Hello SOTGC community,
I think we have all heard something about the latest Pokemon Go craze that’s taking the internet, our phones, the news, and some of our conversations by storm. Do I personally play it? No…I tend to get really caught up in things that I enjoy and I worry that I’ll get so submerged in the role playing/creature collecting/point scoring (I have been known to be a BIT competitive) that I will stop being productive at work, stop showering, and end up running around looking like I crawled out of a dirty wind tunnel while gripping my phone in my hand like it’s Gollum’s ring, and fighting other make believe characters. (So, in case you’re wondering, most of that was silly talk because I do have some self control. I was also going for a record in “most sarcastic comments, movie references, and wildly dramatic descriptions in one sentence,” so let me know how I did).
That being said, there is always something we can learn, and apply to our careers, in any trend that is going on in society today.
Here are 4 ways to apply Pokemon Go to successful Networking:
- The big goal in the Pokémon games, from the original Pokémon Red and Blue to the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon, is to collect all of these virtual creatures*
- In the world of networking, for both career and personal use, the goal is to expand your network to as MANY different types of people, experiences, and industries as you can. We often think that our main, and most valuable, networking resources are within our industry and even within our organizations. While it IS in fact important to be very networked in your organization, people from outside your industry can have AS MUCH of an impact on your outlook and career strategy, so you should have as many of these people in your network as possible
- The Pokémon games take place in a world populated by exotic, powerful monsters — they can look like rats, snakes, dragons, dinosaurs, birds, eggs, trees, and even swords. In this world, people called “trainers” travel around the globe to tame these creatures and, in an ethically questionable manner, use them to fight against each other*
- This is the same with people around you as you go about your business and personal day. Think of the “exotic creatures” like various people of influence, knowledge and connectedness that may appear ONE way on the outside, and inside could be on of your best resources
- Think of “trainers” like your mentors. Mentors should be people you meet along the way in life (some formal, some informal) who you should constantly be adding as your career moves forward and your goals are achieved, adjusted, or changed. Sometimes your mentors will have conflicting advice for your career, and that’s why it’s BEST for you to be self aware enough to know what is BEST for you and anyone directly affected by you (family) when you move forward with the advice you’re given. However, just like in the game, make sure that they’re helping you for the right reasons and not for their own political agenda
- In Pokémon Go, you have to travel around the real word, and the game uses your GPS and clock to detect your location on the in-game map and decide which Pokémon appear around you*
- Much like this game, to build your network to the point of being known as a “connector” (one who people constantly go to when THEY are looking for a resource because they believe you know anyone and almost everyone) you have to get outside your comfort zone, and move around. Try going to networking functions, with an outgoing friend, that is NOT related to your industry. Try going to different grocery stores, restaurants, happy hour places, etc. to meet new people instead of seeing/greeting the same familiar faces
- What’s more, the game does a lot to make you explore your real-world environment at different times. For example, if you go out to a park, you’ll probably see more grass- or bug-type Pokémon. If you go near a lake or ocean, you’ll be able to pick up more water types. And if you go out at night, you’ll see more nocturnal fairy and ghost types*
- To be intentional with your networking (CLICK HERE FOR MY “THE ART OF NETWORKING” SAGA) understand that your surroundings will most likely dictate the kind of people you will meet. So if you have something specific (career goal, personal resource, etc) that you are looking to find connections that can help you with those goals, go to an environment where those people will be more likely to be found
So there you have it SOTGC community. My breakdown of how you can apply this new gaming crazy (it’s actually not new…just seems to have been relatively dormant for a while and is coming back with a vengeance…kind of like how I am if I haven’t had french fries in a while) to your career and networking abilities.
*Pokemon Go explanation reference: http://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12129162/pokemon-go-android-ios-game