Commodore career

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Commodore Amiga. For me, this machine was a large part of my childhood as it was our first ever home computer and probably my most loved Christmas present ever. I vividly remember unwrapping the box (in what must have been 1989) to find my parents had bought us the Amiga 500 bundled with the games Batman the Movie, New Zealand Story, Interceptor and Deluxe Paint 2. We plugged it in immediately and I was hooked...

Defender of the Crown (1986)
This machine soon became how I spent a lot of spare time either playing games (Defender of the Crown  was a firm favourite), trading them with school friends or having them over for tea followed by some frenzied teamwork on games like Pang. However, the utility which probably had the most effect on me was Deluxe Paint. This was a graphics tool like nothing before it and was the little brother of Photoshop today. Some of the features within it were truly ground-breaking (such as the 'undo' button and the ability to create basic animations) and it meant I could be creative, have fun and engage with our home computer beyond just playing games.

Thinking back, this had a bigger influence on me than I realised and it is probably partly responsible for my choice of career. Being able to create something from scratch on a computer was just so immensely rewarding. Whilst I would like to say that my career has all been meticulously planned, instead I have been led into just following what I enjoy whilst ensuring that I am always learning. Obviously, there's a lot of hard work needed too but if what you do for a living is linked to tasks which you get satisfaction of from outside of work it can only make it easier.

For true job satisfaction I also think it's vital that you really believe in the service that the company provides. If you are going to work long hours and put in the extra effort, then you need to be more than just “in like” with the company. If you don’t feel the urge to tell others about the company then it’s probably not a good idea to join. But, if you can fall in love with the company and what they do aligns with your passions, then you will at least want to run hard once you are on board.

In a competitive job market many employers are also now focusing on personal interests to identify your individual talent, personality and creativity. Therefore it can be worth highlighting genuine hobbies that demonstrate an element of both your personality and your skills and how they will benefit the business. You may be keen on video editing but unless you show some initiative and evidence, such as filming a wedding video for a friend, you're not giving them much to go on.

Rocket Ranger (1988)
Linking your interests to achievements and capturing an employer’s interest can make them curious to find out more about you. The thing with hobbies is that, most of the time; it is all about being open to new experiences and showing some initiative. Being a hobbyist is much more than collecting stamps, it's about following your passions, learning new skills and above all, enjoying yourself. If an employer can see that, then you are halfway through the door.

So for me, maybe all of those hours playing Wings or Kick Off 2 in my bedroom weren't a waste of time after all as they showed me what I wanted to do with my life and set me on the path to a rewarding career which I enjoy. Although nothing can quite rival the sense of satisfaction I got on that Saturday afternoon when I completed Rocket Ranger!
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