What the Sims taught me about how to climb the career ladder

What the Sims taught me about how to climb the career ladder

Like many during this pandemic, I’ve found that being unable to leave the house all that much has left me with a lot of spare time on my hands. I tried to be productive making the most of it by taking some courses, exercising regularly and picking up new hobbies. However, I was looking for a distraction from the world and none of these really distracted me quite enough.

Maybe I’m showing my age, but I noticed a few people had started returning to the games of their youth, so I decided to join them.  

I downloaded the 2004 strategic life simulation video game The Sims 2, a game I hadn’t played since my teens when I was full-blown stayed-indoors-during-summer-times-obsessed. First time round as a teen I played as if I were God, killing my sims when I was bored with them. However, this time I decided to be less malicious and achieve their lifetime aspirations as well as reach the top of their chosen career ladders. Some may say I’ve matured. 

While I lost days immersing myself in the game you could argue that I did learn something from all my gaming…Stay with me. 

In order to climb up your chosen career ladder in The Sims 2, you need to reach certain skill levels that are relatable to their positions, have a certain number of friends and have a good attitude when going to work. Now when you think about this it all seems pretty relatable to real life and offers a reminder on how we should maybe approach our working life. Let me tell you more. 


The only way to build on your Sim’s skill level is by getting them to read or engaging in an activity that uses this skill. For example, playing chess helps build knowledge on logic and will increase your Sims skill level in this area. When looking to get your Sim promoted, if they don’t have the basic level of skill required in the necessary areas to move up to the next position you won’t get that promotion. 

This relates back to real life well as you can’t progress at anything if you don’t have the skills required. Even as adults we are constantly learning and if you don’t have the right knowledge or experience for a more senior role then maybe you could try to gain and develop the skills, within your role or in other areas of your life. 


The next step once your Sim has gained the skills required is how many friends they have. With each new job in order to get promoted you need a certain number of friends in your network. If you don’t have them or you do but your relationship isn’t strong with them then you’re not getting promoted. 

I don’t know about you, but the people I work alongside are key to my job satisfaction and indeed overall happiness. If you don’t get on with the people you work alongside the chances are you won’t relish getting up in the morning. That’s even if you have all the right skills. We all know you can’t get on with everyone. All people have their own quirks, and you may not like the people that you have to work with, but you’ve got to be able to collaborate with these people in order to do your job well. 


Finally, you may have all the right skills and you’ve got the network but if your Sim is in a bad mood when they go to work you best believe they aren’t getting promoted. With each job, there is a bar that shows how well your Sim is doing in the position. If they’re doing really well the bar is high and mostly green however if they are performing poorly the bar is low and, in the red.

When you think about this one, it’s pretty basic. If you are working and in a terrible mood you won’t be doing well at your job and you’ll put everyone else in a mood around you. To be successful in almost any job you must have the right attitude, and it doesn’t always have to be positive but problem-solving, adaptable or resilient.

So there you have it, at fear of outing myself as a complete nerd I think we could all do with remembering the basics on how to succeed at work; even if it’s takenx from a game that makes you look like this.

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