A careers boardgame? Really? How does that work?
The importance of play is a trendy topic, with advocates stating that creating fun and social experiences for adults facilitates learning, the generation of new ideas and increased follow-through on potential inspired actions.
At OneLifeTools, we have a boardgame. But we don’t always call it that. We often describe our Who You Are Matters! tool as a guided career discovery experience. Lately, we've been explaining it as a clarification experience, at the intersection of meaningful work and personal lifestyle.
4 out 5 people that walk into a room and see the WYAM game boards set up are excited and happy. They pick up the Firekeeper’s stick and start asking questions. Some people love the idea of a game. They think about their past positive experiences with friends and family, the rush of winning, the cooperation and laughter. But if it’s just a game, how do you invite people to try it and treat it as a beneficial and useful tool?
Here, we talk about the substantial take-away of the Career Statement. We explain that game players walk away with this personalized summary, in professional language, that corrals the discoveries that are revealed during the game. We also reference the Inspired Action cards and the Exploration Plan, which facilitate post-game follow through on the possibilities that people generate.
Back in the WYAM game room, you’ll notice there are other people that hang back when they see the game boards. There can be resistance to play. Some people have had negative experiences: a very competitive sibling that always cheated at games, for example, or a fear of reading aloud in front of groups. How do you overcome this apprehension and put people at ease?
Here, we let everyone know that this is a guided experience, with positive, structured peer feedback. We often let people know that if they choose not to share, that’s ok and expected, and the value of the game is not diminished if you’re not a Chatty Cathy. It’s also great to point out that the game is structured so that stories and reflections are shared in approx. 30 seconds.
Through our own game plays and our Community of Practice, we have collected this awesome list of phrases and ideas that you can use to go beyond the boardgame and introduce this tool to diverse groups of clients, students, alumni and employees.
- professional & personal discovery experience
- guided career discovery experience
- facilitated career discovery experience
- guided intentional conversations
- professional and personal development
- employee development and team building
- self-discovery and self-awareness tools
- career management in the workplace
- group career discovery with peer feedback
- guided clarification experience leading toward meaningful work
- fun yet structured, social yet guided experience, disguised as a game
How are you going to go beyond the boardgame? Share with us on Twitter @OneLifeTools!