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Ambitions, addendum
Bar Harbor

Things I want out of Work:

1) Money. I need to pay living expenses, make loan payments, and have a small surplus for leisure activities. Also, I need family health insurance.
Current status - acceptable, if only barely. If I were to have less debt load, I'd feel better, but I *am* getting by.

2) Stability. In order not to be stressed, I need to believe that I will *continue* to get enough money for the forseeable future.
Current Status - As good as I'm ever likely to get. Which is far from perfect, but it's an imperfect world.

3) Location. Most jobs require physical presence. I wouldn't be comfortable in any place that wasn't a big, liberal city.
Current Status - Excellent.

4) Engagement. I want to enjoy what I make money at.
Current Status - Above average. I am not as totally engaged with my work as some people, but I *do* definitely enjoy it. It's possible that this is the optimum level of engagement for me, I haven't yet fully figured that out. Siderea's recent post made me doubt my own satisfaction on this point, but I begin to think that I was temporarily carried away by a false premise in there, somewhere (not necessarily her fault).

5) Fulfillment. I want to make the world a better place. Not just in small ways, but in at least one big one.
Current Status - Fail. While BioShock was ground-breaking enough to satisfy Ken Levine's version of this goal, that's largely because it was his vision. I helped realize that vision a little, but it wasn't *my* vision, nor was my help anything that someone else couldn't have done equally well. (I'm not selling myself short here. It would have taken a skilled game designer to replace me. But it could be done.)

Four out of five is far from bad. I'm not quitting my current job any time soon. There seems no point in changing jobs unless I can significantly improve performance on points 1 and/or 5 *without* significantly reducing performance on 2-4.

I don't see any road to increasing 5 that doesn't, at some point, involve dropping significantly on points 1 and 2. I don't feel able to do that currently. When I get out of debt, I might be willing to risk more. On the other hand, it's not impossible to do some preliminary work on point 5 in the interim, especially if I can find a coding collaborator.

Thanks to everyone for their comments on my earlier post. They helped clarify my thinking.

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You might want to think if there are very small changes that you could take incrementally, to increase your satisfaction or standing with those various points. Small changes are much easier than some big jump of location or job or other big switch.

Again, I'd love to hear about your game idea. Jeff (my lead programmer) is itching to work with XNA on a side project but we've been grasping to come with game designs.

You also haven't said anything about coworkers. The coolest job in the world can be rendered pretty hellish by a psychotic boss and boring obnoxious coworkers. Conversely, working with pleasant interesting folks can make up for an awful lot otherwise lacking in a job.

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