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If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably already heard the stereotypes more than once: Lazy. Unmotivated. Disengaged. Gamers have gotten a bad reputation for years based on some silly stigmas and pop culture references.
The reality? As of 2020, there were almost 3 billion gamers around the globe. They include businessmen and women. Successful CEOs. Students. Small business owners. Doctors. Teachers.
Thankfully, because gaming is becoming more popular among the masses, the stereotypes are starting to fade away. In fact, studies have started to show that gaming can teach you invaluable skills for the workplace. One study found that playing video games two hours a week can actually make you more employable since playing contributes to so many soft and hard skills.
If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. Gaming can make you a more valuable employee and an asset in a variety of industries. Let’s learn more about how those skills can guide you on a successful career path.
It Can Create Growth in Areas of Interest
The video game market is vast and expansive. Games are broken down into different categories and different types of play. Some of the most common categories are:
Playing almost any type of game can improve certain skills. For example, puzzle games like Portal or tower defense games like Defense Grid can help IT workers with problem solving. Role-playing games like World of Warcraft help with extroversion, agreeableness, and communication skills. RPG games also inspire creativity and help to boost your problem-solving skills.
If you’ve never associated the games you enjoy with certain skills, take the time to think about it. What sparks your interest(s) in the games you play? Is it the landscape? The way the game is put together? If so, you might want to enroll in classes in design or programming that can lead to a career in those fields. Do you love the story-telling aspect of it? Consider writing or working in marketing. When your interests jump from the screen to real life, you might realize that you have been developing skills in those areas all along.
Networking Becomes Natural
The days of gaming alone are long gone. Communication has become an integral part of the video game world, with players using their voices or typing out messages to others through online platforms. That teaches players how to work together and problem-solve as a team, no matter where they are in the world.
In today’s society, remote work has become more prominent than ever. It was already on the rise, but the COVID-19 pandemic turned it into a necessity for some. Some of the common communication challenges for remote teams include:
By being specific, concise, and asking questions, remote teams can better work together to get things done and accomplish their goals. If you’re an avid gamer who is used to communicating with others in a remote environment, you can excel in a remote position. You’ll have the skills to effectively collaborate with others and know how to be as specific as possible to get the job done. Instead of working through the ins and outs of a quest on a game, you can work with your team online to finish a specific project.
Gaming can also boost your confidence. When you’re used to talking to others and working through issues together, that will carry over into the “real world”. It’s a great tool for networking, as it can give you the self-esteem to reach out to others, meet new people, and appear self-assured and comfortable around other professionals in your industry. People tend to notice that. Your confidence can carry you a long way.
It Levels Up Your Soft Skills
In addition to boosting some of the hard skills needed to succeed in the working world, gaming is a fantastic way to develop soft skills. Many times, those are the skills employers are most looking for to help their business succeed.
Soft skills include things like collaboration, time management, and critical thinking. Nearly every job uses those skills in some way. If you’re truly a lover of all things gaming, you could even combine your skills to step into the video game industry, yourself. Whether you want to work in programming, design, or set up your own streaming service, you can use the skills you’ve gained in solving problems and working with others to make it happen.
No matter where you work or what type of job you’re looking for, gaming can help more than you think. So, let go of the stereotypes. Pick up a controller. Think about how the games you love can help you to hone in on certain skills that can make you an invaluable employee in any industry, and don’t be afraid to admit to a potential employer exactly where those skills came from.