Life is full of unexpected lessons if you look for them. You might learn perseverance from exercise, finance tips from TV or even career lessons from video games. In Nintendo’s new hit game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, players are given a deserted island that they must develop into a thriving society. This is achieved through building and maintaining homes, businesses, museums and more. Although easily mistaken as a video game for kids on the surface, a more in-depth look reveals that many valuable lessons can be learned by any business professional.
Career Lessons from Animal Crossing
Just as the players of “Animal Crossing” learn DIY recipes to build their island, you must build your skills to achieve your dream job. If you find the time to try the game, then here are some of the career lessons you can learn from “Animal Crossing” that can be applied to your career.
Networking is Key
On the island, players are encouraged to interact with villagers and learn DIY recipes from them. Without working with these villagers, players would never be able to grow their skills which would prevent them from improving their island.
Similarly, if you want to learn new job skills then it’s essential that you develop relationships with others who are experts in your field. By utilizing people that are willing to help, you can gain the knowledge and abilities to continue to advance in your career.
Have a Diverse Set of Skills
“Animal Crossing” has a currency system called Bells that players must earn so they can purchase supplies. They earn this through a variety of different methods such as catching fish, growing fruit, selling items and much more. Some of these opportunities are not always available so the players must learn multiple methods to ensure they always have a source of income.
Many people work one job as their career, however, it’s never good to put all of your eggs in one basket. Having a side hustle or second job can either help bring in some extra cash or help you learn new skills that you might be able to use in your main job. Becoming a well-rounded individual will help make sure you’re ready to take on any situation.
Find Something to Specialize in
Although it is good to have a diverse set of skills, it’s also important to make sure you specialize in something. Many of the vendors in “Animal Crossing” specialize in a specific item. Players can purchase rugs from Sahara’s bag, clothes from the Able Sisters shop and plants from Leif’s stand.
If you are going to sell a product or perform a service then people will choose you if you are the best at that specific thing. Finding your niche enables you to succeed and rise above others. This is also important for teamwork. The best teams are made up of individuals that all are great at something specific and come together. A person who is ok at many things but not great at any one specific thing can be easily replaced.
Patience Will Pay Off
Many parts of the island are not accessible to players in the beginning of the game. They must take time to master basic skills before they can build bridges or use special tools to navigate to new areas of the island.
Just the same, many people must go to college and get a degree or acquire a skill set before they can reach certain areas of their careers. It’s important to take the time to learn and build the skills necessary to succeed and grow in your career.
Fully Utilize Every Opportunity
Towards the beginning of the game, players meet Mabel, a clothing salesperson who is just visiting the island. Later on, she returns and starts a clothing pop-up shop. Taking full advantage of her new opportunity, she starts a brick and mortar store with her sister and brings over her existing customer base on the island.
If given the opportunity to work an internship or junior-level position it’s always worth taking advantage of it. The new skills, network and experience gained may just open the door to a better job or even getting into your dream company.
Celebrate Your Hard Work
In “Animal Crossing” some type of celebration is almost always going on. Villagers will clap and party when a building is completed, a fish is caught and anytime it’s a holiday.
It’s important to celebrate when you achieve both big and small things in your career or life. Slowing down to appreciate all that you or others around you have accomplished will make sure you are happy and hard work is always rewarded.
It’s Never too Late to Start Over
Lastly, you have the ability to restart your island from scratch at any point. Whether this is because you are bored or just want to design your island differently you can tear down everything and begin again.
In a similar fashion, you can make a career change at any time. It doesn’t matter if you want more pay, a different title or to pursue something you are more passionate about. No matter the reason you can find something new.
Sometimes we learn that the best lessons come from the most unexpected places. Hopefully “Animal Crossing” can motivate you to improve your career skills to build out your resume or pursue your dream career that has always been waiting for you.
Andrew Craig is a writer at JobHero, an online resume builder that gives you the tools and resources to help make your career dreams come true. You can see more of his and his colleagues’ work here.