Video games have been in high demand since the first console, the Magnavox Odyssey, was released in 1972. Since then, games have been widely viewed as a hobby or a waste of time. However, researchers in ludology (the study of video games) are increasingly finding that games build a wide range of soft and hard skills which have real social and professional value.
This is great news for all avid gamers looking to land a new job. All those late nights spent looking for XP and queuing in the halls can actually be put to good use on your next job hunt – you just need to be tactful.
Employers are increasingly aware of the benefits of hiring gamers. In the UK, the Royal Air Force has publicly commented on the value of players. Talk to the BBC, a spokesperson said the RAF values ”the ability to assimilate information, react quickly and coordinate actions while remaining calm under pressure” and that these skills “are often attributes of good people for the job. Game”.
The skills you develop as a player depend somewhat on the game you play. If you’ve invested hundreds of hours in games that require teamwork – League of Legends, Rocket League, Apex Legends – then you’re probably a skilled communicator who can accomplish specific tasks well within a company. larger team. Likewise, if you have spent time collecting materials and creating maps on games like Minecraft, then it is fair to believe that you have developed skills associated with creativity and critical thinking.
However, just because you’ve learned skills in a gaming context, don’t be fooled into thinking transferring them into professional life will be easy – you can’t treat your coworkers the same way you treat your teammates. The key to successful skills transfer is intention + focus. Experts in skills acquisition and transfer find that those who transfer their skills most effectively know how and why they do it, especially when they transfer more complex skills (cognition, communication, critical thinking).
Imagine that you are able to lead your team in CS: GO. In order for these same leadership skills to be transferred into an office environment, you must deliberately consider the ways in which you lead. For example, when playing games, you might notice that good players suddenly lose their motivation to help the team. To address this, you can give them extra responsibilities and rewards that help them stay engaged. Likewise, in an office management environment, you will end up dealing with talented, but underutilized, employees who have lost interest in their day-to-day work. Again, you can solve this motivation problem with the right responsibilities and rewards.
By deliberately considering the skills you acquire as a player, you can successfully transfer your skills in a professional environment. This will help you become a valued member of the team and show future employers that you have the will to grow as an employee.
The demand for gaming content has exploded over the past 5 years. Since 2016, Twitch has gone from an average daily audience of 604,000 to 2,567,000. Gamers from all walks of life have started streaming their favorite games and are finding a stable audience ready to watch them play.
As a gamer looking to land a new job, streaming allows you to tap into your passion for the game while gaining a stimulating experience. This is because many skills appreciated by employers are necessary to progress as a streamer. For example:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Video production
- UX design
Each of these skills is essential for all streamers looking to build their streaming brand. As a streamer, you need to come up with creative and engaging content to keep viewers interested. To increase your audience, you need to clearly communicate your streaming schedule and provide direct links to social media channels and Youtube pages. If you want to get referrals, you need to provide a simple and engaging user experience for viewers, as this will professionalize your offering and improve your appeal to potential sponsors.
However, just telling a potential employer that you are streaming is unlikely to win you any favor. Instead, you need to tactfully present the streaming the same way you would for previous professional experience:
- Statistics: In order for your streaming experience to be believable, you need to include key statistics. Include your total number of unique viewers, revenue generated from feeds, or any other metrics that might impress employers.
- Growth: Employers want to see how you can help them. Include phrases like “Implementing a new loyalty badge that increased stream revenue by 27%,” as this will show employers that you are adept at adding value to the bottom line.
- Professional Connection: Highlight any professional connections or referrals you have obtained. Don’t lose a name during this process, but provide contextual information such as the industry they’re in and how your feed has helped them.
The job application process is full of dos and don’ts. As a streamer, you need to be tactful in how you present your stream as a professional experience. By highlighting key metrics and pointing to the value you’re adding, you’re showing employers exactly why they should hire you.
The future of video games is social. Developments in virtual reality have increased access to high-speed internet and the increased emphasis on inclusiveness means more people are getting into the game.
As an experienced gamer, you can take advantage of the social trend by networking through video games. You can actively make career connections with people through play, especially if you are looking to work in tech of any kind. Also, if you are considering internal promotion, you should educate yourself and see if a member of management plays video games. If they do, you can easily share details and start connecting online.
Get the job
When you apply for jobs, you have to sell yourself. Employers are looking for talent who can help them provide better service and improve their bottom line. Harnessed properly, your video game experience will raise the right kind of eyebrows + show employers that you could become a valuable asset in the future.