Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. And there’s an undeniable hype surrounding the game. Almost everybody’s into the hype – from the guy opposite you in the jeepney to the lady next to your cubicle in the office. Footage of people flocking over a spot to catch a rare Pokemon has become ubiquitous on the internet and it is both hilariously entertaining and alarming. Why did I say ‘alarming’? Well, because apparently, this hype has caused a number of accidents already.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting game, especially for people who’s grown to love Pokemon — people who loved Pokemon since it was born. The hype is understandable. But did you know that aside from the thrill and satisfaction you get from playing Pokemon Go, you can get something else from it? Yeah, like learnings.
In this article, we will talk about some of the things every job seeker and every young professional must learn from Pokemon Go.
1. Strategic planning is your best friend.
How do you play Pokemon Go? Or, if you are planning to join the hype, how do you intend to go about it? What type of player are you?
Yes, playing Pokemon Go requires that you plan and set goals. In playing the game, you need to make certain decisions. Will I collect all the rare Pokemon, or will I focus more on training my Charmander?
Lesson: When you are on a job hunt, how much time are you really willing to devote to it? Oftentimes, it is not desirable to stay out of a job for long. Most probably, you want to get a job as soon as you can. Therefore you must strategize, or plan. A typical job hunt process looks like this:
- You match your skills with the positions, industries, and companies that interest you. Where do I fit best?
- Then, create a strategic plan to target companies in your desired industry.
2. Skills and experience matter.
You probably might underestimate the value of a CP10 Pokemon. But mind you, these low CP Pokemon is going to help you practice and gain an experience level. It will also help you collect candies for future power-ups and evolutions.
Lesson: Practice makes perfect. Constant practice lets you gain new skills and master existing ones. Now if you receive a call from a recruiter about a position you don’t like at all, just go ahead, take the call and practice answering their basic interview questions. It will help you develop more confidence in future phone interviews.
3. Not going out and not exploring will take you nowhere.
If you’ve been catching a bunch of Rattatas and Rattatas alone and you don’t want to get out of your home, oh well, don’t complain. You aren’t getting out of your house to explore new places, to begin with. Perhaps a lazy man’s reply would be: “Sure. We can use incense and lures.” Well, kid, you need to build up your levels to catch them, and walking helps you hatch eggs, too (which could be the Jigglypuff you are rooting for), so, no, you cannot simply incense or lure them out.
Lesson: In job hunting, it’s quite rare for an offer letter to find its way to your inbox without you lifting even a single finger. Online job hunting, most of the time, is not enough. So, go out. Explore new social gatherings like alumni homecoming, networking dinners, and career fairs among others. Talk to people who can probably help hook you up with a career opportunity.
4. Two heads are better than one.
Last night, I was chatting with a friend. It was already 1 o’clock in the morning and I gathered he’s still outside their house. I asked him what he was doing and who he’s with. He said he’s with his squad. Apparently, he teamed up with his pals and took down some gyms around the Metro.
Lesson: Having a friend join you in your job hunt will make everything easier for both of you. You know, you’ll have a shoulder to cry on in case you get rejected. You can hold each other accountable when one of you is less motivated. It’s helpful to share open positions and résumé tips. Interview each other to practice and improve your answers to typical interview questions.
5. Efficiency is everything.
You can get better devices from Poke stops when you are at the higher levels. You will also learn to develop your own tricks and understand some tactics, i.e. when the best time to use lucky eggs is.
Lesson: In job hunting, the same thing can be said. You will know what best to do as you progress. You will find what works best for you. You will learn when and how to follow-up, when and how to most effectively apply. The more you use networking sites like LinkedIn, the better you will become at networking. You, ergo, become a more efficient job hunter.
6. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.
Sometimes, on lazy Sundays, no Pokemon shows up when you walk around. What a waste of time, right? So, why not go to Poke stops and collect some items instead? Hmm. It’s a shame when you have 0 Pokeballs in your bag and a rare Pokemon suddenly appears.
Lesson: Job hunting requires a lot of effort and time. It requires sufficient preparation – from your resume to your interview skills. So, when you have nothing else to do, or when waiting for a response, take some time to revisit your resume, ask people for feedback, and reaching out to connections and ask for opportunity hook ups. You can also try mock interviews. In other words, try to be as productive as you can while waiting. It’s nice to be ready when the situation calls for your A-game.
7. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Pro-tip: Do not use 50 balls trying to catch a Golbat only for it to escape multiple times! I don’t want you crying out of frustration and regret, or perhaps, shame?
Lesson: Do not focus and spend too much time on a single job opening. Yes, you may feel strongly positive you’ll get the offer because you think you are a great fit, but who knows, the wind might blow to a different direction. It’s wise not to get stuck waiting for one offer. Just apply for other jobs while waiting for a response. Other’s call this “serial job hunting”, but that’s just fine.
8. A good personal brand is a vital investment.
It’s not wise to always go after the things you like. Sometimes you have to make them come to you, too. A Jigglypuff, for example, might be intractable. You can invest in an Incense to attract them and make them come to you, right?
Lesson: There are many cases where candidates get employed without them applying for the job. They were head-hunted. They were recruited, in other words. Yes, that’s possible. Investing in a good personal brand will bring you lots of opportunities throughout your career (take note: throughout). You will find out that with a good personal brand (something you are known for), even if you have a job, opportunities will still knock on your door.
9. Sometimes, you will need help.
It’s pretty difficult to get a Snorlax, right? You probably don’t have the time. Or, perhaps, the skills. But there is this club they call The Pokémon Trainer Club which uses Bidvine to connect up new and struggling players with Trainers or ‘walkers’ who can operate your phone for you. That’s quite nice, right?
Lesson: Sometimes, we get by with a little from our friends (that’s The Beatles’ song). And that’s fine. You may work with a recruitment firm. You can tap a recruitment firm’s network of companies or clients, and at the same time, seek the help of their recruiters (who are also very much willing to prep you up for a potential job opportunity). They can truly be a wonderful partner for professional growth.
10. Getting the job is not the end of the journey.
Do not be sad about, or even underestimate your “petty” Level 1 Pidgey (which probably only has 14CP). You know that with the right training, that Pidgey could develop new abilities and in time be able to take on a mighty Gyarados. Right? The same principle applies to the rest of your Pokemon arsenal. They all can become better.
Lesson: Landing your first job is not the end of your quest to make yourself a better person – a better young professional. The quest for personal and professional development is never ending. Who knows? You might end up owning the company you are working for today, or even start your own!
All GIFs grabbed from Giphy.