Take This Job and Love It:
Getting the Most out of Your Career
by Tom "Metro" Schlueter
The all-important career tab (J Key) tells you exactly what needs to be done to get promoted.
Show Me the Money
It usually does not take long for any Sims player - seasoned or rookie - to browse all the goodies in Buy Mode and say, "I need that!" You want more for your Sims, that's normal. You want a nicer bed, a bigger house, an awesome TV, etc. It all comes down to needing more money to pay for these things. Sure you could use the money cheats, but if everyone cheated then what would separate the good players from the baddies? Hehe. Good players know what to do in order to get that money quickly. And it's more rewarding to know you did it legit. But, here's the challenge in Sims 4: the quick cash tricks like Playing for Tips in a subway or the Transfiguration table from Sims 3 are gone. So, it comes down to your Sim rolling up their sleeves, finding a job and advancing in that career in order for you to obtain the money you need. Yes, it's slower, but I am going to show you that getting frequent promotions and making good money is really not too tough. It just takes some patience.
Extreme Makeover - Setting Yourself Up for Success
If you want to make things easier for yourself in a career, then it all starts in Create a Sim. Choose an Aspiration that matches nicely with a career. Choose traits for your Sim that compliment the Ideal Mood for a given job: Painters should leave the house Inspired, so give them the Creative trait. Tech Gurus have more job success when they are Focused, so give them the Genius trait. Sometimes it's not so clear cut though, and the ideal emotional state for a career changes in later levels. Carl spells everything out nicely in all the various individual Career Guides, so take a look at those before creating your Sim to help you decide what traits to choose.
Getting off on the right foot with any Sims 4 career next means you need to set up your living space when you enter Live Mode - it may be a cheap premade EA home, it may mean a nicer home, or you may opt for building a home yourself. You may even go the "bear in the woods" route with no walls to save money at the outset. Whatever path you choose, hit the pause button before you actually do anything to address a few things. If you're buying a cheap furnished home, then immediately sell the bed, shower, toilet, fridge, and stove. Replace all these items with better ones. Get rid of sinks because then your Sims will not wash dishes and you can just drag them to the trash after meals. You should still have several thousand simoleans left over and it's worth it - your energy bar will fill up faster from a nicer bed, you'll skill up cooking faster with nicer appliances, your toilet won't break as often, and you won't have a nasty negative moodlet from a cheap shower.
Once you have all the items you need to get started, including skill objects you will need as part of advancing in your career, take a look at the layout of your home and consider arranging objects to fascilitate minimal walking. Sims take forever to take showers, eat, sleep, etc., so the less time they need to get to where they need to go, the better.
A Utility Sim makes it easier for your career Sim to leave for work with all needs in good shape.
The Importance of a Utility Sim for a Career Climber
It may be a spouse. It may be a boyfriend/girlfriend that is invited to live with your main Sim. Or they may be one you create in CAS just to make life easier ($2000 extra simoleans to start with can help nicely). Whatever the case may be - utility Sims are fantastic. If one Sim has to do it all it's obviously going to be much tougher. Utility Sims cannot aid in the Bladder, Hygiene, or Energy departments. But, they can really help in the Fun, Hunger, and Social areas. Big time. If your career Sim never needs to cook and that role is passed to a utility Sim the amount of hours your breadwinner will save is enormous. And the all powerful Woo Hoo is not to be underestimated. Leaving for work with green bars is key in getting promotions and Woo Hoo simultaneously fills up Social and Fun in a relatively short amount of time.
One big tip if you do decide your career Sim will fly solo: don't make the call to find a job on day 1. Level up cooking and handiness (stuff breaks way too often) on day 1, and then make the call to join a career on day 2. That allows you plenty of time to get to the point of cooking Excellent meals, and start skilling and preparing for job promotion requirements (again, check out Carl's various career guides) without worrying about having to start immediately. And once you do start a career, never cook meals before you head out the door - that just eats up time. Always cook when you get home from work, so your tasty leftovers are ready to go a couple hours before leaving for work.
