Can work be a game?

by Mari Luz Garcia


What do I expect from a job? How can I reconcile passion and work? Can I be happy on Mondays? Actually, can work be a game?

Open talq: philosophical coffee
Can work be a game?


Have you asked yourselves these questions? Have you ever found the answer?
Have you even noticed that over the past years and even decades, working, finding a job and our relation to work has changed drastically for us, human. Well, we from ProHireMe did notice and we are curious to here your thoughts on this…

My inspiration to write this post was based on my participation to a philosophical discussion.


As I am not afraid to try something new, think differently and leave my comfort zone every now and than, I was happy to attend the Open TalQ: Philosopical Coffee, organized by Caroline Ladousse in charge of the development of the Chair of Entrepreneurship in ESCP EUROPE business school Madrid, together with Equánima, a philosophical laboratory linking philosophy and society.

So you can get an idea on this Open TalQ, I will share you my experience. We started with some scepticism waiting to hear what was being said, but it quickly grabbed our attention and we dived in… All together, during a 2 hour dialogue we talked, thought and debated about our relationship with work.  Luckily this talk was moderated by María Angeles Quesada, founder of Equánima, who helped us greatly in finding possible answers to these questions.Here is a sneak peek into our  dialogue. I am sure it gives you just as much food for thought as it was for me.


Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 16.02.15


More comments that came across the OpenTalQ



  • Creating a job out of necessity
  • With work we solve part of the real world (world problems), necessities or perceived necessities
  • You have to work, it is a obligation
  • Working for realization as human being, animals don´t work
  • Work, an activity that keeps you busy for a third part of your life
  • You have responsibility in teamwork
  • Work is not play, it is something important
  • It is up to a person to take work serious, depending on the attitude



  • The first stages of life you are playing then you adapt to a different environment and new rules
  • When we play we have fun, we respect the rules and we know it is not real.
  • During a game we follow norms but it is not a reality
  • Play gives you the opportunity to imagine, think differently, anticipate on how another person thinks.
  • Kids play to grow, self-fulfillment
  • Games can be negative as well – when you cheat, manipulate
  • Can you choose your responsibility in a game?
  • Are there consequences or responsibilities in a game?
  • During a game you have to know how to lose, learn to do things, socialize.
  • Play can be without competition, e.g. a child playing with a doll (simulation)
  • For a game you need rules, roles and a context
  • All games have risks, risks on different levels


Comparison work and play

  • Work is different from playing/games. In certain ways it can be a game but in the essence it is not
  • Some jobs prevent to see work as a game or something playful, e.g a surgeon who has the responsibility of someone´s life
  • Some jobs e.g. like a surgeon, traffic controller, soldier to cope better their responsibilities they have to take work less serious.
  • Traders who “played” (Financial Crisis) – taking away the morality and the value/importance of working
  • There is no justice in work nor playing
  • Society does not see work as a game
  • Why do we work? Why do we play? How to link justice with play?



  • To learn, we simulate things, we create worlds
  • When we don´t take risks we don´t learn
  • You want to progress in life


We could have kept on talking for hours, but we had to close the dialogue and concluded that work can be sometimes seen as a game depending on the conditions and situation. Remember the movie La Vita e Bella…

After this OpenTalQ, I can say I have discovered my inner Socrates.

Any other Socrates out here, who would like to share his/her ideas on this topic, so can work be a game?


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Bored of Job Boards? They’re Here To Stay!

Employment websites, which are also commonly referred to as job boards, have become a popular medium of job search. They are used by job hunters around the world and they help employers in connecting with the job seekers and vice versa. They first came into picture in the early and mid 90’s when newsgroups and other entrepreneurs tried to create online job portals. The job boards are still in demand and they are used by job seekers from across the globe.

Although many people believe that the arrival of social networking and business networking sites like LinkedIn have made the job boards irrelevant, the recruiters beg to differ.  According to an article published by Forbes, job boards are still more effective than sites like LinkedIn. The article quotes James Durbin, who is the founder of, explaining how job boards are better than LinkedIn.

