dream job

Show and Tell – Landmark

I’ve been playing a lot of EverQuest Next Landmark recently. Even though it is still early in alpha, the game is great. In fact, I have hardly played any Minecraft (my most recent gaming obsession) since Landmark alpha started.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Landmark has so much potential, and the entire process that they (SOE) are taking with the open communication, no NDA, pay-to-play Alpha is refreshing. And also super fascinating to the business systems analyst and project manager in me. I’ll probably share my thoughts on that later.

Landmark is a sandbox game that is heavily focused on exploration and building the world. The pieces that have been released to the alpha group so far consist almost entirely of resource gathering, crafting, and building tools. So in essence, you go into the world and a piece of land plant your flag in it (almost literally) and build. You gather the resources that you need to make and upgrade tools, and to build everything that you want to build on your land. And you explore what others have built. There are some very talented people playing this game.

But now to the point. Today I want to share what I have made so far. (Click to view full size!)

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

I don’t consider any of this done at this point.

I really wanted to build a traditional Shinto arch, but I need to practice with the tools more before I can make one that looks right.

View from above, with Hubby's place down in the valley.

View from above, with Hubby’s place down in the valley.

Neighbors dotting the mountain tops.

Other settlers dotting the mountain tops.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

For the building, I am still working on the latticework in the walls, and haven’t done much work on the interior. I plan to use the smoothing tool on all of it (or at least parts) to make the edges softer, and maybe make the pillars round. The arch is pretty, but not what I wanted.

Sunset!

I love how it looks at night!

I love how it looks at night!

Another night view.

Another night view.

If the images don’t load properly here, you can also view them on imgur.

For those of you out there that are playing landmark, if you have questions about how I did anything, let me know! I’m happy to share. If you want to take a look in person, I’m on Liberation/Dell in the SW corner of the jungle (coordinates:  -1340.40, 1340.60, 1647.60).

Belated post: With Gratitude

I spent Thanksgiving weekend 2010 (nearly two years ago) feeling very thankful. During that time, I started writing the post below, but I didn’t finish. I now present to you my completed (and after) thoughts

On Thanksgiving in 2009 I spent the day with my in-laws. We were at Grandma’s house,  with Hubby’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, Aunt and Uncle, cousins, and (of course) Grandma. We celebrated Thanksgiving in their traditional way; Oyster stuffing (made specifically because Grandma thinks Hubby likes it), Poopernickel Bread (there’s an inside joke here), green bean casserole, turkey, and wine.

That Thanksgiving I had a migraine. While the rest of the family visited and played games, I took my netbook and hid in a dark, quiet room, and started writing (I was hiding because of the migraine, I’m not really that antisocial). I joined WordPress, created this blog, and wrote my first two mediocre posts; one as a brief introduction, the other as a letter of thanks to my friends and family.

Thanksgiving 2010 was spent with my family (4 siblings, 2 nieces, 5 cousins, Mom, Aunt and Uncle, Grandparents, and various boyfriends and girlfriends of cousins and siblings. It was the first time in several years that myself, my 4 siblings, and the 5 cousins had been all together in many years, and it was very nice. [I originally had something witty that I was going to say about my family’s Thanksgiving traditions, but have since forgotten.]

To all of my family and friends, who supported me while I was in school. To Lisa, Michelle, and Keri for being the best team that I could ever hope for in our business simulation project. To my nieces for being my constant source of inspiration to finish school. To Kreg, for always prodding me in the right way to keep me motivated to work toward my dream. To my D&D group, for working around my schedule so that I can be part of the once-per-month drinking and dragons session. To each of you – I am eternally grateful.

The main focus in my life in the fall of 2010 was finishing my bachelor’s degree. To me it was an important step to move my career forward as well as a very important personal goal. While I was mostly doing it for me, I also knew that it was important to my family.

I had no idea how important until my surprise graduation party and later reading something my brother wrote in his blog. I still tear up when thinking about both the party, my brother’s kind words, and how much the support of my friends meant during that time.

