Combining Careers And Interests: Who you work for

So you want to make sure you live your geek interests as part of your career?  I've discussed how you can do that with what you do, and what you create, so let's look at another way.

You can live your interests in who you work for.

There are companies and businesses you can work for, clients you can support and consult for, that do things that fit your interests, your geekery, your otakudom.  In working for them you can support the things you care about and are interested in even if you don't use "geeky skills" or even have much involvement in actual product.

This may seem awful abstract, but consider:

  • You may be fantastic as an HR person.  You can make sure the animation studios you love run smoothly so they can create the fantastic films and shows that charm and inspire you.
  • Sure you love video games, but you're not a programmer, a concept artist, or even a community manager.  But you can take all that knowledge of technology youu have to manage the tools and infrastructure of a game company or studio you support.
  • You're a lawyer, and a good one.  Why not support your favorite technology company or a company that makes those wonderful gadgets you love in an age of patent trolling and changes in international law?

This is an area I'm familiar with – I'm a Project Manager in video game middleware.  Now the last thing people think of in games is the guy with the spreadsheets and giant SCRUM corkboards (mine are awesome, however).  They think of coders and artists and the like, not people like me that organize and plan and are often far away from the product.

Except, and let me say this honestly, I've been a manager for two "geeky" companies and it is a blast.  I help make awesome things happen, things I believe in, things that I like, even if I'm not hands-on.

It can be the same with you – whatever skills and abilities you have, you can support the people and companies and clients that make cool things, geeky things, things you love and care about.  Find the right company or set of clients, and apply what you are good at to make sure their miracles can happen.

So when you're looking to use your geekery to go progeek, remember it's not always what you do or what you make – it's who you do it for.

– Steven Savage