“Searching LinkedIn takes time, and only works in targeted searches.  Major job boards tell you who is available, right this second.  Those resumes are a signal from the job seeker, and create good churn in employment markets, since it forces companies to move quickly if they don’t want to lose available candidates.”

The article also quotes Chris Russell, the founder of, explaining how a lot of people are still getting hired through job boards.

“I have some testimonials but I’ll also point to Gerry Crispin’s recent sources of hire study that says 27% of hires are made through job boards. For many of my clients, my job boards are their only source of hire.”

So job boards appear to be here to stay!

How to use job boards?

In order to best use the potential of job boards in job hunting, you should do the following:

1. Upload your up-to-date resume – Make sure that you upload an up-to-date copy of your resume so that the job boards can rightly suggest and highlight the jobs which are relevant to your experience and qualification. Also, it allows the employers to understand if you possess the qualification, skills and experience for applying in the job positions available in their organization.

2. Apply to job vacancies in multiple organizations – You should apply to job vacancies in multiple organizations to ensure that you maximize your chances of getting the job of your choice. However, do not apply to job positions that are not relevant to your skill sets. If you do so, you might be ignored by the employers and penalised in future job applications.

Apart from the above, you should also make sure that you browse the job boards on a regular basis and search for the available positions. Be careful about using the right keywords to ensure that you only find those job positions that are relevant to your experience, skills, qualification and experience.

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Find your character!

By Bill Dixon


There comes a moment in getting a job when the spadework is over: the research done, the CV written and polished, the letters mailed, the phone calls and emails launched, and the adverts replied to, even a preliminary interview got over. Yes, it is the moment of decision and the decision might be in the hands of the prospective employer or it might not. It is a wise man who knows when not to accept an unsuitable offer, and a brave one too because most of us go looking for a job because we need it- we have bills to pay and mouths to feed. 


I have just been reading the story of Tony Kurtz, the young mountaineer who in 1936 very nearly succeeded in climbing the North Face of the Eiger, thought then by many to be unclimbable, who very nearly saved the lives of his three friends after a stonefall injured one of the party and who died tragically just a few metres away from rescuers, because his frostbitten hands could not untie a knot.  I was able to get something out of the story of the details of the climbing techniques, the equipment used, the routefinding, and the weather conditions. These things have some specific meaning for me because I have done a bit of (much, much easier) alpine climbing so I know the jargon, and how to interpret it and I have an appreciation for what it might have been like to be there. But what soars above the specifics of the account is the character of the man: his initial zeal for the climb, his selflessness in calling for a retreat in order to save the party and his absolute determination in the attempt to rescue the whole party, which left him too exhausted to save himself when they had already perished.


We are not all like Tony Kurtz but we do all have something special, which defines us more profoundly than our qualifications or technical competence, our training, or our experience. This character, this inner fire, is the thing we take with us from job to job, from career to career, and I don’t think that it changes much during our lives. When we go looking for a new job or a new career, we have to let people see it. The fire has to flare up so that, at the moment of decision, other people become aware of its heat, its energy.


I have changed employer a good number of times, and I have worked in several different fields: as an electronics engineer, a programmer, an investment analyst, a Vice President in a Wall Street  bank, a Senior Partner in a London consulting firm, and a teacher and lecturer,  in Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. I don’t believe that my specific competences were ever the key factor which got me a job, even if they were important. It was my character. I am not naturally confident, quite naïve when it comes to the interpersonal minefield of company politics, and not much good at selling. I’m not a manager.  I often lack determination. My character is that I am intellectually curious and I know instinctively how to use that to identify problems which other people overlook or just don’t understand, and to find interesting solutions. That’s me. When I get all excited in an interview, it’s because I’m fanning the flame of that inner fire to show the other man my character.


Find your character, fan the flame, burn people a little.


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