7 Career Lessons I Learned From Video Games

girl playing video game | Gamer in a gown

Video games have clearly played an important role in my day-to-day life and served as partial inspiration for my blog today. I genuinely believe Gamer In A Gown’s focus on both the fashion and gaming world tries hard to marry two extremely different worlds, which sometimes can prove to be a challenge for me. But while these two topics typically divide my audience, I cannot help but notice small connections and similarities that help bridge the gap between all of my different interests.

Most notably, I have found the largest gap to be bridged is the connection between the games I choose to play and my day-to-day career.

Growing up, playing video games has taught me patience, perseverance and problem-solving. And these lessons didn’t just stop after puberty. After starting my first big-girl job over five years ago, I began to notice some important lessons from games that are applicable to your career. 

Here are seven career lessons that video games can teach you: 

Don’t Be Too Proud To Play The Tutorial 

As a fairly independent worker, I find myself facing this scenario far too often. My manager will approach and ask me to put something together I have never done before. Rather than risk appearing inexperienced or unqualified, I keep my questions or concerns quiet and internally assure myself that I can figure it out as I go. 

But too many times (rather than letting go of my pride and allowing my experienced manager walk me through a cushy, guided tutorial) I end up winging it, mashing buttons and crashing into walls. 

I understand it can be intimidating to admit that you aren’t familiar with something new being assigned to you, however, the more you avoid it, the greater the chance that you will not only deal damage to yourself but to your supervisor as well. Ask questions, request guidance and voice any hesitations you may have. Doing this will help you learn how to play the game properly.

Multiplayer Makes Things More Fun

Playing solo is fun, but it can be impossible to accomplish all of your missions alone. The workplace is always 100 times more enjoyable when you have a reliable team behind you. 

Take the time to socialize, nurture relationships and make friends with the people on your team and in your office in general. On those days that you are dealing with a stressful workload or just need some words of encouragement, your work crew will always be there to lend a helping hand. Mutual encouragement will help you power through any challenge you face. 

Upgrade Your Weapons

While you may not be wielding a battle-ax, you possess some kick-butt skills that should make your enemies tremble in fear. 

Just like any RPG, we often start off our careers with a level 1 weapon, basic industry knowledge/skills, a degree, or a connection to help get your foot in the door. Following that, it is your own responsibility to forage for materials, talk to others around town and upgrade your arsenal. 

Network, continue your education or read up on news/courses that will help you gain new skills within your industry. The more drive you put into bettering yourself and your experiences while you are young, the more powerful you will be towards the end of the game. 

Grind, Grind, Grind 

Every experience can’t be boss fights and enthralling battles. To truly better yourself you have to bunker down and deal with some boring or repetitive tasks. 

Unlike video games, life doesn’t come with cheat codes so gaining experience is going to take time and energy. Go out of your way to put in your all and invest yourself into everything you do on a daily basis, even the smallest tasks. Put as much focus into updating your daily reporting document as you would prepping for a huge meeting with a new client. Go above and beyond in everything you do, even if it takes a little extra time. 

Enjoy The Side Quests… 

For the sake of your sanity, try not to obsess over your job to the point that you are working days, nights and weekends without any breaks. Always allow yourself some time to pause or enjoy other things you love. 

Ensure that you occasionally stray away from your mission to explore other things, like a hobby or side-gig that gives you a creative outlet. Side-quests will give you the opportunity to step away and rediscover yourself and the things that drive you. Additionally, it will help you prevent burn-out and may even allow you to look at work projects from a new and enlightened perspective. Essentially, taking this time is real life’s version of pressing the restart button. 

…But Don’t Forget About The Main Goal 

When life just won’t stop sending horrifying monsters, powerful attacks or blue turtle shells your way, having end-goals established for yourself will always remind you to keep pushing through. 

Where do you want to be in the next 10 years? What is your dream position? Do you want to own your own business someday? Sit down and put together a list of long-term goals for yourself and your career—no matter how far-fetched they may seem. 

Right now some of these plans may appear to be unrealistic or impossible, but with the right amount of motivation and focus you never know how far you will be able to go. 

Losing Doesn’t Mean The Game Is Over 

When you lose a level in a video game does the screen shut off and prevent you from ever playing again? Absolutely not. 

The same rules are in place for your career. Life happens and so do mistakes so don’t lay down and give up every time you take a hit. Instead, keep in mind that you have unlimited lives and opportunities to reinvent yourself. Did you completely forget to finish a task your boss assigned to you? Admit you did wrong, heal yourself with a potion (or glass of wine) and do better next time. Are you not happy in your career? Luckily for you, there are countless other titles to choose from and applying to each and every one of them is free. Did you lose your job? Don’t turn off, revive yourself and get back into battle. 

Always remind yourself that even though the words “game over” may flash on your screen, “try again” is always the first option located underneath it. 

Video games may seem like fantasy, but right now there is a good chance you are living in one. You are a girl on a quest, equipped with killer skills, fighting her way through a challenging workplace environment. Keep your eye on the prize and never sheath your sword. Now on to battle! 

About Our Game Room

I wanted to go ahead and share some very amateur shots of the gorgeous game room Kevin and I designed in our new home. He and I have always shared a passion for gaming, and truly love to use our hobby as an opportunity to bond and decompress. So when we bought our house in July, we knew we wanted to go all out.

You may be surprised to hear that our entire set up came from IKEA – and while other custom gaming setups of this caliber will typically run you thousands upon thousands of dollars, ours actually wound up costing less than $1K.

Our setup features two 55″ televisions and plenty of housing for our console collection (including some empty spaces for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X in 2020). Kevin ensured our entire setup was wire-free, and even built a custom section on the bottom of our unit to hide the wires that were hooked through our wall. Additionally, he added light strips to the back of our setup, which makes playing at night a colorful and engaging experience.

While it took us a total of four days to complete, I feel very blessed to have a setup like this. I’m looking forward to the games I will get to play in here for years to come.

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  • Comments ( 1 )

  • avatar
    Carla

    You’re so cool Emily. I appreciate how thoughtful you were throughout this post. I love that you said we have unlimited lives and opportunities. I often reach a difficult level and find myself shutting down after the first couple tries. Thanks FOR Reminding us to stay in the battle!

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