Micromanagement 101: the Art of Promotions
One reason I have always loved Sims is because of how much control I have on their lives - it's fun tweaking things here and there and getting them into an efficient routine. I am big believer in frequently pausing the game and taking stock of the situation. Whenever you reappear on your lot after a day of work, pause your game and press J. There's a ton of info for you in the career tab: the hours and days you work, the performance bar, and the 2-3 requirements for the next promotion. Knowing ahead of time what your job promotion components are is smart and you can look at Carl's Guide at all that info. Take advantage of days off and try and work ahead on requirements.
Getting a job promotion is a three-pronged attack and all three components are assessed as you walk out the door for work: first, all 6 needs bars should be in good shape (close to fully green); second, you should be in the ideal emotional state; and finally, you should have all job requirements and daily tasks done at that point. If you can pull this off then that work meter is going to fly to the right at a good clip and you will almost be guaranteed a promotion. I call it the triple play. If anything is missing from the equation, then your chance at promotion drops. As a general rule get up no later than 3-4 hours before you have to walk out the door to work. This will allow time for WooHoo, eating, showering and maybe even a last minute promotion requirement you could not finish the day before. So if you are to leave for work at 9 AM, then get up between 5 and 6. Order your activity queue such that the last things you do before you disappear for work give you an important moodlet - i.e. a Sim in the Painter career takes a Thoughful shower to get Inspired.
So, you leave for work and vanish. Now, you can click on the Work Tone button at the bottom of the screen to change the default "Work Normally" tone. Honestly, it's not necessary - you're not going to work to increase your social meter. You're not going to work to have a chance at getting into a certain emotional state. You're just going to work to earn money and get promoted, so "Work Normally" at the outset will be plenty to get you promotions in one day. Later in your career when that does not seem to be enough, then switch it to Work Hard and be prepared for your Sim to be Tense when getting back home.
Take advantage of reward items unlocked at various career levels such as the two painting career easels.
One of the nice things about advancing in various careers are the perks tossed at you when you hit certain levels. Just Press F2 and browse through the different sections of Buy Mode to look for different goodies. I went through the painting career for this article and the two easels that are unlocked I consider almost mandatory for any painter because of the painting quality boost. They make completing various Aspiration components and later job promotion requirements much easier. Check out the Career section of the Guide for the various unlocks for each career in Buy Mode and capitalize on them.
Now let me touch briefly on other kinds of rewards: the Rewards Store ones you buy with Satisfaction. Regarding careers and ultimately getting promoted you have to think - what reward is really going to impact my Sim the most? Getting promoted really is not too difficult in the first half of any career, so purchase rewards like Night Owl, Morning Sim, etc, in your first week and leave Entrepreneurial for later when the promotions are more difficult. Entrepreneurial does make a difference. I did a side by side test with my painter when he was at level 6 in his career and with all things being equal that reward was what allowed him to be promoted in one day.
You Hit the Top - Now What?
So, you have reached the top of your career...what's next for your Sim? Well, unfortunately there are no more promotions and the amount of money you make every day will not change. But, at level 10 most careers do not have you working a full week. In fact, the hours per day is often reduced as well. So, the money is really decent for the amount of time you actually go to work when you're the top dog. So, you can keep on keeping on at your current job and focus on making more money on days off with a skill you have inevitably capped as part of the career (Comedy, Painting, Writing, etc). Another option is to switch gears and purchase the Connections reward. This reward allows you to start a career a few levels ahead which is quite a timesaver if you want to bounce around and sample a lot of game content with one Sim.
As I stated at the outset of this article, as of now there are no tricks to make tens of thousands of simoleans quickly as you can in Sims 3. That's not a bad thing. It's more realistic. So, dive into a career, pay attention to what needs to get done for promotions, enlist the aid of a utility Sim, take advantage of rewards, and you'll be well on your way to prosperity.
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