3 tips that Fortnite 🎮 can teach us about how to land a job: #FutureOfWork.

Falling from the sky at an accelerating velocity towards an island 🌴 that you’ve never been to before, is a scary proposition by any account. Add to the mystery the fact that you will then have to battle 99 other people for domination and the hope to live another day?

Am I describing the start of the wildly popular Fortnite game or the feeling a #student 👩🏾‍🎓 experiences when she walks into a Career Fair?

(Tyler Blevins aka ‘Ninja’ — #1 Fortnite player in the world.)

What possible link can one draw between the video game Fortnite and how to navigate the changing career landscape?

125 million people (just a few million short of Japan’s population.) That is the number of people that have downloaded the game Fortnite in the last 11 months. Fortnite’s success has been credited to the fact that is it a free platform and available on every gaming and computing operating system.

(One of my randomly generated player avatars)

The #1 Fortnite player in the world, Ninja makes over $500k/per month through playing and streaming his game play on the streaming service Twitch. https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2018/03/20/esports-legend-ninja-confirms-he-is-earning-over-500000-per-month/#3fd71c9d6652

Ninja’s success is a product of his years of amassing gaming skills in other esports like HALO 3 & PUBG. Ninja was also an early adopter of the Twitch service which allowed him to build a large followership of people watching him play on this network.

The success of Fortnite can be attributed to 3 core elements which have relevance in the changing landscape of work:

1) Skills 🤖
2)Platforms🚀
3)Networks 🤜🏾🤛🏾

Skills Matter:

In the same way that Ninja had to level up his skills in a new game like Fortnite, the career landscape of today requires all talent to acquire new skills to stay competitive.

Universities that are embracing the challenges of this landscape are implementing curricular changes to pivot to these disruptions. Schools like the one I work at (Florida International University) are widening course offerings to meet market demands — like our launch of a Bachelors of Science in the Internet of Things, creating a seamless integration of our academic and career advising and leveraging skills/badging/competency platforms like Portfolium and LinkedIn’s Lynda.

A leading HigherEd venture capitalist, Daniel Pianko documents the agility that universities must embrace to ensure offerings and migration to Blockchain platforms in a recent piece: https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2018/09/05/what-every-college-leader-should-know-about-blockchain-opinion

(Timur Meyster, Ruben Harris & Artur Meyster cofounders of CareerKarma at eMergeAmericas 2018)

There are also skills focused programs lead by disrupters like Rubèn Harris, Artur Meyster & Timur Meyster of CareerKarma. Career Karma connects people and helps them level up in their career. https://careerkarma.io is a go to resource that helps talent discover peers, mentors, and coaches to help them accelerate your career.

(LinkedIn’s EconomicGraph)

Platforms Matter

The success of Fortnite and the player Ninja is inextricably linked to the rise of the Social Video Streaming platform Twitch. Twitch has close to 140 Million users. Ninja has effectively monetized his viewers via this platform.

Platforms also matter in creating connections for talent. If you are looking to land a job that best fits your skillsets, LinkedIn can assist you with both gigs and potential mentors. One new feature of LinkedIn that every person should know how to use, is the Economic Graph feature. Economic Graph is a free tool that allows anyone to look up what are the skills in highest demand and the ones in greatest deficit in any given city. In the same way that Ninja has used to Twitch to scale his following — every job seeker should be looking at the Economic Graph and navigate their career search and skills game accordingly. If the market is telling you that there are opportunities which require knowledge of Blockchain, Public Speaking, or Ruby on Rails — it is on you to upskill. Check Economic Graph out here — > https://economicgraph.linkedin.com/

(FIU Pres. Mark Rosenberg, Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Esq. discuss #FutureOfWork at VentureCafe Miami)

Networks Matter

In today’s competitive landscape, job seekers must master the art of building and scaling their real world AND digital networks. Fortunately, building a network has never been easier/cheaper/faster than today.

In most communities around America there are free networking events on weeknights. These are often held at co-working spaces and are frequented by successful people that are open to serving as mentors and potential employers. In Miami, we have VentureCafe held at the Cambridge Innovation Center in downtown Miami. Every Thursday evening somewhere between 200–600 people gather to hear speakers and also network for gigs and collaboration.

(Pic top: TDN Award Ceremony with Pres. Rosenberg — Pic Below: Luis C. Perez/@HireMeLuis)

Success in the career hunt also requires the ability to navigate digital networks — including local digital networks. One such network is our Talent Development Network of Miami-Dade which connects students from all 7 academic institutions with businesses looking for paid interns. https://tdnmiami.com/home.htm

Some of the local digital networks are also being built by young entrepreneurs who understand how to reverse engineer opportunities for rising talent in our ecosystem. One such example is the platform created by Luis Perez called #HireMeLuis. Luis has applied big data and machine learning to rapidly connect students with opportunities based upon their skills.

Networks also support the interest of talent to channel their entrepreneurial passions. Here in Miami we have larger conveners like #EmergeAmericas, Refresh Miami and skills oriented programs like StartUpFIU http://startup.fiu.edu/ to ensure that talent is plugging into networks to compete and create their own business in the gig economy.

Skills/Platforms/Networks:

Fortnite is a lens we can look through to see how talent can compete in the age of disruption. The blending of the real and artificial worlds means that career success will feel a lot more like the mixed reality experience one has when you put on a spatial computing headset. Talent in this #FutureOfWork must learn how to build with the LEGO blocks of atoms and pixels.

#ThinkLikeAGamer. Thinking like a gamer is a growth mindset that embraces the notion that we must all be lifelong learners and leverage the power of networks and harness our full cognitive capabilities. As my boss, Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg the President of FIU says, in the future we might not all be students..but we will all have to be learners.

Technology is going to upend not only what we do for work…how we work…where we work… with whom we work…and whether we will work. It is clear that innovations in areas like spatial computing, synthetic biology & AI are going to reimagine every facet of our economy. If we believe that Ninja’s success in understanding the power of skills/platforms/networks is a prelude of what is to come — we will play our part in closing the opportunity gap for our next generation of talent if we approach this new world with a gamer mindset.

Are you ready to level up?

(South Florida spatial computing company — Magic Leap)