How Your Gaming Skills Can Improve Your Job

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Are you looking to develop skills vital to working in the business world? While each job requires a unique set of skills, there are certain traits and qualities all employers are looking for. Golden employees are the ones that are problem solvers, determined, great at staying calm under pressure and are detailed orientated.

There are expensive training courses and self help books that can assist with developing these kind of traits, but there is much more entertaining option. Video games!

Not only do video games help train hand eye coordination, but they also help with traits that can make a big difference in your professional career. Here are just a few traits, and some careers they are important in, that video games can help with.

Problem Solving

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Businesses want workers capable of solving issues. Being a problem solver means being able to handle challenges, control a crisis, and resolve conflicts. Often times, this means finding creative solutions with limited or unconventional resources. It’s a valuable skill to have, but becoming a great problem solver takes a lot of practice.

Games that use puzzles or are incredibly challenging help train players in problem solving. Puzzle games teach people to look for the correct solution to a problem, which sometimes requires players to change their perceptions or approaches. Extremely challenging games like Dark Souls place enemies in front of the player and pushes the player to find the best solution for handling each one. This requires a touch of forethought, planning, flexibility, and experimentation, all traits needed to be great at problem solving.

While a great skill to have in every career, there are some careers that rely heavily problem solving. If you want problem solving to be part of your daily routine, you might want to investigate these careers. Working in tech support or IT puts you against different challenges on a normal basis, some requiring some unique solutions. Being a business manager or owner also means that whenever there is a problem your employees can’t solve, it’s up to you to figure it out.

Career nameAverage salary
IT Research Scientists$115580
Mathematicians$112560
Actuaries$110560
Software Developers$108760
Computer Network Architects$103100

Being A Team Player

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The ability to work well with others is another trait employers want. It’s well known that collaboration in the workplace leads to better results since it encourages innovation and better accountability. Being a good team member is more than just putting your head down and working away. It’s a support system where you help each other improve, assist in harder times, bounce ideas off each other and learn to trust the other members of the team.

Any type of game that uses cooperation to succeed is a great game to practice teamwork. For practicing building ideas off of each other and finding solutions together, play Portal 2’s co-op. Playing Moba (massive online battle arena) games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 can help develop the ability trust in other teammates and delegating tasks to others.

Industries that run on creativity have to utilize collaboration. If you enjoy brainstorming with others, careers in marketing, sales, product development and as a scientist are all great choices. Coming up with game changing ideas requires taking a lot of ideas and working together to create something revolutionary.

Being a close knit team is especially important in high risk occupations, like the medical field or the military. Doctor offices and hospitals couldn’t function without teamwork, with employees making sure patients are taken cared of and can get better as quickly as possible. Every person has to do their part and trust their coworkers will do theirs. The military needs soldiers to trust in their whole team to give them the correct information and to watch each others backs. A single mistake on the team could have devastating results, so they have to work together flawlessly.

Identifying Patterns and Capitalizing on Them

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From the early days of Donkey Kong, defeating video games comes down to finding patterns and exploiting them to win. Having the ability to actively find and understand patterns is extremely valuable. This could include finding patterns in large amounts of data, and finding the underlying cause of the patterns, or identifying patterns in individual people or corporations and predicting what they will do next.

2D platformers like Super Mario, Sonic, and Shovel Knight are great for learning several patterns at a time, both with enemies’ behaviors and level design. Shoot ‘em up games like Space Invaders, R-Type and Gun Nac may look like a giant mess of bullets and ships at first, but after playing for awhile, you notice patterns on a massive scale. These type of games require taking large amounts of information every second and finding the pattern to survive to the next level. Fighting games like Street Fighter teaches players find patterns in the opponent’s strategies and take advantage of them to win.

In the business world, there are full careers all about finding patterns. Stockbrokers have to research and correctly predict different financial markets to make their clients money. Data scientists filter through huge amounts of data to find important patterns for corporations and governments. Law enforcement agencies look for patterns both on a huge and individual levels. Detectives and forensic technicians look for patterns in a criminal’s behavior so they can catch them, while agencies use huge amounts of data to create crime maps to predict criminal activity and combat it more effectively.

Remaining Calm Under Pressure and Making Quick Decisions

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Making very important decisions usually warrant a lot of thought and plenty of time weighing options, but sometimes you don’t have that opportunity. These times can be extremely stressful on somebody and if they aren’t prepared, can make them freeze up or make bad choices they later regret. Staying calm is a mental state that people have to practice before stressful situations arise.

Fast moving video games can help train somebody to remain calm in stressful situations and make good snap decisions. First person shooters like Battlefield 4 and Counter Strike are all about quick reflexes and making decisions quickly. Remaining calm in these games allow players to think about their actions and play strategically. When a player gets frustrated while playing, they tend to rush into bad situations and lose the game. Staying calm but focused is the best approach to any problem, video game related or not.

Careers in emergency services like being a paramedic, firefighter, or police officer all require people who stay calm under pressure and can make important decisions quickly. Airline pilots also have to remain calm when something goes wrong while flying and take information from different sources to quickly make a decision that could affect dozens to hundreds of lives.

Career nameAverage salary
Anesthesiologists$258100
Surgeons$247520
Oral Surgeons$233900
OBGYNs$222400
Orthodontists$221390

Developing Your Skills

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More and more employers are looking for well rounded, highly skilled workers to help their organization grow. If you don’t have a wealth of abilities and traits, you’ll have a harder time being successful. Playing video games is just one of the ways you can help develop these skills and more to make you a even better employee.

Do you have something to say? Is there a skill you think should be included in this list? Can you think of a video game that has really helped you improve a skill? Let us know by commenting below.

About The Author

Ben Allen

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Ben enjoys writing about video games and the impacts they are having on our culture. He also writes about business, leadership, motivation, and the future of education. You can follow him on Twitter @allen24ben

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