“I was fresh out of drama school and had no idea what I was doing. They hustled me along and Bill Cosby tolerated my rookie behavior. It was great. Once you have ‘The Cosby Show’ on your resume, you can keep going.”
Blizzard on my Resume
Everyone is talking and writing about the layoffs at Activision Blizzard. Eight percent of the workforce meaning almost 800 jobs.
It feels terrible to be let go and not treasured. Fortunately these decisions come from on high and so there is some distance to the pain, it is less personal.
There is good news.
- The individual was not fired, it was part of a massive layoff so there is no suggestion of incompetence or bad chemistry.
- The single person did not quit, something that is very hard to recover from.
- Blizzard is a big name, well known; to have worked there is a big bonus.
If the employee was thinking of themselves as a hipster working in the gaming world, it might be hard to find another hipster job. But, to find another job in the field or industry may not be so hard given they are from Blizzard.
When you hear the cliché “it is who you know” it really is true. If I were leaving Blizzard this week, I’d have a general letter of recommendation from three of my bosses and Jeremy Feasel and permission to put their reference on my resume.
Let’s look at the two sides of applying for a job.
Assuming that the applicant has studied the employer and can enthuse on working there; how many times have I see an application only because there was a job opening but no clue what the place was all about?
Okay: let’s pretend that you are a costume designer and you want to work at my company. You want your best work at the top and you are proud of your designs for Swan Lake, the ballet. You have your portfolio of pictures and sketches and renderings and costs and calendars all professionally made up. Please, please look at my good work!
Okay: let’s pretend that I’m going to interview you. First of all, I don’t care about Swan Lake. Everyone has done Swan Lake and The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters and The Death of a Salesman. One glance tells me that you put on a good show on stage and on your portfolio.
I’m looking for how I can connect with you so I can ask you questions. Maybe I know that theater that you worked in or the technical director for the space or the costume teacher at the local college, do you know him?
A good resume is loaded with names and places. It is a very small world out there. It feels like everyone knows everyone. Bash your last boss at your peril, don’t do it. You loved your past job and everything was awesome! Say that and your interviewer will think that you’ll say the same about this next job.
Every single job that I’ve ever had, they called me and offered. I’m not really that talented or zippy on technology or cutting edge. I’m a good guy that you can work with. I’ve made two resumes in my life, one to apply for graduate school and the other was for a job that I already had and they needed it complete a file.
It is part of being a pro to have references. I’ve been out of my world for five or six years now and I’m still getting calls from New York and LA, people are using me as a reference even today! And, I answer those calls and I’m honest.
Those guys who got laid off from Blizzard will have connections all over the place because others have passed through the place. No bitter tears, they will start making calls and let everyone know that they are available.
I saw a guy get hired because he made my boss laugh.
You have to shape it. People want to help, even if they are not hiring. Ask someone to make a call for you or think of who else to ask. There will be an assumption that you want the same job that you had; hipster gaming; you have to break that and say that you will travel or move or work in donuts because you have a passion for gaming AND donuts!
I think all these guys will land on their feet and have new jobs within six months.
Can I add one little bit? In the movie business and the touring business, you know that the gig is going to end. You immediately get on Unemployment. You earned it and it will carry you until the next movie or tour comes in three to six months. Not all gigs are forever!