By: Kortney Kotow, January 2014, All Rights Reserved
Being in the pleasant company of children can sometimes put things into perspective, even when it comes to careers. Recently, my two-year old son has been hooked on watching the PBS show, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That”. After watching just a few episodes, I could sense the tiny electrodes charging through my body, as if an internal “light bulb” was about to power on. There was a profound realization that this adventurous Cat could provide some useful wisdom as we travel our own unique career journeys. Has your career path been rough or not sure what to do? Then, consider The Cat, Thing One and Thing Two!
1. Round Up Some Helpers – On every venture, the Cat brings along his most trusted hairy helpers, Thing One and Thing Two. When the Cat needs help or assistance, he knows these helpers are there, ready, able and willing to lend a hand. Whether we are looking for a job, changing careers, deciding on a major or just overall confused about which path to take, seeking a few trusted helpers or mentors can be instrumental in our journey. Sometimes situations arise where we just need a good sounding board, some guidance and a little encouragement. Helpers, coaches and mentors are often great in giving just the right assistance when we need it the most.
2. Broaden Your Network – When neighbors Nick and Sally propose an idea or ask a question, the Cat sure does know a lot, but isn’t afraid to say when he does not. His extensive network allows him to find solutions and informative answers. A 2012 report from ABC News stated that 80% of jobs today are obtained through word-of-mouth networking alone! Broadening our network means getting to know people outside of our immediate “circles”. Social media websites, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter make it easy to communicate and develop new contacts. This can help us stay up to date with industry news, receive advice or support, and even uncover hidden job opportunities. Never underestimate the power of making a new connection. Developing a strong and broad network can be an invaluable resource and pave the way towards a successful and rewarding career path.
3. Make The Journey Fun – The Cat is a jovial creature who illustrates the importance of adding fun to each journey, instead of focusing entirely on the destination. Whether his mission is to get a job done, learn something new or meet new people, The Cat highlights that fun is a necessary component with each journey! Searching for jobs, updating our resumes and sharpening our interviewing skills can seem like rather daunting or overwhelming tasks. Doing some shopping, taking short walks, writing in a journal or having lunch with a friend, can actually do wonders for our career journeys. Sometimes a healthy dose of fun can enliven our attitudes, lift up our moods, and enhance our performance. By the time our destination is reached, not only have we enjoyed the process, but we stand a greater chance of conquering our goals, securing better job leads and achieving overall success.
4. Load Up Your Own “Thinga-ma-jigger” – The central vehicle transporting The Cat on each adventure is his uniquely crafted, Thinga-ma-jigger. By itself, it’s just vehicle, well-stocked with supplies, routinely maintained and properly fueled. It takes the Cat to make it fly. As you venture along your career journey, consider loading up your Thinga-ma-jigger, or metaphorical career vehicle, with mentors, a broad network, enjoyment and anything else to drive you forward to success. Routinely maintain and update your skills, knowledge and social media presence. Make sure your vehicle is fueled with confidence, honed skills, encouragement and experience. Only then, as you are in the driver’s seat, do you have a greater chance of expanding your career journey and getting to those places you want to go.