The glitz and glamour of the poker lifestyle is such that you might not realise the various skills and attributes a successful poker player needs to succeed at the tables. It’s not all gold bracelets and hundred-dollar bills; there’s a lot of hard graft involved. In fact, a lot of the theory and skills needed in poker are hugely relatable to real-life and the world of business. Sharp poker skills aren’t just a good way of raking in the chips at the table, they can also help budding entrepreneurs focus on achieving their career goals in the real world of work.
Psychologist and author, Maria Konnikova also believes that poker skills can be applied in real-world situations on an almost daily basis. Konnikova believes poker is a metaphor for life and it’s hard to disagree when you consider the following poker attributes that can be applied to young professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to take their careers to the next level.
Handling misfortune and damage limitation
For any budding poker player looking to achieve sustained profitability at the tables, the ability to restrict losses and fold when they are behind in a hand is key. There are various day-to-day scenarios where damage limitation will be necessary in the world of work too. There will always be knock-backs and disappointments when it comes to applying for job roles and promotions, but it is how you deal with those that can make you a stronger, more suitable candidate in the future.
Those skilled in the art of damage limitation will know not to let their standards slip in their current day job despite being unsuccessful in securing a position the next step up the career ladder.
The importance of controlling your emotions
The ability to control your emotions goes hand-in-hand with being able to handle misfortune. When a poker player loses a big hand and makes a silly decision, the losing players are those that get too emotional and lose all sense of rationality. This is known in the poker industry as ‘going on tilt’.
It’s inevitable that there will be times in your work life that you’ll go on tilt. We all have bad days at the office. If you are preparing for that all-important presentation or meeting, consider keeping your emotions in check by meditating or working out to ease the tension within.
Always look to fix the leaks (weaknesses) in your profession
The very best poker professionals accept that they are never the finished article. They know there is always a leak in their game that can be plugged to improve their profitability. If you are looking to become the best possible version of yourself, it’s important to adopt a similar mentality.
“Stuff happens along the way and we lose focus, get stuck in a dead-end job or can’t seem to find the right opportunities. But no matter what your dreams are, it’s never too late to make changes to your approach to your career and get a fresh start on your goals.” – Achieving Your Career Goals
Of course, we all have our strengths, but we also have our limitations too. Being able to acknowledge those and attempt to improve our weaknesses is a sign of a mature professional, which will only be looked upon favourably in the eyes of any prospective employer.
Strive for long-term consistency
Profitable poker players are those that don’t just live for the short-term, they look at their long-term bankroll growth. It’s all well and good winning big once a month, but if the rest of the time you’re losing, you’re unlikely to keep your bank in the black. It’s far better to maintain a steady drip of profits from small consistent earnings.
Even in business, too many people undervalue the importance of consistency. The ability to maintain your level of performance week in, week out will not go unnoticed when it comes to annual appraisals or monthly reviews.
By adopting a poker player’s mindset, you can stay focused on your end goals. Don’t worry too much about short-term knock backs so long as you feel that you are heading in the right direction slowly. It’s all part of the learning process!