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“It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!”

Posted by Kathleen Smith

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to incorporate one of the season’s classics into our Movie Quote Mondays. For many “Halloween” with Jamie Lee Curtis or “Fright Night” or “Twilight” may be more in keeping with the season, but Linus in his pumpkin patch is one of my all time favorites. It’s a tossup between “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” but we will get to that in another season.

There were many who decided to do a reflection of the major themes and sub themes running through Charles Schultz’s animated film but the one that has stuck for me since I first saw the Dolly Madison commercial infused cartoon is fixation of one idea and holding onto this barring any serious reflection or introspection – something that we frequently see in job seekers.  

While I wholeheartedly agree with being focused on a strategy to find a job and to keep the commitment to the projected path, I also see many times that professionals will hold onto one ideal job or job title and not stay flexible about  their approach, strategy or looking at other opportunities. This classic example popped up in a message from a complete stranger through one of my networks. No hello this is who I am, but “I am seeking a VP Level Marketing Job”. As usual I was blunt and told him this was not the way to reach out to someone new or someone who could help you. Maybe I was channeling a little Lucy on him and pulled out the football?  

In our industry, defense and intelligence government contracting in particular, there are so many different titles for positions that if a security cleared professional just looked for one type of job title, they would significantly limit themselves in positions to apply for. The same is true for many industries where companies have been reinventing titles and job descriptions to embrace an ever changing landscape where marketing includes customer services, where technology incorporates business development and where many small companies to maintain their growth incorporate everything with everything.

To this particular job seeker I shared that in this community and in this economy pigeonholing yourself in an initial communication with someone is going to get the message deleted or not returned . From reviewing the professional’s limited social media profile, I could see them in a variety of positions, industries, and opportunities, if they would just be open to the conversation.

When we are growing up, and watching the Peanuts series we are asked, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” I was actually going to become a doctor and studied biochemistry in college to prepare for my MCATs. Since that time I have held many positions spanning a wide breadth of industries and job titles. All we have to do is look at many inspirational and successful business leaders to see that much of their success stemmed from being flexible and innovative in their approach to their lives and thus their careers. Each has used the intrinsic and tangible skills acquired in each stage of their lives and applied them in new settings. While we may not be destined to take over the world, we could all use a little holistic, creative and innovative examination to our careers and/or career search.

But how does this relate to Linus and his quest for the great pumpkin? Look at all the fun he missed by being solely focused on finding the Great Pumpkin! No parties, no trick or treating, sitting in a cold, damp, dark Pumpkin Patch doubting himself. Never mind endangering him to the retribution that would set upon him from Sally – how many people’s spouses or significant others share this frustration?  

When we did the Extreme Job Search Makeover, the winner embraced this idea of looking at more than one possibility for his job search and incorporating many different facets of his life into his job search, such as his creative and analytical skills that he used in his personal life but had not incorporated into his job search.

Staying flexible and looking at your career search holistically will not only help your job search but your overall career fulfillment.

And while searching for the clips for this post, I was pleased to find this short remix of the classic without any additional bastardizing with voiceovers, hip hop or claymation.

I hope your Halloween was fun filled and not too much candy left over from last night has made it into your office!

This entry was posted on Monday, November 01, 2010 12:00 pm

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