Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hire Me, WotC! Part I - Defining the Goal(s)

When was the last time you took the time to turn one of your childhood dreams into a reality? For many of us, these fantasies get sidelined for "real" life. They don't disappear, but the older we get, the less we feel like they are possible. At some point we write them off altogether, and settle for what has been convenient or what has seemed most stable.

I'm sick of convenient and stable. I want to be passionate about my work. I want to feel fulfilled by the work I'm doing. I want a dream job.

Last week, I shared a childhood dream of mine: working for Wizards of the Coast. This week is the kickoff of a series called "Hire Me, WotC!" In the coming weeks, I'll be spending a great deal of time on that childhood dream. I'll explore the possibilities of making it come true, develop a plan to make it happen, and track my progress on the path. Today we begin with a deceptively complex step: defining the goals.

"But Josh!" you ask. "You already said what your goal is! You want to work for Wizards of the Coast!"

Technically, that would be correct. I have stated that I want to work for WotC. However, that statement is extremely broad, and I'm likely to stray from the goal without more focus. I need a clearly defined long term goal, and some short term goals that I can achieve on the way. Clearly stating the long term goal helps to maintain focus, and developing short term goals along the way will give me positive reinforcement, which in turn will help me stay focused.

We'll start with one long term goal and two short term goals. Each one is listed below, with a bit of the rationale behind each one.

Long Term Goal: I want to work as a writer/designer for either Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering.

These are the two games that I grew up loving, and that still play a significant part of my adult life. I have shared many great times with a lot of great people while playing them, and I want to be a part of their continued success. By contributing to the development of these games, I'll be helping my fellow gamers, as well as a future generation of gamers, continue to share awesome experiences with awesome people.

Short Term Goal #1: I will create a game design resume and critique it.

Even though I don't feel prepared to create a resume for a game design position, this will force me to assess myself realistically. It will probably be on the short side, but I will at least get an idea of what areas I most need to work on, and I can share it with others for feedback.

Short Term Goal #2: Write five articles about my quest to work for Wizards of the Coast.

This might end up being more than five articles, but I think five is a good place to start. Five is a high enough number that it won't be easy to achieve, but a low enough bar that I can meet the goal and feel some early success. 

Obviously, these goals are not static. Short term goals will be achieved and replaced, and the long term goal might change slightly as I continue. Who knows? I might find that there is some other niche of the gaming world that I'm better suited in, but only time and experience will tell. These will do for now.

Join me next week for the next step of the journey.

Look out, Wizards. I'm coming!
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