Business,Lifestyle Fairy Tale Lessons for the New Work World

Fairy Tale Lessons for the New Work World

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC 


During childhood, most of us enjoyed fairy tales: good vs. evil, true love, and happy endings. As adults, though, how can we reach our “happily ever afters” when “once upon a time,” our lives and careers, in many cases, were turned upside down?

Fairy tales, however, may just provide the perfect inspiration and important lessons for these changing times. From stories of princesses to mermaid tales, fairy tales can teach us about reaching our dreams and finding success in the New Work World.

Whether it has been a while since you last had an interview or you are trying to recoup after getting another rejection letter after an interview you struggled through, the following lessons might inspire you to keep reaching for your goals as you navigate these challenging and changing times.

1. The Princess and the Frog: Determination and hard work pay off.

Tiana has a vision and a career track. She tirelessly works two jobs to accomplish her goal of owning her dream business. Take your cue from her; stay focused on what you want to achieve and take appropriate steps to accomplish it. In this New Work World, that might mean taking online classes to get up to speed with technology or seeking out a career coach to assist you on your career journey. Go the extra mile to reach your goals, no matter what it takes.

2. Cinderella: Keep your mindset positive.

The girl with the glass slippers demonstrates that no matter how many challenges and hardships come into our lives, we can overcome them if we don’t let them ruin our hearts. When Cinderella is given the impossible task of completing all her chores before she can go to the ball, she doesn’t complain about what she has to do; she just does it. Cinderella teaches us we can make good choices even when faced with tough circumstances and unfair treatment. Cinderella shows that while others order her around, she orders her inner world, a world her stepfamily can’t touch. With the many changing and challenging aspects we are facing in the New Work World, remember to keep your mindset positive and strong, to present yourself in such a way that prospective employers, networking associates, and peers want to have you on their teams.

3. The Little Mermaid: Live your dream.

Ariel was determined to live her dream, no matter what those closest to her strongly believed she should do. Even if your close influencers want you to choose a career that doesn’t resonate with your passions and interests, stay true to what you believe will bring fulfillment to your life and career. So often we don’t listen to our own internal voices and the important messages they tell us because we don’t want to make waves or disappoint those closest to us. If you need to, take an assessment test or seek out a mentor or professional coach; such investments in yourself can pay large dividends in your life moving forward.

4. Rapunzel: Use creativity in your solutions.

Rapunzel proves that every problem has a solution, no matter how impossible it might seem. To solve your problems, you need to understand what tools might be available to you and think outside the box. If you are not having luck getting interviews with online resume submissions, maybe your resume needs to be reworked to include certain keywords for the algorithms of the current digital process to latch onto. If the industry you have worked in for the last ten years is not hiring at this time, how might you present transferrable skills for a job in another industry?

5. Pocahontas: Seek a new perspective.

Pocahontas and John Smith both learn that “if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” Take that attitude and apply it to your career. If you find yourself getting stuck in the rut of a negative attitude, hopelessness, or low self-esteem due to rejection, reach out for a fresh new perspective. Joining networking groups, self-improvement forums like Rotary or Toastmasters, or online writing classes can provide this new perspective and open your mind to learning and growth. These also provide ways to meet new people who might have knowledge of job openings or interesting opportunities you never thought to consider. I have heard many stories of success through networking, in which both employers and candidates benefited from being in such groups.

6. Aladdin: Don’t settle.

Jasmine could have had any man she wanted, but she wasn’t willing to settle unless it was true love. Don’t rush into just any career; you should have passion and excitement for your daily work. If you need to, take a part-time or temporary job until you find the right one. In my years as a career consultant, I have heard many horror stories about candidates taking the wrong job out of fear and then ending up unhappy on a daily basis, which spreads negativity into other areas of their life.

Your “once upon a time” story can have a happy ending if you take inspiration from these fairy tales and apply them to your career in the New Work World. You can have your own fairy-tale adventure and make your own career story one worth sharing with others, to give them hope that dreams really do come true!


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. (

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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