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OptimusCrime

Progression in the Production field

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I had been posing this question in other forums without realizing I could lean on the experts here.  And stay with me on this: it may seem like this thread belongs somewhere else but I know anyone in the same position can reference this and possibly find answers for themselves.

Some bits of personal info: 36/M/ living in Berlin, Germany and originally from California.  I left a cushy tech job in SF to follow game development in Europe.  I got laid off after one year and was unemployed for another.  Overall it was a fantastic year filled with lots of difficult and eye-opening moments which I grew very quickly from.  I've shopped my CV around, did a ton of networking, and it's landed me an Associate Producer role at a company who most would hold in high regard.  Finally, the job role and title I've been looking for is in my grasp.  All of that hard work is coming to fruition... but I'm conflicted.

Stated earlier; I am not "young" by any means.  This role is entry level with a salary to match.  Financial independence has recently become a strong motivator during my unemployment.  I had built a really nice runway where I didn't worry about money what so ever.  I love the game industry and I could consider this my passion.  Though on paper, this passion will not be getting me closer to other goals I have for myself.  I don't even know where this would lead for me in the remaining work years I have for myself.  Producers and senior producers who I worked along side in my last role had 10 and 15 years of experience under their belt, dozens of titles and companies they had worked with.  And they were younger or around my age.  In 15 years I'll be 51 going up against a small pool of people who already have more experience.  I know comparison is the thief of joy, but its something I need to consider.  There is another role available back in the US as a senior tech PM waiting for me as well.  A decision needs to be made.  

I feel I may have missed the boat on this one and I'm chasing a dream.  Prove me wrong.  Are there any late blooming producers on here who followed a similar path?  Those who have experience working in their 40s and 50s as producers in a field which skews much younger?  Where does this path eventually lead to?  

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Moving to the Career forum. I started producing at age 38. Worked as a producer all through my forties and fifties. It leads to what you're suited for. I got offers to move up into management but didn't want to. Producing is what I wanted to do. Others who were my peers at the time are now studio heads. So that is where this path can lead to. 

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Thanks for the reply, Tom.  You are an absolute vet of the industry. Your move from dev to production made sense, though I have concerns for my own.  I am still slightly hung up my age for this position and while I'm looking for emotional validation (because statements like this sound insecure), I'm curious how I might establish myself.  

You've seen and experienced so much of the golden days of game development.  If you don't mind me asking; what are some of the biggest lessons you learned in the early days of producing?  What did your typical 30 to 60 day plan look like?  

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One of the biggest lessons I learned was to take notes, write down conversations and confirm discussion points with the other party. To make communications crystal clear, and to prioritize tasks, and to manage expectations. Never heard of 30-60-day plans. 

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