Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Returnships
Internships are widely known in most industries yet returnships are a new concept. Basically they invite both men and women to return to work after a period of caregiving, whether this was for children or ill or elderly relatives. The initiative took off in the financial industry in the US and in recent months has also transferred to the tech industry with companies such as IBM, Zendesk, Go-Daddy and others looking to open an 18-week paid returnship.
What has been found to date is that in fact this opportunity tends to have most interest from women in their 40’s and 50’s looking to get back into the working world.
I personally loved the movie the intern where an older gentleman is hired to become an intern at an e-commerce fashion site. I also felt that if I ever wanted to hire interns I would look for the older generation, who already has an established work ethic and can just get on with the job with a lesser time intensive amount of support. They will bring in perspectives from their previous career and life in general which will enhance the potential products and outcomes. In my previous business I did from time to time hire great young interns to help with specific tasks, I was always fascinated with the amount of time you would spend explaining things and how this often worked out rather differently. I had some great interns over the years and they have gone on to become great in their chosen careers. I see the difference of you as the owner creating the experience for the younger intern and an experience you co-create with a more mature intern as quite different and both enriching.
Basically it is great to see that these initiatives are not only for the movies, but actually capturing the real world including our lovely world technology too.
One thing I would expect is when returners come back to work from for example raising children, they will have played games with them. They will have spotted how it influenced them and their children, so that gives them an edge for understanding gamification from both the adult and gamer perspective. They have potentially spotted flaws that they may have improved on with reality. So for our industry I think these could be great options.
It’s fun to see something different and I hope it inspires you too to open up to interns and returners even in the gamification industry.