusionment. The world of literature is not a magical chrismas land (there's actually a looooot of bullshit) and neither will be working at wizards.
IMAGE(http://www.projektstarwars.de/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=16432&dateline=1299412590) Fallen Star Verlag Play Legacy! Decks: Legacy Natural Order/Hulk EDH Iname, Death Aspect / Rosheen Meanderer Casual Elves! I petition for the removal of the mythic rarity.
Oh, I strongly suspect any future career I may or may not have at Wizards will be cut quite short for punching Rosewater in the face when he spouts some sort of "players need terrible cards" nonsense.

Pfft. Some people *like* terrible cards. :P
I dont usually like Maro articles, but this one was really good.

It showcases his passion and drive to get where he wanted to be.  I'm sure more things fell into place for him than what he briefly covered in the article, but he was able to get his points across and illustrated that opportunity can come knocking when you let it know you're home.  

I like that Nathan Holt got dap too.  I was lucky enough to have Nathan be a part of my store's community for a couple months when he lived in the area and he is awesome.  He moved, but he now gets to do his dream job.  Great pickup by Wizards.  His videos are fantastic.

I really did enjoy this article.  Thanks for it.

- Dave Feinstein
Owner/Operator Die Hard Games
 
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