It's funny how many of us spend more time learning how to play a video game or to hit a 7-iron than we do on taking our job search or productivity to the next level.


When we play games we compete and often play with a passion and intensity that drive us to get better and better. When we play with our buddies we can stay up all night but when we have nothing to do we can fall asleep by 10pm. What is it that makes this difference and can we bottle it so we can have some when we need it?


What if your work was fun? What if a job search was like a game? You have to put on your game face and treat rejection like you lost one of your lives in Call of Duty and move on. I love to pick up the phone and make cold call because it's like a game to me. It doesn't matter what you are are trying to accomplish if you are having fun and playing a game.


Enjoy yourself and all the people you come into contact with. Keep track of your activity, try to set a personal record or get everything crossed off your list within a certain time limit. By turning your challenges into a game you will find that your next level is there for the taking.

Views: 23

Tags: craig silverman, games, jobs, recruiting, silicon valley, staffing

Comment by Will Branning on October 13, 2010 at 1:09pm
Craig - I wholeheartedly agree! When I focus on attaining a small goal and try to "enjoy" talking to people and overcoming objections, my job is more enjoyable...
Comment by Craig Silverman on October 14, 2010 at 1:46am
Will - there is something about the numbers, keeping score, and friendly competition that helps people to know where they are and where they are going. We all have the same obstacles to overcome so it's how we react and handle them that makes the difference. Make it happen.
Comment by Leigh Cosgrove on October 14, 2010 at 6:33am
Craig, that is a nice idea but in my experience it isn't a practical one when you work for a target driven, results (and money) focussed company that has strict KPIs. If I was to tell any of my managers I have worked for in the past that I was "playing a game" to see how many cold calls I could make in a day but then the results were not there at the end of that day, I couldn't post the language that I would hear. That is what counts, results. If you don't produce them then the only game you will be playing is "guess where my next meal is coming from".
Comment by pam claughton on October 14, 2010 at 7:48am
Craig, I totally agree with you! I was just telling a new person in my office that I have this same approach to cold calling. I think of it like a game, where each successful call is a 'win'. Makes the whole process fun, and Leigh, that's why it works, when it's a game it makes work fun. And like a game, as you're calling, you fine-tune as you go to get better results.
Comment by Craig Silverman on October 14, 2010 at 11:30am
Leigh: Call it what you want, just get it done. This method has worked for me for the past 20 years. Since joining the staffing industry in '96, I've trained over 1000 recruiters and my teams have placed 15,000 plus candidates into new perm jobs. Everyone is different and so are our cultures and the words we use. KPIs are great, that means you're keeping score. Nobody really wants to go see the Giant's play the Phillies if there is no score on the big board out in centerfield. For some fear is motivating, for others it could be the desire not to be ridiculed by their peers. I prefer to enjoy my journey. Life is too short so if we are not having fun then we should look for something else to do. I'm excited about what I am doing and hope others out there are as well. My posts are just trying to give some help and support to those who need or want it. All the best!
Comment by Leigh Cosgrove on October 14, 2010 at 11:57am
Craig, I thought that the idea of these blogs was to open discussion. I am merely giving you my humble opinion of how I feel your method would be received in the UK based upon my experience of that market over the past 12 years. If you just want people to come on here and agree with you then I am sorry but on this I don't. If you post something that I think will work then I will support it and spread it, if I don't I won't. I am sure you will agree that is what this space is all about.
Comment by pam claughton on October 14, 2010 at 12:11pm
Leigh, the game approach works. I also came out of a big agency environment and we used to have contests all the time, which was a 'game' to compete and see not only who made the most calls, but who had the best results, and ultimately, who billed the most.
Comment by Craig Silverman on October 14, 2010 at 12:12pm
No, not at all. The discussion is what it is all about. I was not trying to shut you down, sorry if you took it that way. I appreciate your taking the time to read the post and to comment. It's not like I posted back in all caps :) Have a great night! We are just getting our day going here in SF, I'm headed out now to go visit a client. Keep it coming and call 'em as you see 'em.
Comment by Martin H.Snyder on October 14, 2010 at 12:39pm
An insight I would offer is that we are engaged in a passionate pursuit, we are using different parts of our minds and emotions; parts not normally accessable to us, and yes, for some lucky numbers of us, there are times in our jobs where our focus and emotional state can mirror that "game-state".

In that state, we often find that we are smarter, more energetic, and more intense than we can be in everyday life. It is a GREAT place to visit, but you would not want to live there, and "playing' a game for money has a whole other aspect to it- the game soon enough becomes just a job with only moments of game-state available. Like any other drug or altered state, there is an allure to being there forever, but you can't be, by the very nature of the experience.

A lot of pathology in our lives comes from failure to know that the game state is only sustainable to a usually smallish extent of total time available, no matter how great the game. Organize your worklife so you have chances to get in a real game and play it well, and you will be happier, but never think you can wear your game face for 2200 hours a year.

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