The Big Career Chance

October 1, 2018

careerThe Big Career Chance

The career situation

You have a new job as a tester for children’s on-line games.  Two weeks in, it seems like a pretty good place, with a lot of career opportunities. The obvious leader is Larry, the senior designer. You haven’t quite made it in with the pack but you’re hopeful.


Pen is a programmer. You’re reviewing the bugs you’ve found with her.

Pen: Gosh, that’s a strange one.
You: Yeah, and only happens when the forest background is playing.
Pen: (opens the files)  Hmmm—nothing obvious, but I’ll give a look.
You: Unless Larry intended some sub-routine he dropped. Should we ask him? He’s over there with Caleb.
Pen: Looks like they’re busy.
You: But Malcolm (everybody’s boss) wants it in production asap.
Pen: Larry’s busy. He won’t thank you for breaking in.
You: But…
Pen: Trust me, you don’t want to get involved.
You: Huh? In what?
Pen: (looks back to the screen) I’m sure I’ll find that bug.

What did she mean? But it’s pretty clear she doesn’t want to talk.

Larry’s project

About a week later, Larry comes to your desk.

Larry: You must be quite the hotshot. Malcolm doesn`t go over the top for nothing.
You: Ah, comes from having a warped mind.
Larry: The kind I could use.
You: Huh?
Larry: (leans in) I’m thinking of letting you in on something big.
You: Really?
Larry: You know that real money is with serious gamers.
You: Yeah, but that’s not the company’s niche…
Larry: Screw the company. This is much bigger. I can’t go into details, but we need a tester. We might let you in on the ground floor.

Let in on the ground floor

You: Sounds good. Something you work on after hours?
Larry: And other times.
You: Weekends?
Larry: Aren’t you one of god’s innocents? Yeah, then, too.
You: During work? But does Malcolm—
Larry: This is none of Malcolm’s or the company’s business.
You: But your employment contract—
Larry: Screw contracts. Once a big company bites, we’ll quit here. Then sell the game or join their team.
You: Wow.
Larry: So, are you in? We could give you up to 5%.
You: Sounds really interesting. Can I think about it?
Larry: Sure, but not long. Caleb has a line on another tester. (pause) Of course, this is just between us, right?

What should you do?

Seems to me you’ve got three choices:

  1. Say no and tell Malcolm;
  2. Say no but keep your mouth shut;
  3. Say yes and start working on the project.

It’s complicated. I’ll spend the next three posts considering each option.

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