Feature: What We Can Learn From Indiana Jones?

Feature: What We Can Learn From Indiana Jones?

Feature: What We Can Learn From Indiana Jones?

As virtually every person on planet Earth knows, the latest Indiana Jones movie had its much anticipated coming out party this past weekend. By all accounts, it came close to setting a box office record for ticket sales despite competing with the first getaway holiday of the summer. For those who haven’t seen it, the movie reprises the exaggerated challenges and heroics of earlier Jones movies with a tip of the hat to the limitations and wisdom of an older leading man. It’s great fun, but it also offers a lesson that the rest of us mere mortals might do well to consider.

Indiana Jones is a professor of archeology, but as we all know, he holds an unconventional view of his chosen career field. He is a man who is passionate about his work, even in the face of great physical danger and outsized obstacles. To him, studying the past is a contact sport where the competition unfolds across a global playing field. It’s a fitting metaphor for the situation many of us face in the job market today.

Whether you’re in transition or trying to hang onto the job you have, the competition you face can seem outsized and increasingly dangerous to the health of your career. While the contest usually plays out on a local level, the quest for employment and career security is clearly affected by large and powerful global forces. The only way to pull off an Indiana Jones, therefore, is to see the situation as he does: you have to view your career as a contact sport. Jones, however, played his sport for our entertainment; when you’re searching for success in today’s job market, you’re playing for keeps.

Playing for Keeps in Your Career

Just as Indiana does, most of us take our careers very seriously. We devote countless hours to finding a new or better job, and once employed, we invest even more of our time and talent in doing our work. We crowd our days with meetings and memoranda, with sales calls and customer service, with voice mail and email and a thousand other to-do items. And that’s our normal routine. Increasingly, we also have to be away from our homes and families to travel on business and sometimes even when we are at home, our minds are still preoccupied with what’s going on back at the office. This effort may not match Indiana’s heroics, but for us, it’s no less of a challenge.

There is, however, one big difference between what Jones is doing and the way that many of the rest of us spend our days. What’s that? Indiana Jones is passionate about his work. His employment is a sport, not a chore, a bore or an obligation. Why’s that? Because he is doing what he most likes to do and does best. He has listened to his calling and heard what it has to say. As a result, he may end his day feeling worn out and tired (and who wouldn’t with the villains he has to face), but he never sets off that way. And for too many of us in the world of work, it’s exactly the opposite. We aren’t excited by what we are doing, so when the day begins we see a long and desperate struggle ahead of us, and the only relief in sight is the end of the day when we can get away from it all.

Now, I know there are endless shelves of books that offer the obvious advice on how to fix this situation. Follow your passion, they declare. Or, do what you love to do … and the money will follow. The advice is well meaning and, as far as it goes, entirely accurate. And best of all, these bromides make it all sound so easy. Unfortunately, however, for most of us, it’s not. It’s no easy feat to discover your own true self. There is no convenient little map for finding that hidden treasure. Even Indy, himself, would be stumped.

So, how do you do it? How do you figure out your own true self?

That’s the question I posed in a book I’ve just finished called Recognizing Richard Rabbit (which you can buy even before it arrives in bookstores by calling WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768). It’s a fable-a story told by animals-and more. In fact, unlike traditional fables-like Who Moved My Cheese, for example-my tale unfolds in two streams of exploration. One, of course, is the fictional tale; the other is a nonfictional self-interview that follows the twists and turns of the fable. Together, they enable you to tap both your creative energy and your rational mind to find the essence of who you actually are. Why bother? Because that’s the only way to acquire genuine self-knowledge. You can’t do it with one aspect of your being or the other; you need all of your faculties-both hemispheres of your brain-to introduce yourself to your own true self.

Indiana’s contact sport is a whirlwind of wrestling with alligators and bad guys who stand in the way of some archeological treasure. For you and me and everyone else, the contact sport of our careers is all about getting into contact with yourself. Simple as that may sound, it is a challenge every bit as big as finding the crystal skull or the lost ark. And that, I think, is the most important lesson we can learn from our friend Mr. Jones. The quest to understand who we are and what we have the innate talent to become is a challenge that is worthy of our very best effort, our unflinching commitment and our enthusiastic engagement. It is the way we too can become larger than life.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about the WEDDLE’s newsletter.

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This Issue’s Sponsor: WEDDLE’s Books

This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of WEDDLE’s Guides and Directory, the leading reference books for online job search success. Think of them as Career Aids for Hard Times.

You can follow the herd and go to the same job boards everyone else is visiting online or you can shop smart and find the job boards that are best suited for you. You can add your application to the hundreds of others being submitted for the jobs everyone else is seeing or you can find the special opportunities posted at lesser known job boards and career portals. The choice is yours.

