“Pigeon Holes: Reverse Engineering Job Searches”
A story about how my younger step-brother ended up as a Photoshop guru, lead 3-D modeler at Maxis for SimCity3000, and now doing R&D for Maxis. By Caleb John Clark.
We all know the stresses of looking for work. If weeks on the job boards and networking leaves you feeling like a pigeon staring at a wall of holes and not wanting to cram yourself into any of them, these stories might be for you.
My step-brother was such a fan of Star Wars, comics and computers that at age 19 he recognized the graphic artist that was then doing most of the movie posters on the subway in NYC. He walked up and introduced himself and ended up working on for him using the first versions of Photoshop. After dropping out of Parsons school of design he ended up doing Photoshop production work for computer game cheat books.
But he knew he wanted to 3-D model. So, when 3-D-Studio came out and could finally work well on consumer boxes, he took some time off and made a beautiful walk through of an art gallery, featuring his oil paintings on the wall. Ignoring the existence of job openings he just sent out a disk to DreamWorks, Maxis and a few other companies he respected and wanted to work for. He got three offers and took the one from Maxis.
After completing work on SimCity3000 and working himself up to lead 3-D modeler, he was burned out and about to quit to oil paint for a year. But before he did he decided to just come into work and start doing what he wanted to do. He began brainstorming new SIM games and sending off short QuickTime movies of his ideas to his bosses, and they gave him a promotion to R&D where he is today.
Yes, my step-brother is lucky, annoyingly talented and robotically disciplined, but there is a moral to the story.
You can make your own pigeon hole and shop it around to walls you want to fit into.