1. Find the match
Click here to open the article with the words marked in green
“Corporate worlds are like old-fashioned video games”
A colleague of mine, let’s call him Tom, once told me a story that he said had taught him more about career success than all the seminars and training programmes he had ever participated in combined. He had recently been promoted to quite a senior position and suddenly found himself getting invited to events with people he otherwise would not have met.
At one such event, he was standing right next to the European vice president of a very important business partner. Eager to grasp the opportunity, Tom launched into a pitch (well-rehearsed, Tom always comes prepared) of a business idea. It was going well, Tom thought, but the VP just smiled at Tom, then put his arm on his shoulder and interrupted him, saying: “Relax, Tom — we can talk about all that tomorrow. Have you tried the canapés?”
Tom had been successful in his career mainly because of his incredible drive, determination and ambition, but standing there at the buffet, he realized that what got you here, won’t take you there.
Corporate worlds are like old-fashioned video games. In the beginning, it is all relatively simple. Through rounds one and two, you are fine doing the basic tricks and moving around efficiently. As the rounds go on, the game becomes increasingly difficult and you need additional weapons: a laser gun to defeat the dragon in round four, a pot of gold to buy your way past the witch in seven and an energy drink to see you through the desert in nine. In the Job Game, Tom had come through to round three but now realized he needed relationship-building skills more than sharp intelligence and dedication.
Over the next months, we’ll be looking at the ingredients of Job Game success. We’ll be examining some of the paradoxes that come with increased responsibility, and we’ll be providing sage advice to those whose careers are stuck, to those whose careers are just taking off and to those who never had any real career ambitions but are just interested in becoming more effective at work.