It starts with the same title as Isekai (異世界), but it’s not like I got hit by a truck while crossing the street. Of course, being laid off and being hit by a truck may be similar in the sense that they are both traumatic and mentally damaging.
Anyway, with a mixture of hope and despair, I tried to find a new job, but in an industry that’s already been around for almost 30 years, with ridiculous treatments like “the video game industry is a young industry and experienced people should just retire sooner rather than later” (delusional), and with existing projects and companies going under due to the recession and the shrinking game industry, my original career path of game designer or game development PM positions was a foot in the door (and this is ongoing). The feedback I get from intermittent acquaintances and the like is that I have far more years of experience than I want, so I’m pretty much stuck.
Anyway, with kids at home who are growing up diligently, I can’t afford to take it easy, no matter how generous the severance package. Very gratefully, through a mutual acquaintance, I have now been working for about 3 months as a Service Planning and Product Manager Product Manager for an IT company, despite not having the usual domain-based knowledge.
It’s not that I didn’t have doubts about my ability to do something I’ve never done before. I’m not without my doubts. However, despite my insecurities, I haven’t had any major problems on the job because I’ve come to the following conclusions.
- Game design and IT service planning are both about how to define the consumer experience and how to achieve it.
- Considering that Product Management is the convergence of planning and development, this is what I’ve been doing for over half my life (Game Design + Project Management).
If it was something completely high-tech – like a project to build a rocket to the moon, for example – I would have been out of my league, but there’s a lot of overlap between video game production and IT service product production, so as long as I know what I’m doing, switching industries isn’t that big of a gamble. I think this is also due to the fact that industry boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred due to metaverses, VR, AR, blockchain, etc.
Asymmetry in the labor market – Companies can’t get the people they want at the price they want, and job seekers can’t sell their skills to companies at the price they want. Most people attribute this to information asymmetry in the job market, but in my experience, all stakeholders involved in the hiring process are actually exacerbating the problems that arise from this information asymmetry by having a poor understanding of the job (meaning they don’t know exactly who they should hire) and biased evaluations of candidates. (Honestly, I concluded that I was good at it before I started, so I was confident that I would be good at service planning, but for the person making the decision to hire me, it would be like scratching a lottery ticket.)
My point is, here’s an awesome global talent with strong fundamentals who can handle multiple situations, so if you want to make your product or organization successful, give me a price and take them. :-p