An educational game that aims to promote confidence in young people in the search of a job. It is designed to help with boosting their confidence in trying various working experiences and focus on gathering transferable skills, rather than try to find the "perfect job".
Society often forces on young people this idea of having a successful career by the age of 30, which is in most cases an unrealistic scenario. This can result in young people experiencing anxiety, depression, burnout and anger in their attempts to work hard to climb the corporate ladder.With this game we suggest that any job can support you in your personal and professional development by giving you new experiences and skills you haven't had before.
The goal of the game is to find hidden puzzle pieces and connect them through a series of questions. The puzzle pieces represent your competences, skills, new experiences in life and work, and how all together they form You.
- First start by writing down 10 personal and professional development questions on pieces of paper (e.g. What is your dream?; What was the worst working experience you had in your life?; What do you want to change in your life?).
- multiply the same 10 questions by the number of teams you will have, so in the end you have 10 questions per team.
- to prepare the puzzle, take colorful foam sheets. For each team is 1 foam sheet A4 which will be their puzzle. But since the game requires also collaboration with the other teams, you will connect all foam sheets to create one big puzzle of at least 4 different colours (depending on the number of teams).
- With markers draw on the big puzzle different symbols and quotes that are meant to inspire when the puzzle is connected, that will also help participants find the right places of the puzzle pieces. To hint that the participants will need to connect their puzzles to one big puzzle in the end, make sure the pictures and words are going across all different colour foams (see pictures for reference).
- When puzzle is created, use scissors to cut it in 10 pieces per colour foam.
- Before the game starts, hide all puzzle pieces in the are of play and make a map so you know where all hiding spots are.
- Prepare different colour badges for each team which they will receive before the game commences.
- Players from each team must only search pieces with the colour of their team (e.g they received a green badge - they search only green pieces).
- during the first part of the game, players must answer at least one question from the basket.
- all questions from the basket must be answered
- each player has 2 minutes to answer a question. This represents the outer pressure created by society. Will they follow this rule or follow their own pace?
- every time a question is answered, a new piece is open for search.
Description of the game
- Divide participants in teams of equal amount (4-6 people).
- Ask each team to gather around vessels of your choice filled with pieces of paper with questions written on them.
- Give every team a badge of a different colour, so for example green badge means Green Team.
- Explain to all participants that in order to complete the goal of the game, they need to work together. The goal of the game is to find all puzzle pieces hidden somewhere in the designated game area and complete the puzzle.
- Before proceeding to the treasure hunt, each team should answer all 10 questions between themselves. Note that each player should answer at least one of the questions but also that all questions must be answered in the end.
- Each answered question allows for the search of one piece.
- Players have the freedom to choose a strategy on how to approach the 2 main tasks of the game: they can either choose to search for a puzzle piece every time a question is answered, or maybe they would prefer to answer all questions and then engage in the search together.
- Each player has 2 minutes to answer a question.
- Once all puzzle pieces are found (10 in total) players should connect them.
- Sooner or later teams will realize that while their puzzles are connected, they are still not complete. This is the last and most important stage of the game: here facilitators can ask some guiding questions or remind participants that the game is complete when the puzzle is whole.
Notes to fascilitators:
- This game has collaborative character, so feel free to encourage participants to work together where necessary
Reflection time (aprx. 15 minutes)
Gather participants in a circle. Open a discussion about what the game represented. Questions to support you with leading the reflection:
- Does anyone feel like sharing what they think this game was about?
- How did you feel answering the questions on the papers?
- What was the strategy you used to complete the goal of the game?
- Was the time limit for answering the questions restrictive and did you follow it?
- Did this game make you realise something about yourself?
- What do you think the puzzle pieces represent in life?
- Did any of the questions make you feel uncomfortable?
- What did you find out about your teammates during the questions part?
Note: This game aims to be a metaphor of a person's personal and professional growth. The puzzle pieces represent skills, experiences, competences and interactions throughout one's life. Often in life, we are searching for some meaning, we strive to reach some ideal goal, but truth is we will never get there - the goal should be to always strive for improvement and self-growth in order to feel fulfilled. Trying out new things, changing jobs and gaining experience is important to keep us satisfied and happy in life. Even when the puzzle of each team is complete, it still does not mean the whole puzzle is done. Just like this, in life there is always something more around the corner, there is always room for improvement.
This game was created by participants of the Training course Play the Way. The project was funded by Erasmus+.
Authors: Ilze Amerika, Lome Philsa, Hristijan Anastasovski, Zhulieta Ivanova and Marija Stojanovska