What comes next: anticipation and anxiety

When I went back to school, I had a grand plan: after graduating I would be qualified (by both project management experience and degree) to take the Project Management Professional test. I would study for a couple of months, take the test, and get my certification. After being certified, I’d try to get a project management job at Turbine.

I was in love with Turbine at the time, and still am, but I’ve realized that Turbine isn’t the only place I’d like to work, so I broadened my horizons. I want to work in a role where I can contribute the creation and support of video games (console, PC, mobile, you name it).

Last year I promised myself that I wouldn’t wait for the certification. It is still a goal (for this year even), but it doesn’t have to come before finding a job in the gaming industry.

So here I am, anticipating the thrill of finding a job and company that is a perfect fit for me and anxious about all of the things that a new job might mean for me.

The thought of a new job scares the hell out of me in some ways. I’ve worked for the same company for the past eleven years (That’s more than one-third of my life, yikes!), so it is comfortable; it feels like home. It would also mean a big move for my husband and I. We live in Bellingham (between Seattle and Vancouver, BC). I hope to find something in the Seattle area so that we can move between Bellingham and Seattle so Hubby doesn’t have to leave his job, but it is still a major change for us.

A new job would be exciting tons of reasons that I’ve shared before, but most importantly because if I choose well it will be a place where I can learn, grow, and be challenged. I know I’m odd, but I really like my work, when it is challenging (unfortunately, recently it hasn’t been). I could go on and on, but those are topics for other days.

I wake up every night thinking about it. Would Hubby really be comfortable moving out of state if I were to find something at Turbine or SOE? Will I be confident in interviews (the thought of interviewing terrifies me)? How do I meet people who work at the places that I want to work? What can I do to make my resume’ stand out? Should I call about the application I submitted before Christmas, or wait a while longer? So many questions and random thoughts float through my sleepy head.

It is exciting, and will be a fun adventure (even if there are a few sleepless nights).

Would you like one lump, or two?

I haven’t made time to write since last Sunday. So, to keep myself in the habit (and help me sleep better), I’ve decided to share this (relatively unedited train of thought) post. Think of it as the two of us sitting down over tea, and me monopolizing the conversation.

This last week flew by. Work was chaotic (in a verging on maddening yet semi-controlled sort of way), so much that I postponed a day off just so I could take that day knowing that I wasn’t perpetuating my backlog of work.

I mentioned recently that writing here has been helping me sleep better. This past week echoed that reality. I’ve gone back to waking up in the middle of the night thinking about everything and nothing, and having some really strange dreams. I’m sure it is fueled by my excitement for PAX (and then graduation), my eagerness to have a change in my career, and my nervousness about making it happen.

PAX is less than twelve days away now! I’m still fretting about being prepared. My hubby and a couple of our friends have planned what they’re going to wear each day. And they’re guys. I’m trying to get on that bandwagon, but I only have one shirt planned. For the other two, I’ll probably just pick whatever seems appropriate the day before.

I’ve started planning which panels to attend. I’d like to go to all of them, and then have another 3 or 4 days to wander and gawk over/play with all of the games and toys that will be there. The reality is that I’ll probably do a couple of career focused (not fanboy focused) panels per day, and spend the rest of the time exploring the glory that is PAX. Oh, and drinking caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine.

I did decide to bring “introduction cards” (business cards, but for me – not for any business), because a little help to my networking skills couldn’t hurt. I haven’t decided what to put on them yet though. That may be my next task.

Well, that and completing two weeks worth of school work in the next 10 days.

~ Amanda

A few PAX related links

What is YOUR dream?

I started writing here in November of last year. Ten months ago. I have made 38 posts. Thirty-eight posts in ten months is less than what I had hoped to do when I started, but now that I have been writing here for a while I am getting more comfortable with a routine of writing.

