Want to play?
Our Who You Are Matters! boardgame sparks meaningful conversations and helps clients gain clarity and confidence about what’s next. We’ve rounded up the top ten places you can play the game.
Our Community of Practice has been using this tool in unlikely spaces and unique ways. For each application, we provide key benefits that we’re seeing again and again in these settings.
1. At a Board Game Cafe
Time spent face to face doing something fun & social is gaining ground. People are looking for real-life events instead of only engaging online. Board game cafes are becoming a staple in many cities & towns. Hosting a game night at a cafe, craft brewery, library or local watering hole is a great way to showcase your expertise and your facilitation style.
Often, people associate our field with font size, interview prep and LinkedIn. This is an experiential event that demonstrates that we do more than just resume edits in our field, and it can help attract clients.
2. In a Workplace
From retention and onboarding to team building, the game can help support employees manage their careers within an organization. We’ve facilitated the fast-track version during a Lunch n’ Learn, focusing on internal mobility instead of external job options.
We’ve spent an afternoon dedicated to professional development, using our workplace expansion pack, that focuses first on employee self-reflection, then moves to group reflection as a team unit. 94% of employees say they’d stay longer with an employer that invests in their learning and development. Employers that support play at work can facilitate the game themselves, or hire a career professional to facilitate a game event for their staff.
3. In a Living Room
Aren’t we all craving deeper, richer conversations with our close friends and family? Playing a board game, with storytelling at its core, creates space for meaningful insights into each other’s lives. A girls night in with cocktails, a family day at the cottage, a living room get-together with neighborhood friends. These are all goldmines for a gameplay.
4. In a Career Centre
Unemployed and on a tight timeline. This describes most clients accessing resources at government-funded career centres. Reflection in times of transition is key, but these clients simply don’t have time for an extended 6-week group career exploration program. Instead, centres offer the game to these job seekers as a concentrated dose of career clarity. In 2 hours, or even as little as 60 minutes, clients can walk away having strengthened their voice, with new, professional vocabulary they can use in interviews.
The game structure also provides safe space to share or pass, and players give and receive supportive encouragement to one another. This helps client broaden and build their career possibilities, and can lead to better job search outcomes.
5. At a Business Networking Event
Professional associations, chambers of commerce and business groups often offer networking events for their members. Hosting a gameplay is a fun, creative way to shake up the all too common ‘business card shuffle’ that we all dance at these functions. Pitch this idea to event organizers. Even as a free event, it’s an opportunity for you to attract clients and grow your professional brand.
Alternatively, gather some of your colleagues together - your business besties - and host a more intimate event to tell stories and support each other in your entrepreneurship journeys.
6. In Life Reimagined (50+)
There are countless groups that value choice as we age. Exploring possibility, purpose and life transitions with a group of older adults is a tried & true use for the game. Those who are 50+ are often considering a different set of possibilities than someone earlier in their career, and we developed an expansion pack with possibilities relating to retirement, late career and legacy. We’ve even seen the game used in end-of-life peer groups.
7. At a Conference
Imagine a group telling stories around a campfire. Now imagine that same intimate sharing, but in a room with 30 tables. Storytellling and story-listening abound throughout the space. We’ve hosted larger organizational and campus events for 300+ players, and the energy is amazing.
Framing the event as a leadership activity, as self-awareness exploration, or as staff development can open doors past the ‘career-resume-job’ track that so many people associate with career development. Since the game is largely self-directed by players, facilitation of a big group is easy and simple, with the integration of a few of our learned best practices.
8. In a classroom
Learning to define career as a reflection of who you are and how you want to show up in the world can be a game changer for our youth. Add the rounds of peer feedback and appreciation that take place during gameplay, and you have a classroom activity that builds self-awareness and reflection.
From Junior Achievement events to embedding the game into curriculum, we’ve developed a full expansion pack for high school-aged players that uses simple language to express complex themes. We’ve also seen youth use the guidebook to start career conversations with parents, guidance counselors and potential mentors.
9. In the First Session in Group Coaching
In private practice, we are using the game as the basis for the first session in group coaching programs. This lays the foundation for using a holistic, narrative framework with clients. It gives them a road map that they all discover together.
Bonds are created from the very beginning, and important game guidelines like confidentiality and how to provide feedback are modeled during the experience. They learn how to support each other as they play the game. Trust, respect, timing and sharing are explored too. These things can all carry forward into the rest of the coaching program.
You get a roadmap as a facilitator too. Gameplay allows you to determine things like who may need more explicit boundaries, or who may be a bit introverted, during your very first activity with a group.
10. On Campus
Campus career centers are challenged with getting students engaged in their services. Narrative approaches, which are at the foundation of our boardgame, help to address some of these common challenges.
What gets students through the doors are the fun, social aspects of the game. It’s an event, not an appointment.
We’re seeing, especially in our work with international students, that the inclusive structure and pace of the game allows for vulnerability without over-sharing. Everyone gets a chance to tell their stories. They feel seen, heard and acknowledged. This increases the likelihood they’ll return to the centre to access additional services. What’s more, certain centres are using our Online Storyteller web application as a follow-up to game events.
We’ve noticed that some people don’t connect with the notion of play, and that re-framing Who You Are Matters! and calling it anything but a boardgame has great advantages. We’ve used “guided discovery experience” and “facilitated intentional conversation” over “career game” to get our foot in the door of some the spaces we’ve outlined.
Where do you lay out your board? Where do you gather and help people find meaningful work, at the intersection of career & life?