7 ways to train for your dream job – lessons learned.

7 ways to Train for dream jobCareer development isn’t something most of us do very well. Our horizons are all too often limited to the career progression offered by our current organisation, our bosses job or perhaps a dreamy, unfocused vision of turning our hobby into a day job.

Even in well run organisations, career progression is only properly discussed in an annual performance review and tends to be narrowly focused on roles within the current business unit. Of course this makes sense, there are few rewards for HR and managers who “outplace” cost effective and high performing staff!

However in the digital age, employees no longer need to accept the status quo. Just a mouse click away are the informal learning resources and opportunities for us to take our career in a new direction – we just need the guts to try.

In this post I want to talk about the journey of Andrzej Marczewski who in 2011 set out on a journey to leave his job as an intranet manager to become a leading gamification consultant. It took him 5 years but he eventually achieved his dream job!

To do so he used a number of informal learning methods, not provided by his then employer, that brought him success. We can learn from the route he took.

In his own words, the tools he used were:

Social Media

“Social media was the key to getting really going as it gave me access to people who had the same interests as me and could point me in the direction of what to read to learn more – as well as being willing to teach me directly. If social media didn’t exist, there would have been no chance at all for my work to get me noticed.”

Books and Papers

“I read up on game design, with books such as The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell and A Theory of Fun from Raph Koster. I researched the psychology of rewards from papers by the likes of Deci and Ryan, but also from more “pop” books like Nudge and Drive.”

MOOC Courses

“Kevin Werbach released his Coursera MOOC course on gamification. I wish this had been around in 2011 as it was a great way to validate a lot of what I had been doing.”


“I started to write about my version of gamification and my views… I continued to research and produce content on a weekly basis and just kept gaining traction.”


“I went to meetups and events about gamification as often as I could and eventually started to speak at them. I remember my first Gamifiers Meetup talk with abject horror. I spoke at conferences such as the Gamification World Congress which helped with exposure greatly. ”

Success Tracking

“By 2012 I was getting fairly established, I had started to be a regular in the Gamification Gurus top 10. I have to give credit to being on the Gurus leaderboard as well, for better or worse it provided good exposure over the years!”


“I did a little bit of gamification consultancy on the side, but it was not until 2016 that I finally broke into gamification as a career – 5 years after I started making a move on the industry!”

So those are the some great lessons learned!

For me, the most interesting aspect was how Andrzej used the Gamification Gurus Rise board to track his social media success. The board tracks his blogging activity, engagement with his twitter content and the reach of his talks using Slideshare. By optimising all three of these metrics, over time Andrzej was able to reach the top 10 and improve his online social presence. Having such a strong online presence in the sector was a big benefit to his prospective employers looking to offer expert advice to their clients. Success Tracking in action!

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Andrzej Marczewski is now a Senior Solution Consultant focused on gamification at Motivait and continues to blog at www.gamified.uk.

Getting Going as a Blogger

It was fascinating to read the interview with the UK Government’s head of editorial in econsultancy recently.

In the article, Carrie Barclay is asked “What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?”

She responds as follows:

“We use a blend of analytics and social media monitoring to keep an eye on things.

I’m not massively interested in high numbers of visitors – some of our blogs are quite niche – I’m more concerned with consistency and engagement.

Our comments facility is important, but these days many more conversations happen on social platforms, so that’s where we focus our attention.”

Focus on consistency first

In her thinking, she is validating our GERM Model – digital metrics for really busy people – which puts the focus on Getting Going (aka Consistency) and Engagement before worrying about Reach.

For many bloggers, myself included, writing consistently is really the first challenge we have to overcome.

Metrics Feedback to help with Habit Forming

Screenshot 2016-02-26 12.33.54I’ve set myself a challenge to write a blog post once a week, here on the Rise blog, and publish it every Tuesday. To help me in the challenge I’ve created a Rise board to track the number of posts I write each week and email me each Friday to remind me how I’ve gotten on.

If you’d like to join the board too then you’ll also get (completely free) that weekly email with the single Getting Going blog metric that matters – how many posts this week.  You can see the board at Getting Going as a Blogger on Rise. Click on the Join button to get going.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Why not drive traffic to your blog with an influencer leaderboard?

Would you pay $50 a month if you knew it would drive the top 50 people in your specific sector, and their followers, to read and share about your blog each month?

I thought you might.  Getting the attention of the top influencers in your area is a great way to promote you and your blog.

Take the annual Top 50 influencers in Social Media list put together by Haydn Shaughnessy at Forbes. Love it or hate it, it drives conversation and engagement.  This translates into numbers any blog editor can relate to – Haydn’s post has been shared 10,000 times and viewed over 80,000 times.  Other bloggers can join in and fuel the conversation, as was shown in this follow up post by Mark Schaefer “25 social media influencers Forbes ignored, and why”.

Getting influencers engaged in your blog is definitely worth doing. The Top 10 on Haydn’s list had a whopping 2.6 million followers between them.

In the past, creating these lists has been a subjective and time consuming effort, but new tools are making this easy.   PeerIndex, a Klout competitor who provides a social influence score for everyone on the web, recently launched a new ‘influence graph’ feature: this allows you to see who is influential within a specific community.  Peer Index has teamed up with us at Leaderboarded, a scoreboard for digital competitions, to provide a valuable Top Influencer Leaderboard that you can create for your own specific interest.

Here’s how the Top Influencer Leaderboard works:

  1. First, create a twitter list of everyone you think is influential in your specific interest area – e.g. PHP experts, CRM gurus, Iphone Mavens and so on…
  2. Sign up to Leaderboarded and choose the “Top Influencer” template, powered by PeerIndex
  3. Select the Twitter list you want to be the list of players on your leaderboard and click Create
  4. Leaderboarded will take some time to collect the scores and generate a Top Influencer leaderboard for you
  5. Embed this leaderboard on your blog or website
  6. Share the news that a Top Influencer leaderboard has been created and watch your traffic build in both quality and quantity.

What comes after?

Once you’ve created your leaderboard and shared it, the next step is to get people coming back.

That means keeping people in suspense each month and writing a short accompanying blog post about the latest changes – who’s hot and who’s not.

Then when you release the leaderboard each month you’ll get another spike of traffic. You’ll be amazed at the spike of interest on your blog. One recent client confided in me “we were blown away”.

The leaderboard speaks to human nature, everyone who’s on the list will want to see it and see where they stand (ego bait) while others who are not on the list will want to get on it.

Drinking my own champagne

I did exactly this with my Gamification Gurus monthly leaderboard of the who were the movers and shakers in the nascent Gamification industry.  As you can see from the monthly spikes of traffic (shown below) – the gurus leaderboard is a very successful element of my blog.

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