Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WoW you're skilled!

I'm currently working on an exciting new project at work. So I've been working on the project plan, the project scope, and all sorts of other things project related. One of the first steps within this project included putting together an analysis of existing tasks that were happening, and while looking for a template on how to do this I ran into a website that listed all sorts of skills.

These skills were mainly what they call soft skills. Skills that aren't needed for the specific tasks in a job, but just general skills that most employers will look for in an employee. In fact, part of the HRM task when it comes to recruitment often consists of figuring out if an applicant has the right soft skills to work within the department or within the company.

As I was reading this article I started thinking of how a lot of these skills are not so much different from the skills you need in WoW to be a successful player. I recognized that not only have a I broadened certain skill sets through WoW, I have also acquired new ones.

Some of these skills are vital when raiding, pvping, or even just when communicating with guild members or other people in the game. Others I apply mostly when I have to step into the raid leader, or banker role.

Skills inside WoW
Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written). By far, the one skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write, and speak effectively. Successful communication is critical in business.
How often do raids not go wrong because someone forgot to mention certain tactics or assignments? It is vital in any raid that you can communicate effectively, and maybe even more important, in a concise manner.

Having your raid leader spin off a 10 minute story about the abilities Yogg has is usually not the most effective way to tell 25 people what they need to watch for. No, you bullet point the abilities each needs to keep an eye on, and other than that you just have to start the fight and hope people will not have forgotten one of the bullet points.
Analytical/Research Skills. Deals with your ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues that need to be addressed.
These skills come in very handy when researching a fight. You will never remember everything that happens in a fight (unless you're Rain Man). So instead what you need to do is analyze the fight, assess the risks, and identify which spells you need to be on the lookout for.

The more you do this, the faster you will be able to oversee the situation, and know what to look for when you watch the next how to video on you tube.
Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities. Deals with your ability to manage multiple assignments and tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions and work assignments.
Oooh, another very important one. Lets take a healer example for this one...

Top dps, tank, and silly stand in fire dps all take damage. Who do I heal first? I can tell you that a whole checklist of priorities is being walked through in my head at that moment, and that depending on the weight of those priorities someone will get the first, second, and third heal.

And honestly, the best players I've known are those who can react even if unexpected things happen. They adapt to the situation, and run with it, applying what they do know to the changed situation.
Interpersonal Abilities. The ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others to participate, and mitigate conflict with co-workers is essential given the amount of time spent at work each day.
This is maybe not so much a skill used specifically for raiding. It is however definitely one that is used every day just to communicate with others. And as a guild leader, raid leader, or class leader you better have developed these skills a bit, because motivating your team might be darn hard if you haven't.

WoW your CV

There have been many discussions on employers hiring (or not hiring) people who play WoW. There are recruiters out there who apparently even get specific instructions not to hire anybody who plays WoW. (apologies for the red letters, but I think I worded it pretty correctly) And then there are also companies who specifically look for people with gaming experience. (check out Blizz's job offerings for some a nice examples)

But either way it swings I would definitely stick use some of my WoW skills to brighten up my CV.

Lets say we take the following job add:
Expanding communications company with excellent benefits is seeking a Financial Analyst to join their team. In this Financial Analyst position, you will conduct financial modeling as well as measure, analyze and forecast performance in conjunction with operating plans. Additional duties include advising management on the allocation of resources to best accomplish objectives and preparing reports for management.

Success-driven Financial Analyst candidates with 5+ years of experience are ideal. Qualified applicants will have a Bachelors degree in Accounting or Finance. Advanced proficiency with Excel as well as excellent analytical, communication and presentation skills are required. If interested, please contact blarblar lets take the address out shall we.....
(I took this add randomly of and took the address out, hope I don't get angry people here)

I have highlighted all the skills that you meet in WoW, and that you could use in your resume.
  • Measure analyze and forecast performance
    In game this would be reading combat logs. And not only reading them, but analyzing them until you know where performance dropped, and how you can improve. Know where your dps needs to step up, where your heroism was too early, where your healers dropped the ball. Analysis of what's going wrong is the first step in knowing how to make it go better. Not only in the game, but also in almost anything else.
  • Advising management on the allocation of resources
    Classleaders this is your call. You are the one advising the raidleaders who should heal which target, who tanks what, and how the dps is divided. Not only should you be aware of what your resources are, but you also have to apply them effectively to a situation.
  • Advanced proficiency with Excel
    If you're a high end raider I bet you've seen multiple dps, tps, and hps spread sheets going by. You've been following the calculations in them, hell, you might even have designed your own spreadsheets, calculating which stats you should keep an eye on, or which gear piece you should look for next.
  • Excellent analytical, communication and presentation skills
    This one has been mentioned before, but I did want to point out that in just a random add I found online they are outlined, right there.
So you see. WoW is an excellent method of learning and honing these skills. And well...if you do run into the rare recruiter who seriously doesn't like WoW players...would you want to work for that company?

I wouldn't, my time is for me to decide what to do with it.

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