Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. In this article, Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry.
(BPT) - Careers in the video game industry are highly desirable, and for good reason. Working for a video game company can be rewarding, and equally important, turns a favorite pastime into an exciting career. However, for tween and teen girl gamers, the prospect of one day working in the video game industry may seem daunting. While 46% of the U.S. gamer population is female, women account for only 22% of video game developers.
Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry:
1. What inspired you to build a career in the video game industry?
I am a life-long gamer, artist and digital creator and now, my official title at Star Stable is 3D Artist. Working for a company like this allows me to unite my interests and skills to create magic for girl
2. What are the types of jobs for women in the development studio?
To build a game, artists (3D, 2D, VFX and animators), designers and programmers need to work closely together from start to finish. Artists work on the overall creative vision. Designers work with the mechanics and features. Then, programmers use their coding knowledge to bring it all to life. We work with producers to make sure that all tasks associated with the development process are completed on time and tracking with the overall vision of the project. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, developers focused on mobile and virtual/mixed reality are in high demand, as are tech animators, who use a combination of creative and animation skills to solve issues related to art production.
3. What other types of jobs do women have in the industry outside the development studio?
I have built my career in game art, but it takes dozens of people with specific skillsets for a video game company to succeed. Community managers interact with players daily to ensure they are having a positive experience with the game and make sure fan feedback is implemented. We also have women running the business at the executive level and as product managers and business developers. There are multiple opportunities, inside and out of the development studio, so you must embrace your skills and interests to find which career path you would enjoy most.
4. What are the most important skills needed to succeed?
I recommend that budding video game developers find a network, get to know different game engines, become familiar with 2D and 3D software, and try new games all the time. Then, become a specialist in the aspect that interests you the most. Developing specific skills is important but developing into a well-rounded person with a broad view of the world is equally important. It is also good to dive into sports, learn the arts, take a computer class or explore theater. Never stop learning and challenging yourself.
5. What advice do you have for young girls who want a career in video games?
It’s also important to find a company that embraces women in all roles and embodies a culture of inclusivity and accessibility — the Star Stable team is more than 50% women. Finally, give back. If every woman who is part of the 22% proactively mentors other young women, imagine the next generation who will one day grow up to become our colleagues!
Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
(BPT) - Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Being recognized and landing a promotion can provide a variety of perks such as more money, increased influence and more control over your daily routine.
So how do you land that promotion? It comes down to building key skills such as self-development, listening and communication. Fortunately, online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning can help you develop these skills to get to the next level in your career.
Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
1. Prove that you’re capable of self-development
The difference between being a “high-potential employee” versus a “high-performing employee” means everything to your advancement, and to the company where you work. While a high-performing employee does their job well, their performance review will look similar from year to year, revealing little about their potential for moving up. A high-potential employee, on the other hand, shows a willingness to push themselves to learn new skills, take on more responsibilities and be open to lateral moves — especially if that means mastering new abilities.
How do you become a high-potential employee? Demonstrate your capacity for self-development by actively soliciting feedback from others to learn how you can grow and improve, and proactively take on opportunities to increase your skill set.
2. Be a strong listener
In today’s world, there’s a misconception that dominating the conversation means you’re a leader, but the opposite is actually true. Being a good listener is vital to being a strong leader, and a crucial component to earning that promotion.
By taking the time to understand others’ perspectives, needs and concerns, you’ll be better prepared to communicate your ideas and solutions, and to persuade others to come on board. This is essential to leading, whether it means a small group or an entire corporation.
Active listening is an art — it is underrated and takes significant practice to master. Identify a leader in your organization who is a strong active listener and watch how they lead. You can also master this skill by taking a course on active listening as part of your own career development.
3. Communicate with purpose
Boosting your communication skills is critical to being both a leader and a team player. Demonstrate to your manager and your team that you know how to address the bigger picture, and show how your work ties to the overall company strategy. Express your vision of the larger mission or goals of the organization, as opposed to getting caught up in the details.
How you express yourself also makes a huge difference. Be concise, purposeful and confident in your statements. This will help you build a strong executive presence and build trust among you and your colleagues.
Don’t wait for a promotion to come to you. Now’s the time to be proactive and focus on growing your skill set. Show what you’re learning by actively taking on new challenges and communicating with purpose and confidence. To learn more about mastering the skills you need to advance in your career and get that promotion, visit www.linkedin.com/learning.
The rapid pace of change in jobs means the era of one-and-done learning is over. It no longer matters what you learned in the past — to stay relevant you need to upskill. So if you want to improve your marketability and get ahead in your career, it’s time to think about the valuable skills that could open the door to new opportunities. The good news is with tools and online courses on platforms like LinkedIn Learning, you can explore and develop critical skills and interests — right at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.
