By Mary Ann Faremouth,
When back-to-school time rolls around, I am always reminded of the wonderful lessons I learned as a child reading Dr. Seuss books. Dr. Seuss was a wildly prolific author of children’s books, which we often associate with clever rhymes and whimsical illustrations. But Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) did much more than create a collection of silly stories for kids. His books artfully teach children invaluable life lessons, many of which can be carried into our adult life and perhaps even applied to current times as we deal with the New Work World.
Although there’s always an element of silliness in his stories, there is often a strong lesson or moral to take away too. Let’s investigate a few lessons from Dr. Seuss books and how they might be applied to the New Work World during these changing and challenging times.
1. How Do We Choose Which Direction to Take?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Life is about choices. If you are currently working from home and feeling isolated, without much interaction from your peers, perhaps you could suggest more online team meetings to feel more connected to your group. Maybe you could ask your supervisor to visit with you more online to touch base about project statuses and how you could grow in your role. If you were affected by a downsizing effort and are currently unemployed, finding only roadblocks in your path to a new job, perhaps seeking out a career coach or mentor might be the right choice. You could also join online forums on LinkedIn to connect with others who might open up opportunities you haven’t yet tapped into for your career future.
2. How Do We Stop Procrastinating and Being Stuck?
“I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
So much of how we attack a challenge has to do with our mindset. If you feel stuck looking for a job in only one industry or role, maybe you should view your skillset from a new angle. Doing so could help you see how it might be transferred into a new career, allowing you to formulate an honest way of presenting it to prospective employers. Even if your previous experience doesn’t exactly match what a role requires, researching the company and job description and presenting examples of how you could make major contributions can still give you an advantage. You have to believe you have what it takes and formulate a winning attitude internally before you can present it to someone else.
3. How Do We Use Imagination and Creativity to Achieve Our Goals?
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Creative people often make connections others do not. They think outside the box and often tread into uncharted territory because of their strong determination to succeed. Take that class you’ve always had an interest in; it might open new roads of achievement for you. Try an online software class; it might be impressive to your current or next boss. If you don’t try, you will never know where such things could take you. Also, taking online classes builds community, and in times of more restricted activity, the associations you make can help foster a sense of support between you and others. Such associations could even be important connections for future opportunities.
4. How Do We Embrace Appreciation and Gratitude in Times of Major Change?
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”
It’s easy to forget the small things in life that bring us joy, but Dr. Seuss reminds us there are lessons to be learned and people to be grateful for every step of the way. It’s often said that what is important is not the journey or destination but the people we meet along the way. Taking the time to show gratitude to those who help us, whether by phone or email, helps us build relationships with those people. And who knows, perhaps one such show of gratitude could lead to new information or a connection that could help you in growing you career. Funny and interesting things are everywhere, so keep your eyes open and be ready for whatever your new and different experiences might bring you.
5. How Can We Make a Contribution to The World?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Even in times of major change and upheaval, we can do something to help someone else. For example, say you played baseball in high school and your friend has a younger brother who is upset he didn’t make the baseball team or has been sitting on the bench more than playing. Maybe you can visit with him virtually and discuss meeting with him to help him practice his batting. Or if only virtual get-togethers are allowed, perhaps you can meet with him over Zoom to talk about technique and strategy. It would be a win-win for you both: you would feel better for helping someone, and he would have hope of improving his technique and not give up. Plus, such stories show prospective employers you are willing to help others and are not just self-absorbed. People who make such a valuable contribution to the world are more in demand than ever before.
We can all employ Dr. Seuss strategies of success if we have the right mindset. “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.)” Let’s all go back to school in our mind and learn the lessons of success Dr. Seuss outlined in his many books and apply them to the New Work World. The results might be a needed boost during these challenging and changing times.
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.