One thing I’ve been extremely passionate about for most of my life, aside from music, is human psychology. I’ve always loved thinking about human behavior and social interaction, even studying it to great lengths in my free time(not to sound like a sociopath/narcissist).
For all the negative things I have to say about the hospitality industry it does a few things right, and one of those things is forcing you to learn people skills and customer service skills. You just wont survive in the industry without them, customers are always going to have problems and learning how to deal with them is absolutely necessary and personally I’ve always found it very rewarding. This is true for the hospitality industry and guess what; it’s true for almost every industry, if you’re not working for people, you’re working with people, if you’re not working with people, people are working for you. No matter how you spin it, you need people skills.
This week, I wanted to specifically explore the ways in which skills I’ve learned in the hospitality industry can be related to skills I would need in the game audio industry.
Ellen Galinksy from Big Think highlights in this video, 7 skills she feels are essential for life, I’ve listed them below:
- Focus and Self Control
- Taking Perspective (Standing in some else’s shoes)
- Critical Thinking
- Taking on Challenges
- Self-Directed Learning
What I found interesting about this is that most of these skills I picked up while working in restaurants, and when you compare them to these articles by Emily Nodine, ABS and Danielle Bertoli you can see that (although said in different ways) I’m not alone. These skills are directly related to nearly all fields of work, especially the creative industries. I feel most people starting out in the creative fields are lacking in a number of these skills and I believe everyone develops them with age, although if you wanted a jump start, I would recommend getting a part-time or casual job at a restaurant. You don’t know effective communication until you’ve managed to give a co-worker a very specific description of a customer who walked away without their cocktail into a see of a thousand people all the while pouring another drink with one hand, taking a reservation on the phone with the other and still managing to somehow take orders over the 120dB noise floor. Not to mention the hundred other things that are in the back of your mind that you’re trying to remember so that customer doesn’t yell at you again. Compare that to a busy Game Studio nearing a deadline, I’d take the studio any day. Keith Gilette explains the importance of these skills within the Game Industry in this presentation.
As always there is room for self improvement and I feel like personally I need to work on a lot of these skills, particularly communication as I have a tendency to ramble or not always say exactly what I mean. But all in all, I think Ellen Galinsky has outlined a fantastic set of essential life skills for everybody to develop, especially if they want to be a part of the ever expanding creative industry.