(BPT) - The rapid pace of change in jobs means the era of one-and-done learning is over. It no longer matters what you learned in the past — to stay relevant you need to upskill. So if you want to improve your marketability and get ahead in your career, it’s time to think about the valuable skills that could open the door to new opportunities. The good news is with tools and online courses on platforms like LinkedIn Learning, you can explore and develop critical skills and interests — right at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.
"Experience never gets old, but your skills can," says Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook and upcoming LinkedIn Learning instructor. "Re-skilling throughout your career will position you to ensure you’re finding meaning in your work, growing in your profession and making an impact along the way."
Here are three tips for kick-starting your learning efforts.
1. Find the time!
The #1 career goal for professionals in 2018 is to learn a new skill — but not everyone knows where to fit learning into their daily lives. Here’s a tip: In today’s ever-connected digital world, we’re living in the era of bite-sized learning, where new skills can be honed in minutes on the subway, or while you’re eating breakfast.
Start by picking 5- to 10-minute windows in your daily routine — you don’t need to find hours, minutes are fine. For example, try skimming through courses on a Sunday night, and make a wish list of courses to view throughout the week, whenever it’s convenient for your busy life.
2. Make it a habit
They say a habit is formed in 21 days. Whenever you slot learning into your daily schedule, try to pick a time when you can make it routine — whether it’s on the bus during your morning commute, or in the 10 minutes after you brush your teeth at night. You’ll be growing in your skills before you know it. Fun fact: LinkedIn Learning also sets a reminder for you, so it’s one less thing you have to remember in your day.
3. Pick your skills
Today’s skills landscape is changing faster than ever — with new technologies and digital techniques emerging at every turn. Whether you want to advance your existing career or begin a new one, start by identifying a few key skills you’d like to hone. For example, people in every job can benefit from learning soft skills that teach you how to get things done or achieve your goals. Soft skills, such as communication and critical thinking, will give you a competitive advantage in the workplace, and you never know when you’ll uncover a new passion or side project along the way.
LinkedIn makes it easy to identify the skills you need by alerting you to the most in-demand skills for your job and industry, based on your LinkedIn profile, from project management to leadership.
One of the most important skills for keeping your passions alive is to learn how to be a lifelong learner. In any industry, in any phase of life, there are always new skills to be gained, and new knowledge to explore. Committing yourself to being someone with a constant appetite for learning will enrich you not only today, but throughout the course of your career.
To learn more about LinkedIn Learning and explore business, creative and technology skills to achieve your personal and professional goals, visit www.linkedin.com/learning.
(BPT) - Does your employer consider community service part of a job well done? If you're wondering whether you should take advantage of your employer's offer to pay you for volunteer time, keep in mind employee volunteerism benefits everyone involved - your company, the organization you'll help and you!
Approximately 21 percent of employers now give workers paid time off for volunteering, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Sponsoring volunteerism can help a company boost employee morale, enhance recruitment efforts and even improve the business' standing in the community. Volunteering can also benefit you emotionally and in your career.
For example, through the Investing in America's Health initiative, employees of Blue Cross Blue Shield's 36 community-based and locally operated companies (BCBS) volunteered nearly 400,000 hours and provided more than $10 million in donations in 2015. BCBS workers volunteered and provided financial support to programs and organizations involved in improving public health.
Workers involved in the BCBS initiative reported experiencing many of the benefits commonly associated with volunteerism, including:
* Emotional rewards - Multiple studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel more socially connected and emotionally fulfilled, and can reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
* Enhanced camaraderie with co-workers - Employees who volunteer together consistently report feeling more connected to their co-workers and their communities. Volunteering together can be a fulfilling and effective team-building activity.
* Improving their community - Because employer-sponsored volunteer programs take place at a local level, when you participate you're directly improving your own community.
* Add depth to professional credentials - Current and future employers don't just want people with job skills, they want to know they're hiring compassionate, caring and well-rounded individuals. Participation in employee-sponsored volunteer programs enhances your overall appeal as a professional.
If you would like to become involved in volunteering through an employer-sponsored program, here are some ways to get started:
* Talk to your human resources department about your company's program to better understand how it works. For example, does the company have an established volunteer relationship with a charitable or community organization? Or will your employer support your volunteerism with any qualifying organization? Will you receive paid-time-off for volunteering, and if so, how many hours per month? Does your employer also offer cash donations or a donation matching program to support charitable contributions?
* If your employer has a policy that allows you to volunteer anywhere, identify the group you want to volunteer with. Be aware of any standards your employer may have established for qualifying organizations. Look for a volunteer opportunity that allows you to do something you're passionate about and that supports your local community.
* Gather information from the volunteer organization on what you need to do in order to take part as a volunteer. For example, will you need to participate in any specialized training? Will you need to agree to a background check if you'll be working with children?
If your employer doesn't yet have a program, take the initiative and suggest they start one. This can be as simple as identifying your worthy cause and asking your employer for support in volunteering.
To learn more about how BCBS companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities, view the report at www.bcbs.com.
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