If you could see your skill level for the work you do, how high would it be?
Video games hold an important place in a boy’s life because of the memories that they create. Time spent learning how the world you’re in works and seeing the results of labor help make games stand the test of time.
All games have learning curves and some are designed to take longer than others. The best part of any video game, aside from a captivating plot, is how it rewards you for your hard work and dedication.
Your career can be seen in the same way. Although there isn’t a clear number for your experience points, total level, or current high score — you can still see your career as a game. There are systems set in place, made by other people, that can be mastered. These systems don’t necessarily reward you just because you put time into them either.
Where is your position on the scoreboard?
We should be thinking of our careers as points on a scoreboard. We are gaining experience in various skills every day. We are always trying to create a better resume, a better portfolio of work done.
Some of us gain experience faster than others, either through mentorship, working harder, or from our natural aptitudes to specific areas of work. The number of years we work in a particular industry or in a specific job title helps quantify the potential value to hiring managers or clients. Yet, there are certainly other ways to showcase your skill level.
Your online community can be a sign of how well you are doing in your career. If you aren’t paying for engagement and for ghost-followers, and if you are sharing your expertise in the form of content (articles, vlog, podcast) — the community you grow online can give other people an inclination of how good you are at what you do.
You could get an inkling to how much you’re growing in your field by how many people actively seek your advice. One of the best ways to know if someone sees you as an expert is if they regularly ask for your opinion on a specific topic. Sometimes it is best not to speak on a subject until you really understand it, other people asking you questions can show you when you are ready.
You can also get an accurate measurement of your skill level from how much you get paid for your work. Your services have value and this value is exchanged for money. If you are just starting out, you will be paid the bare minimum for the time and effort spent on any project. As you progress in your industry, grow your network, and learn more — you will be able to make more money.
Taking into account the specific skill of being able to negotiate your salary when being interviewed or your prices when selling directly to clients, you should get paid more money each time you get a new position or project. Sometimes you will move laterally from job to job, your income may not increase during each transition. Yet, the goal in most cases is to get paid more each time.
Is there a sure-fire way to speed up your growth?
I believe there is an inherent problem with wanting to speed up the process when it comes to your career. The video games that gave me the best memories were the ones I did not want to rush. I usually played them to completion many times because of how engaging they were. When you are truly engaged in your career, you don’t want to rush it.
What is the point of doing anything if you just can reach the peak within a year? At the pinnacle of success, do you just repeat each day doing the same thing, without a new goal to reach? I want to work in a field that always provides me with a new skill to learn, a new way to challenge myself. That doesn’t sound like an adventure. An experience like that sounds boring, as if there’s no point to it at all.
Instead of looking for shortcuts, we should be looking for more ways to enjoy the day-to-day grind. Some video games are enjoyable mainly because of the grinding part of the experience. Each day you work on building your character’s skill provides another opportunity to enjoy your purchase, the money spent on the game.
Each day we work on growing in our careers should be another opportunity to enjoy the work we are doing. Even if our skill levels aren’t clear at the moment.