In past newsletters, I’ve discussed the current and growing skilled labor shortage. While this is becoming a global problem due to an aging population and declining birth rate, it has and always will be a problem in the game industry.
Our own drive to evolve the technology of games is creating this problem. Experience with the newest platform, the latest trend in popular games, the newest best business practices, software and even rolodexes are the demand for most hires.
As you have seen from our job board, newsletters and social outreach there is a higher and higher demand for a handheld, online and social gaming background. Regardless of the tenure of the candidates we are placing in executive and key man positions and the immediate need to fill those positions, companies are still not bending to immediately consider an extremely experienced candidate who has minimal experience in the latest technology and trends.
Enough about the problem — it’s affecting your ability to find a job, move up the ladder or join the fun. So how do you counter it? How do you gain the right background to grow your career? It’s the magic triumvirate: Learning, Networking, and Experience.
Learning – Learn as much as you can. Research, attend seminars, take courses (if possible) and educate yourself. Create your own proof of abilities through self education.
Networking – Expand your network to include experts in every discipline and at every level. As you network make sure you are not just asking but that you are giving too. Think of ways that you may be able to offer help, make a connection, be a extra resource for problem solving or contribute directly by reviewing work product and giving feedback.
Experience – Find ways to create the experience you need. If you are employed or unemployed, offer your services through the time you can devote to a start-up company. Start creating a game yourself or with friends, expand your rolodex and get on top of the latest trends and conquer them.
It’s not a simple process for investors, publishers, developers, start-ups and individuals to cross over to new technology, platforms, revenue models, expanded geographical areas and other dramatic changes that seem to be the norm in our industry. Remember the reasons you joined this industry: your love of learning, the excitement of new challenges, the goal of creating quality entertainment from your own personal area of expertise. Expand your network to include people who share the past, present and future of your career. Create your destiny one day at a time.
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