Stardew Valley: Making a career change


Have you ever daydreamed about just leaving it all, going off the grid, and living off the fat of the land? "Stardew Valley" lets you live out that fantasy while still keeping your day job.

Well, assuming you're not up until 2:00 a.m. every night playing the game...

Per a friend's recommendation, I downloaded "Stardew Valley" last summer. Coincidentally, I was actively working to change careers during that time. I did not expect a farming game to be so relevant to my life!

In "Stardew Valley," your player, tired of their 9-to-5 in the big city, quits their job and moves to their deceased grandfather's old home to live as a farmer. It's a simulation game, so you're just living your life and getting to know the folks in town.

It's an especially fun diversion for someone like me who is a lifelong urban dweller. 

In "Stardew Valley," you need to learn many new skills. Sometimes you learn by listening to the radio. Sometimes folks in town direct you to other helpful people. Mainly, you keep practicing the skills. Most townspeople are more than eager to help you be successful on the farm. Others are too exhausted from their own work to pay you any mind.

It's really not unlike changing careers. So far in my transition, I have had to learn new skills in addition to honing skills I already had. I needed to absorb a great deal of new information when I studied for the aPHR. 

Most of all, though, I found that many people were happy to help me on my career change. HR folks are notoriously busy, but several people, including strangers, gladly accepted when I asked for an informational interview. I reached out on #nextchat, linkedin and SHRM. I made new connections at networking events, especially HR Masterminds

Even when you know in your heart it's time to switch, actually making the jump to a new profession can still be frightening. Leaving the safety and security (and paycheck) of one job to venture into the unknown is a real risk. But just like the townspeople in "Stardew Valley" help you cultivate your farm, there is always a multitude of people ready to help and rooting for you.

Was there a mentor, colleague or friend who helped you in your current career? Share below!