How Playing Chess Can Help Your Career

How Playing Chess Can Help Your Career

Apr 21, 2016, 1:52 AM |

Experts have been boasting about the many benefits of playing chess for hundreds of years. Likely as long as the game has been been around, since the 6th century. In addition to having a positive effect on the brain by improving mathematical and problem solving abilities, playing chess can have beneficial effects on such things as IQ and even emotional intelligence.

But the benefits of playing chess can extend far beyond the game. In fact, over time, chess can help you with your career. Not convinced? Take a look at a few of the things that get better when you play chess:

  • Your ability to visualize

  • Your problem solving skills

  • Your memory

  • Your creativity

  • Your concentration

  • Your planning

  • Your reading skills

  • Your decision making

  • Your ability to set goals


Creating opportunities

You career isn't a game, but that doesn't mean you can't use the principles developed through chess to carve out a better career for yourself, beginning with selecting the job that is best suited for you. When you know what you are looking for, online job resources like Gumtree become your ally.

When you treat your career as though it were a game of chess, you can create opportunities for yourself that most people would never see. The skills of strategy and risk assessment can give you the courage to make decisions that you might not have been willing to make in the past. After all, chess teaches us that sometimes in order to gain the queen, you have to sacrifice a pawn or two.

This kind of strategic thinking can get you looking far ahead into the future, envisioning where you would like to be in your career in five, ten, twenty years' time so you can begin laying the groundwork in the present day.

The present jobs environment barely resembles the environment that your parents and grandparents enjoyed - one where you could be assured of enjoying a long, secure career with a single employer until you retire and begin drawing a pension. Nowadays, Millennials may reasonably be able to expect to switch jobs and employers at least half a dozen times before retiring.

It can help to have a clear strategy in place to guide your career.


The benefits of a clear strategy

We live in a busy, distracted world and the ability to focus and concentrate long enough for you to be productive is more valuable than gold when it comes to your career. This skill alone can help you improve your job skills fast enough to advance beyond your peers.

The ability to quickly examine every possible move, as you would in chess, can be critical when it comes to solving problems. And what career couldn't be helped by better problem solving skills?

In a corporate environment that is practically crippled by endless meetings and committees that constantly second guess decisions, the person who can manage to figure out how to solve problems and then make things happen is inevitably going to rise.

Chess also makes you less reactive and more proactive about your career. You are less likely to get caught unaware by a sudden unexpected layoff when you've already thought out your A, B, and C plans. At most, a layoff is a readjustment and a chance to refocus your career in another direction.

In the end, chess can help improve your career by helping you get clear on what it is that you truly want. More than anything else, having a goal to focus on can make you unstoppable.