The Tin Man Story and The New Work World



By Mary Ann Faremouth,

Have you ever had an experience that made you ponder things from the past that had an application to the present day?  That happened to me just the other day getting ready for a long weekend. I was standing in line at the checkout counter of the grocery store and noticed a magazine that grabbed my attention.  It was a magazine all about the Wizard of Oz movie.  I suppose it came out at this time because the 80th anniversary of this famous movie will be celebrated in late summer.  Seeing this magazine, took me back to my own trip of a few years ago, when I visited San Antonio.  I remember walking down the River Walk and actually bumping into a character dressed up like the Tin Man on the Wizard of Oz.  Unbeknownst to me that weekend, there was a conference of famous movie characters.  I believed back then, I ran into that character for a reason.  And now, I am thinking about the lessons the Tin Man can teach us for the New Work World.

It’s interesting how a famous movie can bring to mind metaphors and allegorical stores that relate to a current event or situation.  What came to mind to me back then when I came face to face with this interesting costumed person, was how the Tin Man’s desire for a heart notably contrasted with the Scarecrow’s desire for brains, reflecting a common debate between the relative importance of the mind and emotions.

Also, in modern times or days of old, the stories and metaphors come alive and are easily adapted to the experience of human discovery.  We are born gifts, hide them (or have them hidden from us) as children, and spend much of our adult years seeking, uncovering, and rediscovering them.  Are we to find that hidden place “somewhere over the rainbow” or are we to stay where we are and look within ourselves for the answers.

Sometimes we need a tornado like Dorothy experienced in the Wizard of Oz to shake us up and force us to go to a place we’ve never been.  Covid and being a part of a downsizing or restructuring in your job might be the tornado in your life you’ve experienced.  You felt abandoned, angry, isolated  and confused.  You didn’t know how to find your own “Yellow Brick Road” that would lead you to the Wizard inside of yourself to help you get back home.  Home for you could mean that safe place where you felt you had support and direction.  Abraham Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs talks about Self-Actualization where we finally reach to the top of the pyramid.  I think we strive our whole life to self-actualize, but only striving and life experiences allow us to get there.  Sometimes staying stuck in a safe, easy job doesn’t advance anyone.  Stop agonizing over what went wrong, the job that didn’t work out, or the challenges you’ve have encountered.,  How many of the successful inventors and entrepreunerurs never encountered hardship or challenges? Quite the contrary.  If you read any successful persons autobiography you will find that his failures far surpassed any successes they may have had.

Let’s take a look at how the Tin Man’s desire to “have a heart” just might have some important lessons for all of us going forward in the New Work World.  His powerful lessons of “expressing how you feel, having compassion, and others will follow, etc.,  might be well worth considering during these transitory times.  It has been said that “Our heart is that place inside us that defines who we are, what we believe, how we decide and which direction we take others.  It is where wisdom is birthed and the ability to enjoy life begins. Our heart is where our deepest passions reside and most meaningful dreams originate. Our best performance tends to flow from the heart.” (Authentic Leadership Inc., )

1.      Connect Work to a Mission

The journey to “Oz” to meet the Wizard was a journey to meet a person of influence and direction.. What is your personal mission during these transitory times?  Is it to make the most of the job you currently have?  Is it to find new employment that will be helpful in moving forward after Covid? Are you volunteering online or in person to any groups or associations to demonstrate your interest in helping others?
2.     Insist on Work/Life Balance – Although our mission might be to find new employment, expanding our current role, etc., taking time for self-care and grooming is imperative.  Are you taking care of your positive attitude? Are you getting the proper exercise and nutrition to stay healthy and positive to present yourself in the best possible way?  Many of my employers talk about how impressed they are with people interviewing that have a positive attitude, and mental agility.

3.     Maintaining a positive Mental Attitude – What are you doing to stay positive during these transitory times?  My clients have repeatedly talked about being impressed about candidates I present that are making a concerted effort to stay positive and help others during these tough times. A gal I just placed told a client about how she was involved in an on-line organization that assisted folks with training in a much in-demand digital software program that allowed folks to enhance their skills.

Don’t be afraid to risk. Don’t be afraid to try.  You are an amazing creation and you have so much inside of you that wants to get out.  If you are feeling stuck, you owe it to yourself to go on a new journey. The Tin Man and his powerful lessons of “having a heart” might be instrumental to you in going on your own new journey in these transitory times.

“There is no place like home” Dorothy said.  Home for you could be coming home to who you really are.  It’s a wonderful place to be.  And we can all get there if we follow our own Yellow Brick Road. With all its twists and turns.  The journey will be worth it.  Look what it did for Dorothy.

Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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