Lateral Moves to a Fannish Job

That desire to move to a fannish/geeky job is strong for many of us, yet the challenges can be daunting for people in some professions:
* You may be in a profession that's "geeky" but not quite geeky enough.  You're  programmer that wants to work in gaming, but your specialty is inventory systems (been there myself).
* You may be in a purely non-geeky profession: marketing, accounting, infrastructure management, etc.  You like it, you're a fan of it (I've known people who, for instance, adore working in transportation), but how can you go farther to relate it to what you fan over and love.

In this case, it's time to start thinking what I call a lateral move to a fannish job.

The idea behind this is that your goal is you want to be doing something that you can do in a company, organization, or your own company that lets you be involved in the things you love.  You want skills, abilities, and knowledge you can transfer directly to doing the SAME (or similar things) but in a way that's, well, more you.

If you're doing something geeky/fannish but specialize in a way that doesn't lead you to where you want to be, such as the above programmer example, consider these options:

  • See if you can use your skills internally at other companies even if you're not "directly" in the area you'd like to be in.  If you're an inventory system guru maybe you'd develop those for a large gaming company, movie company, software shipper, etc.  Then you can see about transitioning elsewhere.
  • Move up the chain of your jobs to something you can easily port elsewhere – Project Manager, technology architect, etc.  That applies to our next section . . .

If you're a person in a relatively non-geeky profession you like, then you've got skills that anyone can use – including the companies and clients you'd love to work for.  I myself took my project management skills into gaming – skills honed in the geeky area of IT, but at non-geeky companies.  Brainstorm a bit and think of just what you could do:

  • You love accounting, numbers, and reports.  EVERY company needs people like you.  Or for that matter imagine developing your own consulting business working in areas you like – maybe you consult for sports teams, mid-level bands, etc.
  • Maybe you're a shipping guru.  Everyone has to move material.  Your work in one industry may be very applicable elsewhere.
  • You're a marketer.  If you're enough of fangirl/fanboy online geek to be reading this you probably have more technical and social media knowledge than many others.  Leverage that.

Sometimes your ultimate profession isn't far away.  It's more just figuring how to move your skills and profession to another area, or developing them a bit so you can do just that.

Best of all, maybe your skills don't seem overly fannish yet you love them (indeed you're a fan of them yourself).  But what you do with them can satisfy your interests and enthusiasm.

– Steven Savage