On October 6th, seven days after losing my job, I was in contact with a Ubisoft recruiter after being referred by an ex-coworker. Ten days later I was receiving a job offer from Ubisoft meaning that I could have been unemployed for a total of only two weeks. I turned down the offer for which I didn’t have to make much effort to get, it kinda happened all by itself before I realized what was happening.

Was I crazy to turn down this offer while others who have lost their jobs at the same time as I did are still struggling to find something else? Let’s see …

Good pay but it’s not all about money

I would have made $15,000 more than I was making at my previous job so it was an upgrade on this level. The thing is that considering that I was already sacrificing 20% of my paycheck to work 4 days a week to be able to put more time on  my games money isn’t really the best way to convince me of anything.

Born in 1979, I’m about half generation X and half generation Y. I definitely have more Y in me when it comes to money vs quality of life. Not that I’m lazy but I see little value in money I can’t really enjoy. The job was downtown Montreal so the commute would have been horrible, even by taking the train (and the return home would have required to take the subway, than the train and then a bus). Working from home wasn’t an option so when considering all of this it would have meant that I was giving up working on games considering what little time it would have left me.

Crunch time

One thing to know is that the job offer wasn’t to work on games. I would have been part of a team working on various tools for Ubisoft. I already know that even when you work on games you often feel like you don’t really work on games but this would have been even further.

I know crunch time is common practice in game development so I was curious if there was crunch time even in that department and the answer was yes. Oh I’m used to work on evenings and during the weekend but to work on my own projects. To work for someone else during these hours is quite something else. Once again my quality of life was opposed to that good salary I could have been making.

Back to programming only

Well I always programmed and I still do but with the years I’ve become more interested in analyzing and designing systems. Programming is just a way to make it all come to life. They have very skilled people working there and since my experience was quite different from what they are doing there wasn’t immediate openings for something else. Oh I’m sure that I could have progressed there and finally end up in a more interesting position but for me that was going back to the very bottom of the ladder. I’ve been there for quite some time and now that I’m 36 I’m not ready to go back to it. Some people enjoy to only do coding but I need a bit more to really enjoy my job.

It happened a bit fast

This should have been a good thing but I didn’t have time to even check what other options were available. After working 14 years at the same place I think it would have been a mistake to not take the time to study what else was available before jumping into something so different. Sure, I can always keep looking around while working there but it’s not as easy and not as productive.

I recently turned 36 and it felt like a good time to take a pause and think about what I really want to do with the next 10-20 years. I dedicated 14 years to the same company so taking some time to breathe a bit and get some perspective is a good thing. I’m glad I did this because …

The most important reason why I turned down the job

An opportunity that I can’t disclose yet was presented to me. How? It’s simple in fact, I asked. Suddenly, these past 8 years I’ve spent working on various games, talking to people and posting on this blog finally opened a very interesting door and I went through it.

In time I’ll post about it but for now I’ll say that yes I’m covered when it comes to money, yes I very much enjoy what I do, yes it’s related to game development, yes there’s some risk but for now I never had such good quality of life.

Working at Ubisoft sure would have been a life changing opportunity but this other opportunity is even more life changing. Maybe this won’t last but at least for now I’m very glad I turned down a job offer.

So if you’re making games and it seems to go nowhere then don’t give up. Maybe one day you too will be presented with such opportunity and you will finally feel like it’s paying off even if it’s not monetarily.