I recently had surgery on my nose. I thought it would be no big deal but the minor surgery to remove a little sunspot on my nose ended up being a major disruption.
After toughing it out for 6 hours, I
took a pain pill and settled into a short, blissfully pain-free space.
In my diminished state I sat back in the recliner and turned on the TV. A
furry Sesame Street character, named Murray, was interviewing a
rock-climbing instructor, named Stephanie, and two ten-year-olds about
I was as riveted as a four year old watching
Sesame Street! Life lessons coming from instructor and kids wrapped up
in rock climbing lessons:“You have to have focus... You have to pay attention…”
I rewound the dialog over and over until I was able to write down the most important parts of the thread.
Murray: What do you like about rock climbing?
Rock Climber: I like the challenge.
Murray: What does it take? Were you able to do it right away?
Rock Climber: No… it took practice, practice, practice…”
Murray: Do you think I could do it?
Stephanie: Anybody can do it!
Murray: What do you need?
Rock Climber: Shoes, ropes, a harness…
You have to make sure you strategize. Think about what you are doing
first. Think about it before you start climbing. Look to see the best
way to get from the bottom to the top. Stay safe and get to the top
The message was clear - accomplishing your goal requires planning.
planning is a lot like rock climbing. If you are going to be successful
in getting to the top you have to pay attention, focus, practice, and
have the right tools. It also requires determination. You have to have a
The 5 Elements of Career Planning:
Awareness - of what is going on in the world and how it affects your career; what industries are growing and what companies are hiring
Organization – a
binder with calendar, success timeline, to do lists, job descriptions
for positions you have applied for, and spreadsheets to track your
Focus – on your strengths, skills, interests, goals and values
Strategy – a
plan A industry and a plan B industry you will target; a strategy for
how you will connect with companies through research, targeting specific
industries and companies; networking; and applying
perfect, high impact resume; jobseeker business cards; well refined
cover letters; well thought-out and practiced interview answers; a
professional interview outfit – appropriate for your target audience;
thank you letters and follow up letters.
It is always a
bit scary when you do something new like rock climbing or finding your
path in life… but anybody can do it if you have focus and a strategy!
You don’t have to do this alone… Sesame Street and my book, The Serious Job Seeker are there for you!