The game world is abuzz about Pokémon Go, the new online game that was recently released in July 2016.

Developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices, the app has been downloaded by 75M people. Cra-cra!

In September 2015, Niantic announced it was developing and publishing Pokémon Go in partnership with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company for iOS and Android.

Nintendo has benefited immensely from this partnership. Since the release earlier this month, the company’s market capitalization has doubled to over $42B.  In addition, Nintendo’s stock recently broke the single-day trading record in Tokyo this century, with $4.5 billion of stock changing hands.

To be up front, I know nothing, nada, zilch about Pokémon Go. I only started playing Candy Crush less than a year ago and I’m stuck on level 42. (I play infrequently but love when I do.)

I’m not a gamer. Though being the curious person that I am, I decided to download the 57MB app to my OnePlus 2 phone and take it for a ride. I’ll report back in a future post.

Whenever a story hits the media stage, in this case a free-to-play, location based, augmented reality game that diverts peoples attention so much so it can cause accidents on freeways, you can bet dollars to donuts (inhaled one this morning with coffee btw) someone will find a way to weave the craze into a blog post for their readers.

Sure enough, as I perused TTI Success Insights, the behavioral assessment company for my business coaching and career transition clients (End Game Business is a Value Added Associate for TTI SI), I saw the following post by Kefei Wang, Digital Marketing Analyst at TTI SI. Kefei cleverly finds a golden thread between job hunting and Pokémon Go.

I hope you enjoy this weeks guest post.

Now, how do I play this game? Grrrr. Love learning new things!

The Pokémon Go Guide to Job Hunting by Kefei Wang

A few days ago, I came across Thomas Bourgault’s post, 8 things Pokémon Go can teach us about talent acquisition. It’s a fun and interesting read that it inspired me to connect job hunting with this game. When I look back at what I have experienced while job hunting, I found plenty of similarities to playing Pokémon Go.

Here are 8 things Pokémon Go can teach you about job hunting.

  1. Understand your play style

Before playing Pokémon Go, you need to understand what type of player you are and your strategic goals. Do you plan to collect all the rare Pokémon, or will you focus more on training your Charmander?

Lesson in job hunting:

Ask yourself, “How much time am I willing to spend job hunting?” Match your skills with the positions, industries and companies that interest you. Then, create a strategic plan to target companies in your desired industry. Some of us choose to focus on a brand manager role at the company of our dreams while some of us want any job to get our foot in the door in the fashion industry.

If you are unsure of your strengths, take a free Talent Insights™ career assessment to reveal your behavioral style and internal driving forces that will lead to greater happiness in your career.


  1. Go out and explore

Are you only catching a bunch of Pidgeys and Rattatas but don’t want to get out of your apartment? You can’t complain if you aren’t getting out of your home to explore new areas. Sure, incense or lures will attract Pokémon to you, but you need to build up your levels to catch them. Don’t forget, walking helps you hatch eggs, which could be the Jigglypuff you have been searching for.

Lesson in job hunting:

You can’t stay at home dreaming an offer letter will land in your inbox. Sitting in front of a laptop and applying online is not enough. Go visit your professors, go to an alumni gathering, and attend local professional networking events and career fairs. There are no guarantees that you will meet someone who wants to hire you right away. But, it is possible to meet someone who has connections to the company you have targeted.


  1. Skills matter, so practice

Don’t underestimate the value of a CP 10 Pidgey, especially at the beginning. Catching low CP level Pokémon is going to help you practice and build your experience level, plus you can collect candies for future power-ups and evolutions. I recently just evolved my low CP Pidgey into a 688 CP Pidgeot!

Lesson in job hunting:

You might receive calls from recruiters about positions not on your A list. For example, you want work in marketing analytics but you get a call about a marketing coordinator position. Go ahead and take the call to practice answering basic interview questions such as the dreaded, “Tell me about yourself” question. It will help you develop more confidence in your future phone interviews. Plus, in a few weeks, the recruiter might have another job become available that is a closer match to your desired position.


  1. Recruit a partner and team up

What motivates you to go take a walk in well over 100-degree weather in Arizona? Catching Pokémon, especially if there is someone who drags you out to do it together. It’s even better to team up and take down a gym. Plus you have someone who will share information on tips to catch Pokémon and locations to find them.

Lesson in job hunting:

Having a friend join you in this stressful journey will make it easier. You can encourage each other when you get frustrated from not receiving responses to your applications. You hold each other accountable when one of you is less motivated. It’s helpful to share open positions and résumé tips. Interview each other to practice and improve your answers to typical interview questions.


  1. Don’t focus on one potential offer

Have you ever used 50 balls try to catch a Golbat, only for it to escape multiple times and then it eventually ran away? I happened to me. I should have moved on when I spent 30 balls, or 20.

Lesson in job hunting:

You are eager because you believe you have a great chance to get an offer but eventually, the potential employer tells you they have decided to go in a different direction. Don’t ever get stuck waiting for one specific offer. Keep applying for other jobs while you wait for a response. If you receive a rejection, quickly move on!


  1. Preparation is key

There are times when you walk around and no Pokémon show up. Why not go to Poké stops to collect some items? Nothing is more painful than when you’re about to catch a rare Pokémon and you have 0 Poké balls in your bag!

Lesson in job hunting:

When you don’t have any interviews, take some time to revisit your résumé and ask people whom you trust for feedback. Reach out to connections in your network that are already working in the field and ask for an informational interview. You can also use the job description to do a mock interview. Recruiters often want to interview you immediately. It is the worst thing to have an interview and not be ready!


  1. Achieve efficiency with right tools

In Pokémon Go, the higher level you are, the better devices you collect from Poké stops. You start to develop your own tricks like how to throw a perfect Pokéball and understand when is the best time to use your lucky eggs.

Lesson in job hunting:

Soon you will find what works best for you. You will learn the best time to apply and follow-up. The more you use LinkedIn, the better you will become at networking with your connections and efficiently using the job search function.


  1. Don’t worry about losing face

I overheard some teenagers complaining about their moms starting to play Pokémon Go, which they feel ruins the game because it makes it less cool. I’ve also met people in my neighborhood park saying, “So many people playing!” with a sarcastic tone, as if I’m doing something annoying.

Lesson in job hunting:

If you just graduated and are desperately looking for a job, you can’t be afraid of letting people know you don’t have one. In fact, the people you know are often willing to connect you to someone who is hiring people with your skills. Being unemployed is not cool. But, what is more important, being cool or getting hired?

How does Pokémon Go inspire you in your job-hunting journey, or help you pick up lessons in your life and career? Let us know!

About the Author:

Kefei Wang serves as the Digital Marketing Analyst at TTI SI. Wang enjoys playing the analytical role using digital marketing data to assist the communication and marketing team to develop strategic marketing plans. She studied in China, Denmark and the U.S., as well as traveled to more than 10 countries and has worked with multi-cultural teams. Wang is passionate about empowering a woman’s presence in global entrepreneurial leadership.

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