With businesses and organizations working to recover what was lost in the past two years, career development remains at a standstill. According to a global workforce poll, 41% of 14,000 respondents thought they didn’t have control over their careers. An overwhelming 76% of respondents also said they felt stuck in their professional lives.
If you’re feeling the same way, it’s a good time to look for career inspiration. Poker is surprisingly a rich source of life wisdom. As a game that deals with strategy, choices, and incomplete information, we can learn a lot from poker. Here are four great lessons you may pick up from a round of Texas Hold’em:
Accept losses as part of the game
The pandemic outbreak has transformed workplaces and careers. Career costs among scientists, for instance, are high. In one survey, 43% of scientists said the pandemic had negatively impacted their career prospects, while 12% said they lost a job offer because of COVID-19. As a high variance game, poker presents a similar problem, and there are days when you feel like you can’t win a hand. The best poker players in the world accept that it’s impossible to win every time you play, so they hope to be comfortable with their losses and try again with a new hand — or career opportunity.
Network, network, network
Excessive competitiveness may make you successful, but it’s not necessarily going to make you happy in the long run. Even winning at poker isn’t a solitary journey. Although it may seem like poker pros are just really good at strategy (they are), they also learn a lot from each other. They run hand histories by other skilled poker player friends, and get feedback on how well they played their hands. In short, meeting a lot of people can help you improve your game. Maybe you don’t enjoy your current position or work, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. You can create a network out of the relationships you build in this role, which may eventually lead to something else.
Cultivate emotional resilience
Resilience and career satisfaction are closely linked elements. People with higher resilience have better psychological health and enjoy superior control over their work, so they’re more likely to be content in their careers. Poker is a game where it similarly serves you better to put your emotions aside for smarter decision-making. Getting emotionally involved is a cardinal sin in poker, because it leads to reckless and ruinous play. Likewise, you should keep your cool and stay level-headed at work, instead of giving in to short-sighted emotions.
Take the winning risks
Climbing the career ladder isn’t always about skill, confidence, and cold-blooded discipline. Sometimes, you just have to take a risk on a winning decision; a winning decision is an objectively good call, not a decision that only turns out to be good. In poker, players make winning decisions based on the odds. Usually, the odds suggest you’ll win more often by taking action. You’ll never win if you always fold, so boldly raising the bet is an ideal choice. Maybe you’re planning to start your own business, and you’re sure your idea is worth turning into reality. If you don’t take the risk now, someone else will — so go all-in. Even if you don’t get the result you want, at least you won’t live with regrets.
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