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Getting That First Job

We finished a busy week at the Game Developer Conference, where we met many high caliber people looking for jobs.  This made me reflect on how I found my first two jobs – which were both terrible – and how I would advise others to go about finding their first few jobs after coming out of school.  Some people start companies immediately after graduating (or even before), which is also a viable option.

Get in touch with what you are interested in

I remember creating spreadsheets and ranking them by categories, in an effort to figure out whether I should be an inventor, designer, or computer programmer.  I should have listened to my intuition.  My hobby had been writing games on my 6502 Apple II, which was a good indication of what I was passionate about.

For most interests, there will be a chance to make significant earnings, if you are good at it.  You can make adjustments a few years later if your quest to be an actor or artist does not pan out.  Following your passion will give you the tenacity to keep pushing ahead when times become difficult.

One way to validate your passion: ask yourself whether you have a body of work or experience that naturally flowed from your interests.  Do you have a collection of games you created in high school?  Are you running a website for budding roller coaster designers where you have been posting your work?  Do you have a slew of videos from the high school musicals that you stared in?

Research

I recommend against blasting out your resume.  Now it’s time to do some research.  Identify 20-50 potential companies that you think are aligned with your interests.  This will be work.  If your dream is to be a roller coast designer, you will need to find the best companies that develop amusement park rides (not just Disney).

Delve into the history, management, products, and strategy of these companies.  You should become a mini-expert at the industry you are interested in, and get to the point where you think some of the companies in the industry are great, and some are not.

Contact the CEO

Try to meet with someone at all the good/great companies that interest you.  At this point you need to use any contact you have, no matter how tenuous, to arrange a meeting.  If someone in your high school has an uncle working at Acme Roller Coaster design, use the connection to attempt an informal meeting.

For those target companies where you have no connection (most probably), I recommend sending a brief hand-written note to the CEO.  Include a resume and a link to a website giving a showcase of your high quality work.  Explain why you have chosen the company (from your research), and why you are a perfect potential employee.  Ask for a meeting with the senior person in charge of the area that interests you.

If you haven’t heard back after two weeks, call the company and ask to speak to the CEO (by name).  When asked “what is this about”, by his or her assistant, you might offer:

“Hi – this is John Doe. I’m following up on a note I mailed to CEO_name about arranging a meeting with TechLead_name”.

When asked what the meeting is about, be confident:

“I have been following Company_name for a while, and I think it’s a perfect match for my skills.  I’ve been designing roller coasters since I was 14, and have recently graduated from Purdue with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  I would like to arrange a meeting with TechLead_name to show my portfolio of roller coaster designs and discuss potential employment.”

You may be nervous

It might seem brazen to push for a meeting. What makes it ok?

  • You are honestly passionate about the subject matter
  • You have a body of work showcasing your passion
  • You have identified the best companies and can explain why each is great
  • You are taking the offensive in arranging meetings with leadership at these companies

You have credibility.  You are not some fly-by-night salesperson.  You are working to make both your life and the company better.  Push.

About David Baszucki

Founder, co-creator and CEO of ROBLOX. @DavidBaszucki on Twitter

62 thoughts on “Getting That First Job

  1. Christopher

    Good thing I read this, I gotta interview at this company on Friday. I’d feel silly not doing any research =)

  2. rosey1213

    Builderman and crew people have me exploiting and hacking many games and we robloxians dont like it.

  3. willie66

    I wonder if i could be a polce officer of robloxia? I would vistit games see how there doing ,then go on. If I see trouble report it to admins.

    1. TherodontoX

      Lots of staff members already do that, and it’s called MODERATOR, not ROBLOXian Police Officer… T_T

  4. Matthew

    Hmm this speaks to me since I actually want to be a roller coaster designer, I’ve been using roblox to inspire me to make my own type of coasters. Soon I hope I can accomplish this goal since I started doing this my whole life and I’m 15

  5. TheWoody

    Im Really not Sure about the new character reconstruction im just shocked.Honestly, im just used to the old roblox Reply if you agree!

