Job Profile: ‘Being in charge of your own business is incredible’

Ben Jarvis with his Mechabrick board game.

Ben Jarvis with his Mechabrick board game. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Ben Jarvis, from Wymondham, tells us about his job as managing director of his own games company.

Name: Ben Jarvis

Age: 39

Job title and employer: Managing Director - Megaton Games Ltd

My job in a nutshell: Running a game/model design company, designing new products and selling games. 90pc of the time it involves having dull conversations with people about injection moulding and overdrafts. 10pc of the time I get to draw robots and paint sci-fi models.

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How I got into my job: I kept coming up with ideas for new products and enthusing about them to people until eventually someone listened and helped us get the first one into production. I guess just being endlessly enthusiastic about the things I love led to me needing to find a way to make those things a career.

The most enjoyable part of what I do: Getting to create new characters, toys and complete worlds from scratch. The creative side of the games and toy industry has always been the bit that appealed. I have loved sitting and drawing and writing about imaginary people and places ever since I was a young child. Getting to do that kind of creative work and have other people buy into it and believe in you enough to buy your products is incredibly rewarding.

You might not know this about my job: Being in charge of your own business is incredible, and I wouldn't trade it in for a regular 9-to-5 job but, sometimes the worry that comes with that responsibility can be overwhelming. It is very hard to set a boundary when working from home to say when is work time and when is family time. That has advantages in that I can take time out during the day if I have to, but it also makes it almost impossible to never NOT be at work. Going off to answer work e-mails at 7pm does not make you popular at home.

My best day at work: When we first unveiled our Mechabrick game to the public at a massive games show. To be able to talk to people and see the excitement on kid's faces when they saw what I had created and just got it, that was amazing. You work on these projects for so long, you get jaded, and forget the excitement and enthusiasm you had for it when you first created it. Having hundreds of excited children remind you of why you thought it was a cool idea in the first place is a massive boost.

My first job: Technically it was packing products at home for my dad when I was about 10. Having parents that ran their own business from home just makes you think that sort of thing is normal. My first job working for someone else was as a sales assistant in my local model shop selling RC car accessories when I was 16 or 17 which was enormous fun.

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