Hi everyone, Sam here from Top Rosters. Windsoar has kindly allowed me to guest post on Jaded Alt and so I thought I would try and tackle a topic that has interested me for a while.
I remember reading an article a long time ago about a guy who used his World of Warcraft experiences to get a job. This guy was a regular raider and long time player and he secured a job by demonstrating real life skills through his online endeavours. This really grabbed my attention as I had never really considered the transferrable skills that you learn whilst playing this game that we all love. It sparked a fanciful daydream of a world in which CVs would have an “achievements” section in which you would write down any exceptional feats that you had accomplished ingame. Gaming would be seen as worthwhile a “hobby” as any other cited in real life interviews.
Of course this is very “pie in the sky” and not realistic but it did make me think about the skills that we do attain through raiding. I suppose the most obvious one has to be teamwork. Naturally raiding inherently requires working as a team – 25 players (or more likely 10 as the trend seems to be going) must work together in order to avoid boss mechanics and eventually down a boss. Tanks and healers must coordinate cooldowns to avoid having too many overlapping and not leaving enough for the next high damage phase. DPS have to all work together to bring down an add fast and coordinate cooldown usage with heroism/bloodlust. These are all quite obvious but I think the “teamwork” aspect goes further. You could extend it to pre-raid scenarios. Often in a guild there will be a few people who work together to get pots, enchants and gems for the guild. These players may work together farming the mats or utilising each other in the production chain.
Teamwork is often used in the creation of a guild website. It is found in the daily heroics done in-guild or the rated BGs and arenas. These team skills are more transferrable to the real world than many would believe. Having to comunnicate and work together to get chain interupts on a boss can be transferred to any team based business in the world. This brings me nicely onto the next skill honed in raids – “communication.”
Communication is of course essential in any business and is a skill highly valued by employers. In raids the level of communication can vary with some guilds opting for a “one way street” where the raid leader is almost the sole voice, whilst others opt for a more communal feel, with everyone pitching in. Either way, if you are raiding you will definately be communicating at some point. It may not be vocally over vent but could include that whisper you sent to the other healer making sure you know which targets you are healing, that forum message you wrote explaining why you should be using X tactics for the encounter or the pre-raid discussion with the raid leader about how many blonde, blue eyed blood elf paladins you should bring (none.) All of these things are communication and they all demonstrate your ability to interact helpfully with others.
I think problem solving has to be another skill learned in a raid. Sometimes it will only be the raid leaders that are actually making the decisions on strategy but often there are specific members who add input to this or come up with suggestions. The holy priest who is finding it hard to stay in range of the kiting tank pipes up and suggests a different kiting path. The mage who can’t keep that add sheeped because there is a hairy orc warrior furiously beating on it suggesting that he “attacks the damn boss!” The tank who keeps falling off of the pillar suggesting Blizzard changes the encounter. Problem solving is a crucial skill particularly for cutting edge guilds. They often do not have the luxury of a pre-written wowwiki entry on the boss tactics and so have to “wing it.” They have to improvise and solve each problem as it appears. This problem solving demonstrates the ability to think logically and make actions based on what is happening.
Accepting criticism is perhaps not a skill but it is something that you learn to do when raiding. A lot of people (myself included) find it hard when other people start telling you that you are doing something wrong. Raiding instils the fact that “you will get shouted at” into you. I think it teaches you to accept it and work on improving rather than lashing out or simply giving up. Most players on receiving criticism will try and improve and change their play rather than /gquitting on the spot. This is perhaps not a skill you would bring up in an interview but I think it is an important life skill that you learn through raiding.
So will you be able to tout all of these skills learned from WoW in a real life interview? Probably not unless your interviewer happens to be a fellow raider. The problem is that people will not understand how what you are describing demonstrates the skill. If you have never played WoW then you are unlikely to understand the significance of adapting boss strategies for problem solving. I think gaming is definately becoming more mainstream but perhaps these skills will be skills that you learn rather than skills that you can tout on CVs. Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe in ten years time we will all be citing those realm firsts that we got “way back when.”
Thanks for reading and if you liked it please visit us at Top Rosters and find us on twitter @toprosters. We are currently looking for class columnists so if you think you would like to write about your class please shoot us an email at mail[at]toprosters[dot]com. Thanks for the opportunity to post Windsoar!