Games (not MMOs) Real Life 3 Comments

#Blaugust 13: 5 Ways Being Into Games Has Helped My Career

I am swamped with work today (which means I will have to answer Tam’s questions over the weekend when I have more time), but fortunately it also helped inspire today’s topic! Let’s get right to the points.

1. Networking
I have absolutely gotten two jobs in part because I could nerd out about World of Warcraft with the hiring manager. (/wave, Jason!) I mean, I was also qualified, but sharing raid strategies in an interview is a pretty good way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. This is likely highly dependent on industry, of course, but in the tech and start-up world being fluent in games is helpful for networking.

2. Newbie Portfolio Filling
I switched careers about 7 years ago, from desktop and network support to technical/copy writing. To make the switch I picked up more writing opportunities at my support job and took some night classes, but I also used my hobby. I volunteered to write documentation for WoW mod creators (did you ever use Mr. Plow? I wrote help for that back in the day!), and my very first tech writing portfolio even included an instruction document for the Morogrim Tidewalker fight in SSC that I originally wrote for my guild.

3. Ad-Libbing
This isn’t exactly gaming, but being into games meant I started a podcast about games, which means I have 80 episodes of experience with extemporaneous speaking and shaping a conversation. In my current day job I produce webinars, and when our regular moderator moved to a new role I was able to impress the socks off of coworkers by taking over. Leading a conversational discussion about topics, and making sure we don’t go over our allotted time? Nooooo problem

A genuine roster from TBC days. Terrifying.

A genuine roster from TBC days. Terrifying.

4. Organization
I’ve written about this in more detail in the past, but if I can take a list of 35 people and turn it into three viable Karazhan groups, each with 2 tanks, 2 healers, and a balance of experienced versus inexperienced players (AND make sure that we rotate the bench of players evenly)… well, there ain’t nothing I can’t organize now.

5. Leadership Skills
Leading a guild taught me so much about how to motivate people and keep them happy. I learned when to be stern about things, how to criticize in private but praise in public, and that sometimes you just have to chill out and be silly.

(Runner up because it’s not exactly gaming related: making gaming podcasts and videos taught me the basics of audio and video editing, skills that have become quite handy in making my content marketing resume stand out in a pile.)

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  • Reply
    August 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    When I went for my last interview I talked about my blog and music, but also I covered my skills through clan management.

    When I was managing the clan it didn’t occur to me what skills I was picking up, but in hindsight there were a number that I transfered into a business environment that now I’m a line manager I can definitely identify.

    I can’t tell if they gave me an advantage or just prepared me for the workplace, but no-one else on my team has as many Plasma Grenade kills, so I’ll chalk that up as a win :D
    welshtroll´s last post: Everybody’s gone to the console?

    • Reply
      Jessica Cook
      August 14, 2015 at 10:33 am

      I think people sometimes overlook real, actual skills they’ve developed because they game from gaming or gaming-related activities. They are very very valid though!

  • Reply
    Training useless skills | MOBA Gamers
    August 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    […] Aug, 2015 Ryan Games 1 views 0 0 Jessica from Herding Cats reports on 5 ways being into games have helped her career. Things like networking, podcasting, raid organization and guild leadership provided her with […]

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