I continue to write here both as an outlet. I wouldn’t call it a creative outlet, because I don’t feel creative at all in what I’ve written here. It is more of an outlet for my hopefulness and anxieties about the dream job and for the many other thoughts that bounce around in my head at the end of the day (or even during the day; such as when I post about frustrations at work). It is actually helping me sleep better.

I also continue to write here because it is a constant motivator toward the dream. Each post seems to make me more resolute that I will achieve the dream.

Recently, I’ve felt a little self-centered in all of this dreaming. I write about what I want to be when I grow up, or the different fun things that I’m doing to (hopefully) help me get there. I talk about it with friends over drinks. But I don’t ask anyone else what they want.

I am going to change that. I am starting here. (If you just got Man in the Mirror stuck in your head, you’re not alone.)

What is your dream?
What are you doing to work toward it?
Do you have a plan?
What motivates you?

I know it’s weird that some random internet person is asking, but it’s amazing the motivation that can stem from kind comments from someone you barely know and from knowing the dreams of others.

#GamingIs where I want my career to lead.

There’s a movement on Twitter today to get #GamingIs trending. It seems to be started by @theKevinButler (and probably also Sony and PlayStation since he is their spokes person in the same way that Isaiah Mustafa is Old Spice’s spokes person). I hesitate to join in because it really is about a company trying to use social media to build a marketing campaign.

On the other hand (more…)

Still looking for that reset button.

Today is already getting better.

Earlier today I tweeted about my day being off to a bad start. It was. I woke up feeling hung over and aching all over (even though last night I only drank water). I had one co-worker upset about a change request I’d sent them after testing an update to one of our internal systems. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of another with a few emails for little changes on a different project (fortunately, the second co-worker didn’t complain).

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Preparing for PAX

I get to go to PAX this year! One month from now, the gamer masses will converge on Seattle for a three days of geekyness (as will music lovers for a different event, expect traffic). This will be my first PAX.

For the past week I haven’t been able to get PAX out of my head. Going to PAX is a big deal for me, both as a fangirl and as someone who wants to work in the video game industry. My inner project manager is planning what to bring and what to do, and making lists. A good plan starts with a list of things that need to happen right? (Well, after an objective, but that is already defined: PAX + Fun + Networking.) 

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A glimpse into Sony Online Entertainment

Three weeks ago I made a spur of the moment decision to spend some time in San Diego during my vacation. After I booked my trip (Air miles + PriceLine.com = about $300 for flight plus three nights at a four star hotel), I decided to try to make visiting Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) a reality and the next day I had an appointment to meet Ashlanne during my trip. I was so ecstatic that I did a little dance at my desk (my co-workers thought I had finally gone insane). 

SOE LobbyOne week later, I took a cab from my hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter to the SOE office. I was paranoid about being late and nervous as if I was going to an interview. I arrived half an hour early and fidgeted in the lobby while waiting. Ashlanne was ready for me a few minutes later. 

First we visited the Community Team’s area. I met several members of the community team (advance apologies if I get names mixed up!). Zatozia’s cube is decorated like a torture chamber. I’d seen at least one picture before but it didn’t do it justice (I regret not snapping a couple of my own). 

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Reflecting on an Opportunity

I have always thought of the dream as something that might be attainable, but I did always question how realistic I was being with myself. Even though it is something I’ve been working toward for the past several years, it wasn’t until a very real opportunity presented itself that I really believed that it may happen.

A few months ago, sometime between when I discussed blogging about the dream with my boss and when I declared that everyone needs a dream, I was approached by someone with an amazing opportunity. This friend of a friend had heard about the dream and my professional reputation (which apparently is incredibly healthy), and thought I might be a good match for a position she was hiring for.

She and I had a call to discuss the position and get to know each other better. She didn’t want to subject me to her company’s rigorous interview process if she didn’t think we could work together. I just wanted to learn more. It wasn’t exactly the job I dream about, but it was closer than I thought I could realistically attain.

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