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CotC - career lessons from a gameIf you haven’t played Clash of the Clans (CotC), it is what is called a MMO (massively multiplayer online) strategy game. It is played on millions of phones and tablets throughout the world, and I happen to be one of those players. I find it both fun, challenging and frustrating (often at the same time).

One of the reasons it is so hard to put down is that your village can only be attacked when you are offline. Your village is safe when you are playing, which encourages you play constantly.  It also takes forever (well, not quite forever, but a very long time) to do things. For example, it takes 14 real days to upgrade your town hall from level 8 to level 9.

Whilst playing and trying to justify my use of time when I should have been writing this blog, I was mulling over what it could teach me about careers. Here are the career lessons I came up with:

  • Grit and patience: both CotC and careers require grit and patience. They need you to invest time, to persist and to keep going. (I would like to point out that a career should almost always be more important that a computer game!)
  • Levelling up: this is essential to feel satisfied and keep achieving. In CotC you can level up buildings, troops and your overall level. Similarly, in a career you can level up by ‘raising your game’, getting promoted and achieving your goals.
  • Team work: in CotC you have a Clan, who can support you through advice, tips and donating troops. In a career a good team can help you day to day. Mentors, internal sponsors and coaches can provide invaluable support and guidance longer term.
  • Nothing is permanent: when things go wrong, they are often not as bad as they seem. Your CotC village rebuilds after total destruction, and many careers have been rebuilt after they looked unsalvageable.
  • Having a persona: very few people on CotC use their real name, so people develop game personas. Many of the top leaders I have worked with have a different work persona to how their families and friends see them. This doesn’t mean that they need a tough persona at work, just that they demonstrate the right characteristics and behaviours to enjoy and succeed at their work.

Having said all this, there are a couple of things that CotC shouldn’t teach us!

  • Constant fighting is the way to succeed and revenge is productive!
  • Also, dragons are a sure fire way to win.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – please feel free to comment.

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