The 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.|
|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.
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.|
|Larry:||(leans in) I’m thinking of letting you in on something big.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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:
It’s complicated. I’ll spend the next three posts considering each option.