As a student in my freshman year, I got into a very lucrative industry of selling MMO currency, accounts, and in game related services.

One year fast forward I have over 3000 monthly customers and am making 10x what my dad makes. Fast forward another year I quit my uni, I am renting 2 apartments filled with PCs and consoles botting games on software I wrote. Taught myself C#, .net. Made a killing for 5 years. Got great programming experience and skill.

All under the table. No reported income, never even made a company. 3rd world country I live in never cared for paypal money I was getting, never cared for me never paying taxes.

Last year I proposed to a girl. She wants me to do something more adult with my life. I'm 29. I finished my school, graduated. Now I am officially a programmer that studied for 11 years and worked nowhere.

What can I put in my CV? How do I explain the 5 years gap? How do I make my knowledge and experience known?

  • 9
    If it's so lucrative then why don't you invest your money into opening some other businesses on the side (legal ones)? Going from being your own boss, especially one who has the luxury of living very comfortably, to dealing with the BS of office politics, bullies, back stabbers, and working 9 to 5 is going to hurt. If I were doing well on my own I would never go back to working for someone else. Unless your business isn't doing well, or you feel that your legal risks are too high, I wouldn't get a job under someone else. The idea of "getting a real job" is quaint, and utterly naive.
    – AndreiROM
    Oct 20, 2016 at 22:08
  • I would get sued into oblivion. The way I am doing business right now is the only possible way. And it is time for me to start thinking long term. I need to get "in the books"
    – Nikola R
    Oct 20, 2016 at 22:11
  • 3
    I have a question. If you are really in a typical 3d world country barely holding together and where the law it is just waste of paper will your possible employer even care that you run a company out side the law ? provably there it is the rule and not exception. Provably even your future employer do a lot of illegal practices.
    – kifli
    Oct 21, 2016 at 6:52
  • 5
    I don't understand why everyone assumes it's illegal. It might be illegal in the USA or Japan or somewhere, but that doesn't mean it's illegal locally. I'm in the third World, some of my clients think it's illegal for me to demand instant payment on my invoices or I turn off their services, and it is in their country (it's three weeks or something like that) but not here, so I couldn't care less.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 21, 2016 at 13:30
  • 2
    @kilisi - include a page on your website about "cultural differences", lol.
    – AndreiROM
    Oct 21, 2016 at 13:42

4 Answers 4


You ran a private business. Whether you filed paperwork or not doesn't matter from the point of view of the CV.

Established and ran a private business in the MMO gaming industry, providing services to more than 3000 customers a month. Developed scripts and analysis routines in C# and .NET.


(I have no idea how background checks work in your country, however.)

  • 3
    In addition to this - set up a project portfolio with all your projects and highlight particular technologies used and interesting solutions.
    – HorusKol
    Oct 20, 2016 at 22:09

Simple, register your business if you must and you now have a legit taxable income.

Option 2, tell your gf to wake up, you're making a lot of money, and you won't make that much as a programmer, so does she want the good life or does she want to struggle?

Option 3, get any sort of job just to keep her happy.

Option 4, get a gf with a more realistic outlook on life in the third World. 29 years old is not a great time to limit your potential. You need a partner who supports you 100% to get ahead, not one that will hold you back. That's a huge part of getting married.

  • 3
    Selling MMO currency is breaking the ToS of every game out there. It'd be like trying to register a business that sells cracked copies of photoshop.
    – Erik
    Oct 21, 2016 at 5:36
  • 3
    @Erik it's the third World, probably no one would understand or care. You know all those online University degrees for sale, third World is where you can actually get a business licence using them, or just make your own in photoshop.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 21, 2016 at 6:07
  • OP mentioned in a comment that if he made his business legit, he would be sued into oblivion.
    – Erik
    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:14
  • 3
    @Erik depends how he did it. Be silly to put himself in the firing line, but registering a business that 'Provides gaming services' would be fine. Then since he's being paid by paypal he couldn't be audited properly and could slip in under whatever goods and services taxes there are. There's several other benefits as well, grants, loans... all sorts of things.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:18
  • 3
    I hear the OP wanting to give up a life of comfort to become just another working stiff, and I cringe. I had the exact same thoughts about the GF, by the way. My recommendation would be to get in touch with a lawyer/financial expert and let them do the heavy lifting on "going legit".
    – AndreiROM
    Oct 21, 2016 at 13:01

Be brave! And remember: discretion is the better part of valor.

You just graduated college? Then there's no real gap to explain. Had you driven a cab for five years before deciding to go to school, it wouldn't be relevant experience to put on your resume.

Aim for an entry level job where you're not expected to have experience. Because of your experience of entrepreneurial spirit you will progress quickly given those expectations. Or start your own business. Or find a start-up that needs a founder CTO.


If you want to go legit, go legit.

One potential solution, depending on the legalities of the situation, is to simply... report your income, and pay your taxes. There will likely be a fee for back taxes, but those tend not to be all that punitive for self-reporting. Most likely, the fact that you actually have to pay your taxes is going to be the ugly one here. At that point, you can honestly describe yourself as self-employed for the period, and I suspect that the woman you're with will appreciate you losing the legal liability.

Obviously, if you're going to do this, it would be wise to acquire the services of a lawyer or equivalent representative to make sure that you aren't setting yourself up for anything you can't handle. Details are going to vary from country to country. Also obviously, if you can't afford to pay your taxes, that's going to be a problem.

It's conceivable that you might be able to pull off going partway - where you admit to having not paid your taxes for five years (and then pay them), but falsify what you were doing in that time and/or how much money you were making. Again, this is the sort of thing to talk with an appropriately shady lawyer and/or accountant about. You wouldn't want to try and get it wrong, and no one on the internet is going to be able to tell you the actual risks involved.

If you can't do that, start your own, legal business

You've been running a small business for years now, and getting skill at it, and you know what you're worth. So stop doing the under-the-table stuff and find a way to leverage those skills doing something that will get you above-the table money. If you succeed, great, and even if you fail, you'll have something to put on your resume, and a place where you'll have legit examples of your code to show off.

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