I adore video games.
I know what you’re thinking: How on earth can you relate video games to a job search? I believe that inspiration can be found just about anywhere, as long as you’re open to making the connections. And one of my favourite pass-times is certainly a source for inspiration.
I’ve been playing video games since I was four years old. This is one thing that has always made me stand out from my peers. Only recently have I learned that my years and years of video game knowledge has helped me to gain a few skills that set me apart.
So here goes, 7 job seeking skills that you can learn from video games:
1. Persistence. Have you ever tried to catch all of those Pokemon? Or run a profitable farm in Harvest Moon? Or reached 100% completion in a game? I have… and from these (virtual) experiences I have learned that persistence pays off. Don’t be afraid to keep sending out resumes, to contact potential employers, or to keep checking the job boards.
2. Networking. My all-time favourite DOS-game, God of Thunder, taught me that to speak to everyone that I meet. Talking to people in real life has similar benefits to those in your favourite RPG; you’ll forge new relationships, learn new things, and maybe even acquire something that you’ve long been looking for, like a contact or job interview. Don’t be afraid to letting your personality shine!
My favourite game as a 7 year-old-girl was God of Thunder… and it still is! (Image from NottFreki, click for source).
3. Problem solving. Remember all of those crazy-frustrating dungeons in the Legend of Zelda? Or maybe you’re more familiar with puzzles like Tetris or Bejeweled. At any rate, video games can help you hone the patience and resourcefulness needed to solve problems. Use these problem-solving skills to explore new opportunities such as industry-specific job sites, social networks like LinkedIn, or to research internships with companies that interest you.
4. Creativity. Have you tried Draw Something? Are you one of those people who thinks waaaaaayyyy outside the box to depict even simple concepts? Creativity is an excellent way to stand out in a sea of graduates. Use creativity to prepare for tough interview questions, to spice up your resume, or to designing a unique online portfolio.
This is the best example of an overly complicated Draw Something drawing – you can’t guess Pegasus without a full-blown Hercules sitting on his back! (I drew this…)
5. Take on tasks. In Harvest Moon (Tale of Two Towns), you’re able to take on requests in order to make a little money and to increase your friendship points with the residents of the two quarreling towns. Sound familiar? Taking on part-time or temporary employment in order to get your foot in the door is, in my opinion, a great way to get started in a career. Just make sure to do your best in order to build a reputation for excellent work!
Looks like she’s checking out a job board to me! (From Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns)
6. Do your research. You can’t predict every little detail about a game just by playing it. Sometimes it really pays off to do a little research beforehand in order to understand the main and secondary objectives. The same should apply in real life! Researching a company before writing a cover letter or attending an interview will give you confidence and let your employer know that you are a serious candidate. It never hurts to be over-prepared, so make use of Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and word of mouth to better understand who it is that you’re meeting. Never rely on instinct, do your research!
7. Relaxing and living in the moment. This is what video games are all about! When you focus all of your energy on your job search it’s easy to get worn out and frustrated. You don’t want to bring a negative attitude into a job interview! So relax, have some fun once in a while, and try to maintain a positive outlook. After-all, you only live once!
What else have I taken away from video games? Frighteningly quick bacteria-colony counting skills (I’m a biologist after-all), the importance of saving my work to avoid heart-break, keen eye for minute details, and great computer skills. I bet you will have enhanced some skills after years of gaming too.
Are you a job seeker and a video game enthusiast? Do you have any skills to add to my list? I’d be pleased to hear what your thoughts on taking inspiration from video gaming!