pokemon go

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the new Pokémon GO phenomenon. It is everywhere. Who knew a kid’s game could get so much (grown up) attention?

The premise behind this wildly popular app is simple – Gotta Catch ‘Em All. By using augmented reality, that is, real locations with fantasy characters, the app blends virtual reality with, well, reality. If you have played, there is no need to explain. If you have not, the game essentially has you seek out and locate Pokémon’s (cartoon monsters) superimposed onto real world maps. Think of it as GPS style geocaching – you use maps on your phone to find and ‘catch’ monster characters. The beauty of the game is that it gets people outside and active while keeping it fun and ‘connected’ to your virtual world via your smartphone.

So how does this apply to job searching? Getting into a company you love may seem like battling with fantasy monsters, but often it is just a matter of breaking down your quest into small, manageable goals that you can accomplish one step at a time then getting yourself out there to connect. Simple, right?

First off, here is what not to do. While quitting your job to become a Pokémon trainer sounds like a lot of fun, it is hard to spend virtual money on reality’s invoices!  Nintendo’s version of a FICO score may not prove all that useful when it comes time to finance your home.

Here’s the Masiello GO challenge. Locate your home on a map, use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or MapQuest – the medium does not matter. Next, plot a radius that is commutable from your home. 10 miles? 25 Miles? Also, be sure to account for traffic and highways, one direction may pose a significantly different commute – especially if you are dealing with rush hour traffic.

Next, plot ten businesses on the map inside this “virtual” commuting zone. You can drop pins on a map, or keep it simple by just making a list. In other words, fill your “Pokedex,” for those playing along.

Next, research each of these companies online and be sure to look at their jobs page, their LinkedIn page, and read at least one article about the company’s successes (or lack thereof). Once you have done some research and learned a) what the company is all about, b) what jobs are open and what type of people they are looking for and c) have a better understanding their business – cross them off the list. If you truly want a Pokémon style challenge, add in a site visit where you drive out the business address and check out the office. Additional bonus points for sending along an application or connecting with hiring managers and HR via LinkedIn!

Cross off all ten companies on your list, and you’ve won!

Now it is time to reward yourself – ice cream, cocktails, a trip to the beach, feel free to choose your own goal before you begin your quest – but do make it special. Set up some sort of motivating event that would make you happy, even if frivolous or short term. This will give you a little motivation boost to complete the tasks at hand.

And finally, if you do find an employer you relate to, be sure reach out to us first – our recruiters are likely already working with that company, or may be able to open doors for you through our network of contacts.