When you’re a kid, everyone asks what you want to be when you grow up. I was no exception.
I always had an answer. I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, an astronaut, a fire fighter (I was a kid …), a zoologist, a programmer, a professional artist, a zoologist, a high school teacher, an entomologist, a linguist, a professor, and a photographer. At one point I absolutely knew I would be the first person to teach at our moon colony.
I wanted to be everything. Like most people, my “When I grow up” list changed all the time, and very little on that list resembles in any way what I do now.
When I went to college (the first time) I made it to my junior year without declaring a major. I loved school. There was so much variety, and so much to learn and experience. I loved almost every class I took and every class gave me new ideas for what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I couldn’t decide though, and eventually my indecision met my inability to pay tuition and I decided it was time to drop out. It was a decision I regretted for years.
But then I happened to get into a job that I loved. I was involved in an ERP system implementation project. I was helping with the project management, and I was one of the system “super users” and was helping to define processes in the new system. My role grew over time and I took on more project management work and more business systems analysis work. Writing specs for system customizations, and driving the rest of the team to meet our deadlines.
I went back to school, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.
And then one day a few years ago, it dawned on me. I was almost there. I was grown up of course, but I was also doing what I wanted to be doing, just not in the ideal environment for me.
I loved the work, and still do, but I want something a bit different.
How different do I want?
Well, I am a bit of a geek. I watch science fiction shows, read fantasy books, play Dungeons and Dragons, and I play video games. I have a strange love for MMO games. I also really enjoy beta testing games. Heck, I enjoy testing business software at work too, and games are naturally a lot more amusing.
My natural conclusion: I want to do the type of work I have been doing (project management and business systems analysis) for a game development company. I want to contribute to the development of games in some way. I don’t have the imagination to be a designer or the coding skills to be a developer, but I do have the PM and BSA skills to support both groups of people. And more importantly, I have a passion for the products.
So that’s the dream. And that’s what I want to be when I grow up. Part of a game development and design team (preferably MMO but I’m not that picky) contributing my epic PM and BSA skills in ways that others couldn’t, because I have the dream.