I’ve been fortunate enough to work in the game industry for well over a decade. My career trajectory started pretty humble, as a board and card game designer and I moved from there to Facebook games, mobile and PC downloads. My creative leanings and analytical bent served me well from spot to spot and I added to my skills including learning how to produce games, scrum master, manage teams and on and on.

The game industry has gifted me with the chance to travel the world as I rose from a game designer to a senior to a lead to director level positions in the industry with producing interspersed throughout. For the past three years I’ve worked as a consultant with responsibilities ranging from game design and analytics consultant all the way up to Director level responsibilities which bring me to my main question as I don’t have an answer.

As I wind down this last contract, a Director level gig creating an Android retention platform for a great company called Mobile Posse, I begin my preemptive search for the next opportunity. I’m perfectly happy to work as a game designer and producer as well as higher level, managerial roles but when I apply for game design roles I seldom hear back. I’m pretty well qualified for every job I apply to as I hate wasting the time of hard working HR people who have a very difficult time these days.

I’m perfectly happy to work as a game designer and make less money, my needs are few (mostly board games and iced coffees) so the money difference means far less to me than working on interesting projects and having some stability and benefits and such.

I’m wondering if they see my last official titles being Director level causes Human Resources professionals to skip me by for game design and producer level positions as they fear my salary demands or other issues?

What do you think? I’d love to be a pure designer again, or work as a producer as well but are these higher level titles more of a hindrance than a help in my upcoming search for a new work home? As we progress and evolve are we forever shut off from past jobs that we liked?

One thought on “Work Title Fatigue? Do past titles hold us back?

  1. It may be more than money that drives people to make decisions. You have experiences at higher levels and people are often thought of as forward moving beings. So any “step down” may be thought of as a setback until something better comes up, so they might think you’re waiting for something better. Also if it’s anything like here, lots of people could be applying for the job and you just get unlucky. I am probably not the best person as I don’t have much experience and am currently looking for a job myself with uhhhh no luck at all. So maybe it’s making your intentions clear as possible. Perhaps your salary expectations as well. Some may be intimidated. But there is also the case of connections. There’s so many factors to take into consideration when trying to get a new gig that it can be hard to work out what the problem is, if there even is one. It could be that each time someone else just happened to be the person picked.

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