Do you envision your job search as a game, such as the complex challenge of a World of Warcraft video game? If you choose that mindset, you will be a far more effective job seeker.
It’s a given that effective job seeking is an entertaining enterprise. Nearly every day you talk with someone new. Every week you meet people who can open up opportunities you hadn’t considered. Every meeting you must figure out ways to tap the access to job opportunities sitting across from you in the coffee shop.
So job-seeking is very much a game. And the study of games, or gaming, has lots of valuable pointers for the job seeker. If you listen to Jane McGonigal (http://www.ted.com/speakers/jane_mcgonigal.html) talk about gaming, it sounds to me precisely like the mindset of the effective job seeker (or career enhancer).
What are the four ‘super powers’ of the effective gamer, according to Jane?
(1) Urgent optimism: ‘the desire to immediately tackle obstacles and the belief in a reasonable outcome of success.’ From timely thank you notes to setting appointments every week to reviewing progress regularly, urgent optimism defines the hungry job seeker.
(2) Tight social network: ‘the feeling of friendship that playing games together engenders.’ This can be found in the superior ‘job seeker networker’ who knows how to befriend others, do favors for others, and spread the passion for the process to the discouraged and the stuck.
(3) Blissful productivity: ‘gamers are happier working hard at their games than they are relaxing.’ Effective job seekers are consumed with the hunt, and enjoy the work of enhancing a career that a great job-seeking process can give.
(4) Epic meaning: ‘the joy of involvement in something with awe-inspiring meaning.’ For the gamer, that’s a virtual thing. For effective job seekers, it’s a real thing, that the awareness of giving back as much as getting is a secret to effective job search.
How do you stretch your job seeking skills? Become an inspired gamer, and/or listen yourself for the parallels between gaming and job seeking: