Optimist? Pessimist? Which are you?

April 15, 2010

I have been on a LOT of job interviews. I can almost regurgitate both the questions and the answers to pin point accuracy. rarely am I asked a question that is unexpected. I am asked about AAA titles I have produced, what games I currently play and where I see myself in 5 years.

I am also asked about dealing with other departments, internal or external development groups and which I prefer, how will I handle a situation where I'm not responsible for XXX where most producers are. My favorite question: "What do you do in your off time?"  My answer: "I'm a Producer, my off time is when I'm dead".

But one question threw me and I wish I had revised my answer.

The question was: Are you an optimist, a pessimist or somewhere in between?  

The answer I gave at the time was: "Mostly Optimist".  But in hindsight, I should have said simply: "Yes".  Because as a Producer I have to be all of those.

Optimist: "Yes the project will be great, yes we're working hard for a good reason, yes the public will love it"

Pessimist: "No you're not giving enough time for that feature, no we need more QA time,  no that's just not good enough compared to the rest of the team, no I'm not satisfied because I know we/you/I can do better"

Somewhere in between: "I think if I sleep on this, I'll have a better solution. Let's not wait instead let's be proactive"

And I am sure there are flavors that I am missing here since none of these three has a clear dividing line.  The point here is that when you are on a team, no matter the role, make sure that you look at what you are doing from all three of the above angles. 

So here is my question... which of these are you?



hermitC said...

In former times I used to be very pessimistic. It was during those days of school and study. There was no need to have a view into a bright future 'cause everything was predetermined by higher instances like parents, teachers, etc.

Today I'm optimist due to its opportunities. There are still moments where it's better to be pessimistic and expect the worst case. These moments become rare if you concentrate on the good things. It's something viral. Friends, family and co-workers will be delighted by your own happiness. Nobody will thank you for being a naysayer all the time, most people will love you for "infecting" them with high spirits.

Optimism is easier after all! Keep having a ball!