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There are a couple long speeches, you all throw your hats, and that’s it. Somebody’s popped the safe and serene bubble of academia, and now you need to find a job. And for better or worse, you’re not alone. Your entire graduating year has begun hitting the job sites, searching for careers befitting to their surprisingly non-technical majors.

Your task is clear: Get a job as soon as possible, before your friends take all the good ones. Hopefully it’ll be one you actually like.

Players

3 to 5

Materials

  • The game board (or a facsimile)
  • Profession Cards (one of each for all players)
  • Deck of playing cards
  • One 20-sided die
  • One 8-sided die
  • Pen and paper (to keep track of potential interviews and job offers)
  • 1 pawn for each player (to track progress on the game board)

Setting Up

The deck of playing cards represents the internet, so make sure it’s really well shuffled.

All players start on the “Update your Resume” space on the game board.

Each player should have four profession cards: writer (Heart), artist (Club), musician (Spade), and filmmaker (Diamond). Without showing their opponents, each player should choose one card and place it in front of them face down. This is your chosen career path (you know, for now).

Once all players have chosen their professions, they can all move to step 2: “Find a Job Opening.” It’s harder than step 1.

How to Play

Gameplay always moves from oldest player to youngest (since the older players have been looking for jobs longer). What a player does during his turn depends on what space that player occupies on the board.

Find a Job Opening:

Looking for a job means scouring the internet for postings relevant to your profession. Relevant openings are face cards (Jack, Queen, King and Ace) of the same suit as your profession. If you find one, you get to compose your application (yay!). If you don’t find one, you need to keep looking.

On your turn, draw three cards from the internet and place them face up next to the deck. If none of the cards are relevant job openings, all three get placed face up in the discard pile, and your turn ends.

If one of three cards is a job opening in your profession, place that card in front of you face up, and discard the other two. You can then advance to the “Apply for Job” space, and your turn ends.

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Apply for Job:

Applying for an open job position means you’re trying to sound qualified by reading up on the company, and looking up what the hell half those job responsibilities even mean. In order to complete your application and send it off, you’ll need 3 pieces of research (number cards, 2 through 10, of the right suit).

Similar to searching for a job, on your turn you’ll draw three cards from the deck and place them face up. If none of the cards are number cards in the right suit, all three get placed face up in the discard pile, and your turn ends.

If any number cards are the same suit as the position, you can place those next to the position in front of you, face up. The remaining cards get discarded, and your turn then ends.

Once you have three pieces of research, your application has been officially completed. Move to the “Update your Resume” space, and end your turn. Of course, there is one more thing…

Waiting for a Job Interview:

When a player completes a job application, that player receives a small, teeny tiny chance of being called in for an interview. Whenever you complete a job application, before you end your turn, choose a number from 1 to 20 (the number must be one that no other player has yet chosen as an interview number).

From this point forward, at the start of every turn you’ll roll the 20-sided interview die. If our interview number is rolled, congratulations! You’ve been called in for an interview. If not, the turn proceeds as normal.

Getting called in how an interview isn’t easy. So how do you increase your chances? Keep playing! Every time you complete the job loop, you’ll earn another interview number. The more numbers you have, the greater your chance of rolling one of those numbers.

Changing Professions:

Whenever you complete the job loop and land on “Update your Resume,” you have the option of changing professions. Doing so may increase you odds if too many other players share your same current profession.

To choose a new profession, pick up your four profession cards from the beginning of the game. Choose one, and play it face down in front of you. Once you’ve done so, you can proceed to the next space and end your turn.

If you choose to keep your profession, simply skip “Update your Resume” and proceed to “Find a Job Opening”

The Job Interview:

The interview itself is a complete blur. You barely remember what happened, but you’re fairly certain you didn’t blow it. In either place, being called in for an interview allows you to choose a number from 1 to 8 (that hasn’t already been chosen by another player for the Job Offer die). This is your offer number. And like interview numbers, you can collect a number of these to increase your chances.

Once you’ve completed at least one interview, you’ll start every turn by rolling the 8-sided job offer die, then rolling the job interview die. If one of your offer numbers if rolled, congratulations! You’ve just been offered the job.

The Job Offer:

The first player to be offered a job wins. Salary negotiations are another game entirely.

End of Deck:

If at any point there are less than three cards in the deck when drawing, the discard pile gets re-shuffled into the deck. Again, it’s the internet — so shuffle well.

Designing OMG Hire Me

Concept

In a way, I’d been designing “omg hire me” since the first early pangs of frustration during a recent job search process. The process was repetitive, and the longer I whirled around in the loop, the more I realized it was basically a game — a game with a somewhat imbalanced and unfair degree of randomness in the mix. I knew I couldn’t actually make this board game while in the loop myself; it would’ve been a bit too “meta” for my tastes. It took some distance to see the project through to fruition.

Design

It was a great “paper idea,” to be sure. Player creates a resume, searches for a job, prepares an application, and submits. Then rinse repeat, rinse repeat, rinse repeat until one of the jobs actually calls back and requests an interview. The interview itself would be a game in its own right, the outcome of which would play a small role in the randomness of getting a job offer.

The brunt of the mechanics fell upon a standard deck of playing cards. In a perfect world I’d have the time and resources to develop a customized deck for the game. Still, working with the traditional 52-card deck forced my design in certain directions that admittedly took some of the guess-work out of the game’s construction.

Elements like updating the resume became drastically simplified (if not entirely abandoned), and the idea of “professions” was introduced to add a small strategy layer to the game, with other player’s decisions having an adverse effect on your own successes in a particular profession.

The most sizable piece missing is the “Interview” game. Ideally, the interview would be the strategy game hidden within the randomness. Pragmatically, it couldn’t be done right in the time allotted for this project.

Result

I personally mourn the absence of the interview mini-game, but the rest of the title still adheres blisteringly close to the game’s emotional concept. “omg hire me” is, if nothing else, an incredibly cynical game. I just like that judged purely on mechanics, a game could elicit such a description. In and of itself, that’s an accomplishment in my book.

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