    1. Lightvvv

      I totaly agree btw…roblox is blox! not doll type game not GTA themed game!
      I have had past experiences with games like this and once they did something like that they lost alot of players and shut down their website…

  6. bballer13sn

    And if my goal is to work for ROBLOX one day, or possibly have my own 3D gaming website, then can I contact you guys?

  7. xXdragonguyXx

    I hope to work for them ill be the best

    and be working and get more places for OBC and Badges and Scripts!!!!

    Thanks John!

  8. jirachidog

    If you aren’t in the Bay Area. Your only chance is to connect in and do part time stuff.

    1. JesseVeldeze(Roblox account name)

      Well thats true but if you have the money to get to stanford and stuff like that then you most likely have the money to move up there and work there.Plus you would get a good pay to work at roblox due to: Builders Club, People buying robux.So once your up there you can get a good pay and a nice home for yourself.Just saying

  9. Fortitudo

    You just opened yourself up for a lot of phone calls. There’s many ROBLOXians wanting to work for ROBLOX.

  10. Crazyshadowlink24

    Do we have to live near San Mateo, my uncle Jim abosoulutly LOVES making games. He’s making one now actually, but he lives a few states away. Could he still work for roblox?

  11. PacoMuerto70

    Excellent advice to help beginners find their true potential, AND for anyone looking for a career change.

    Thank you, David.

      1. epikguy5

        you have to download it to be able to play roblox if you dont have the download it wont work right

  12. benrocks2000

    David-

    Are there ROBLOX offices in Chicago? I would like to know for reference (In ten years). Please PM me via ROBLOX or reply on here with your answer please! ROBLOX would be my dream job! ;)

    ~benrocks2000~

  13. Fidda247

    Agreeing with Naiuhz, I really hope I can have a job, and be living outside the US Area? Please that would be great, (I’m not seeking a job At the moment BUT Will be getting one when finished High sCHOOl)

    ~Fidda

  14. coltsrock12345

    Now i know what to say when i get a job. . . well. . . OK most of what i’m going to say when i’m gonna get a job.

  15. Smash3d

    Im now just a drawer know. I know Photoshop and I use it with my Pen Touch Tablet.I will follow David’s guide and I’ll see where I will get my first job :3

  16. Balte

    Don’t ask for a job in here!! Do what David says, send him a handwritten note, but instead of a meeting a phone meeting or something :D

    1. Roblox@help

      I wish you have read this cuz your support to apply for a job on a email cover and +18 need to work for roblox

  17. thunder1222

    I’ve always wanted to work for roblox but I still have a very long time before I graduate collage. I hope roblox is still around when I graduate so I can join :)

      1. topgamer1234

        yup me 2 i might wanna work for roblox or might even be another company depending on how this company ends up i hope its around

      2. HUEWE4

        Dude! No way roblox will be gone by then! It’s too popular! And believe it or not, critics call it the #1 kid’s website in America!

  18. m0rgoth

    hmm, i like programming, designing, drawing, using computers, technology. I wonder what industry ima get into…. :P

  19. Legend26

    From everything I’ve read, nothing has ever said something like this before. And for smaller companies, I would agree. But with the large companies, if they just ignore you they’ll probably keep ignoring you. If you push for a meeting from these companies, it will likely be very short and you’ll be shown the door pretty quickly and never talked about again. You should mention that you can and will be ignored at at least some of the companies you chose. Otherwise it might shock some people if they’re not prepared for that. I think you might also want to mention something about gathering contacts within the industry to help you break in and get some good references.
    I’m no expert on this subject, but the above comment is just what information I’ve been able to gather.

  20. Cameron

    I kinda want to be a computer graphics designer. Making logos, 3D items, etc. I thought about moving out to California when I turn 18, but I’d probably miss my parents.

      1. Mukar

        The ‘move to California’ sounds like something out of a movie, I’d like to work for Roblox too, but also want to work for other game companies xD

  21. Naiuhz

    David, I would LOVE to work for you but I’m only 16 right now and I live in Canada.
    When I do graduate highschool and am seeking for a part-time job, is there anyway I could work for Roblox and stay in Canada?

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