If you want to take the path less traveled and find a great job online, you’ll need the gold standard of job board guides: WEDDLE’s. WEDDLE’s publications are your road map to the best of the 50,000+ job boards now operating on the Internet. WEDDLE’s books include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the career fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the employment resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • These books are a smart investment for the smart professional. They provide a real and important competitive advantage in your search for a great job, even during a difficult economy. So, don’t delay! Click on the link to your left or call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 and place your order today.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Black Enterprise magazine published an article on how best to establish yourself when joining a new organization. Written by HR professional Penda Aiken and called “New Kid on the Job,” it offers the following advice (with some additional thoughts from me):

  • Master the culture. The number one reason a new employee doesn’t work out is not their inability to do the job; it’s their inability to fit in. Of course, the optimum time to explore the culture of a prospective employer is before you accept its offer, but if you haven’t, make that your first order of business. Look at the values, priorities and accepted mores of the organization and then decide whether you’re comfortable with them. If you are, you’re in the right place; if you’re not, you should replace that employer with another just as soon as you can.
  • Build a network immediately. Get to know your fellow employees and let them get to know you. Don’t be pushy about building your personal brand, but do look for opportunities to get engaged both on-the-job and after work. The better connected you are, the greater your chances of being able to draw on the knowledge and support of others should you need it and of being included in the plans of both your coworkers and the organization.
  • Start growing right away. Starting a new job almost always means confronting new challenges and requirements at work. Make it your first priority to acquire any additional skills you will need in order to excel in your position and then make sure you use those skills on-the-job. Also look for ways to tap into the collected wisdom of veteran coworkers so that you know not only what to do, but how best to do it in a way that the organization will recognize and reward.
  • Men’s Health offered some tips recently on how to survive and prosper in an interview. The basic idea behind the advice wasn’t new: take the pressure off yourself by interviewing the interviewer. That’s helpful advice, to be sure, but successful interviewing requires a bit more:

  • First, you need to be clear about three things: (1) the skills and expertise you possess and your ability to use that talent on-the-job, (2) the kind of work you want to do (and do best), and (3) the kind of organization you are most comfortable working in.
  • Second, you must be able to articulate this information clearly, accurately and succinctly. Ironically, many interviewers aren’t very good at interviewing so make it your responsibility to ensure that they understand your strengths and goals.
  • Finally, do interview the interviewer, but do so with a clear objective in mind. I suggest that you try and determine the values and priorities of both the organization (see above) and the interviewer, particularly if he or she is going to be your new boss.
  • Follow those three steps and you’ll leave behind a memorable impression and you’ll have a good sense of whether the organization and the boss are right for you. The former is the best way to generate an offer of employment, while the latter is the best way to ensure that you don’t accept an offer you will later regret.

    Workforce Management magazine explored a new workplace phenomenon it called “extreme commuting.” Basically, it involves executives and senior managers who do not relocate to take a new job, but instead travel long distances from home to work, spend three-to-four days on-the-job and then return home to work for the rest of their workweek. Why are companies permitting such behavior? According to the latest edition of Korn/Ferry’s Executive Recruiter Index, 55% of the search consultants who responded say that is increasingly difficult to get high caliber candidates to relocate. As a consequence, almost 85% of those headhunters report that their clients are now willing to accept extreme commuting. These findings have two important implications:

  • First, if your skills are at the state-of-the-art and if you are a superior performer on-the-job, employers need you far more than you need them and they will do whatever it takes to hire you (including the option of extreme recruiting).
  • Second, the extreme commuting phenomenon that is now limited to executives and senior managers will trickle down to mid level managers and professionals as demographics make it increasingly difficult for employers to find that kind of talent, as well.
  • What should you do? If the employment prospects are bleak where you live and you don’t want to relocate, put yourself in a position where you can potentially negotiate the extreme commuting option. How do you do that? Make sure you are and remain at the top of your game in your career field.

    WEDDLE’s announced a fast-acting and effective antidote to slower hiring in a slow economy. It’s WEDDLE’s WIZNotes-Fast Facts on Job Boards. These books are a quick reference to job openings on the Internet and an inexpensive job search aid. Each WIZNotes includes compact, but complete profiles of the key sites that specialize in a specific career field or employment situation. There are WIZNotes for:

  • Sales & Marketing professionals,
  • Finance & Accounting professionals,
  • Engineering professionals,
  • Human Resource professionals,
  • Scientists
  • Women Professionals
  • Managers & Executives,
  • and

  • Recent Graduates.
  • Plus, there are WIZNotes on:

  • Finding a Job on the Web
  • Writing a Great Resume
  • All you have to do is select the WIZNotes that’s right for you. Each volume has exactly the information you need to find the right job boards and career portals for you. And best of all, at $12.95 each, WEDDLE’s WIZNotes are a bargain to boot! To order your WIZNotes, click on the link to your left or call 317.598.9768. Order today!

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    BioSpace

    http://www.biospace.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: National-USA

    Number of jobs: 10,000

    Salary levels of jobs: $76-100K/yr, $101-150K/yr

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: 180 days

    Restrictions on who can post: Must be in appropriate career field

    Other services for job seekers: Discussion forums, Career information, Links to career information on other sites

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    Please Support Our Sponsor: WEDDLE’s Books

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of WEDDLE’s Guides and Directory, the leading reference books for online job search success. Think of them as Career Aids for Hard Times.

    You can follow the herd and go to the same job boards everyone else is visiting online or you can shop smart and find the job boards that are best suited for you. You can add your application to the hundreds of others being submitted for the jobs everyone else is seeing or you can find the special opportunities posted at lesser known job boards and career portals. The choice is yours.

    If you want to take the path less traveled and find a great job online, you’ll need the gold standard of job board guides: WEDDLE’s. WEDDLE’s publications are your road map to the best of the 50,000+ job boards now operating on the Internet. WEDDLE’s books include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the career fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the employment resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • These books are a smart investment for the smart professional. They provide a real and important competitive advantage in your search for a great job, even during a difficult economy. So, don’t delay! Click on the link to your left or call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 and place your order today.