It’s safe to say that I have always had a love for video games. My passion for games goes back to my earliest memories and I have had the great pleasure of working in the industry as well so I’ve often found the two worlds collide in my adult life. A good example of this is the cross-over in my writing career that allows me to write about video games and the industry. Another great example is how I got my start as a community manager from working in the video game communities. Even so, there are some more subtle ways that video games have influenced my business life and my career. These are things that I think anyone who loves and appreciates video games can apply to their own careers.
Your career is like a game. Think about it: in your career, you start at the bottom. You’re a newbie like everyone else. Your skill, adaptability and experience will help you “level up”. When you play a new video game for the first time, you have yet to develop the skills or figure out the strategies needed to master the game. Business works the same way. Those who take extra time to study, practice and prep will succeed in the game, just as you will advance in your career faster than others.
Sometimes you need help. In business, just like in gaming, sometimes you need help. Whether that is a good partner to help you complete a raid or the next level, or access to people who have already accomplished what you hope to complete in the game, this same advice can be mirrored in business. Surround yourself with successful people, network with those who do what you strive to do and don’t be afraid to partner up with another skilled player when the mission calls for it.
Your business has game boundaries. While the end goal is always to “win” the game, there are typically many different ways to go about this. Sometimes success lies in understanding the game boundaries and how to work within them and around them to win the game. You don’t always have to win the way someone else has won. In fact, sometimes carving your own path is better anyway.
Achievements! If you’re the type of gamer who gets excited about gaining all of the achievements then you can apply this to your professional life as well. Look at your business and career tasks and goals like game achievements. Plot your strategy for completing them and don’t forget to reward yourself accordingly.
You decide the outcome. In a video game, you get to directly influence the story. You decide the outcome. The same can be said for business. You get to write your own career story. If you don’t like the direction something is going, you can change it. Your choices, big and small, will always affect the end goal.
You get what you put into it. This ties right into the previous point. You will get what you put into it. If you don’t want to invest the time, you won’t get the results you seek. It won’t be simply handed to you.
Now don’t say video games never taught you anything!