Last week marked my one-year anniversary at my current employer – writing computer games, and trying hard to make it look like Work.
Of the eleven-or-so years since I left University, I have spent all but one of those years in the computer games industry. Two years ago I left my employer (of nine years) feeling quite jaded and cynical. I vowed never to go back to that industry, and decided that The Way Forward was a sensible programming job at a sensible company in a sensible industry, doing sensible programming, wearing a sensible shirt, working sensible hours and talking about sensible things over sensible lunches.
I lasted a year. I didn’t fit in. I was bored, childish, and clearly not cut out for A Proper Job.
If I’m honest, it only took a week before I knew the job wasn’t for me. But I stuck at it, thinking “the fun stuff is over, I have grown up, I need to learn to do a job I don’t enjoy like everyone else in the world”.
So when I left that job and started this one, I had almost forgotten what it was like to be paid to do a job I loved, or work with people that I could genuinely relate to.
I hope that my workmates see it for the compliment it is when I say that my last year, working in a building full of oddballs, nutjobs, weirdos, social misfits, circus freaks and borderline-OCDs has been fantastic. I would even go as far to say that this last year has been therapy for me. To work with people I also consider great friends is awesome, and I feel very much at home. I am back amongst My Own Kind.
It must be said: the pay isn’t great. This company are not known for their generous salaries, and if I want to get in the payrise-queue I’ll be waiting behind some of the guys who haven’t had one (not even inflation) in four years. But what I have found most surprising is that I am enjoying the work I’m doing, and the people I’m doing it with – and that seems to make up for it.
Sometime in the future I’ll no-doubt have the opportunity to change job (I get offers occasionally), and there may be a decent pay increase. I’ll need to decide whether I’m hard-nosed enough to go for the big payrise and not care about the people I’m working with, or whether I’d rather go for the lower pay and a fun job.
I suspect I’ll go with the fun job.