What We Can Learn From Santa About Looking for Work

What We Can Learn From Santa About Looking for Work

In 1986 Robert Fulghum published the number one best seller, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” I recall how the book “spoke to me” at a time when my life had recently been turned up-side-down and I was having to deal with things that were totally unfamiliar to me. I found that if I could relate the unknown to something for which I had experience (something that turned out positive) it was easier to cope, and learn, and accomplish my goals.

Looking for employment and finding my way in a world full of professionals who seemed to have some secret guidebook on how to successfully manage their careers, was one of those unfamiliar things that was thrust upon me. As with Fulghum’s book, I found familiar life experiences – for example, child rearing, planning a trip, or dating to be somewhat analogous to my tasks at hand. And as I found employment and began molding my career, I discovered that I could help others do the same by connecting them to analogies in their own life that would help dispel some of the mystery – and anxiety – about job search and career management.

In that regard, I am creating this book review to tell you about two delightful children’s books I discovered a few years ago, which were written by Stephen Krensky: “How Santa Got His Job” and “How Santa Lost His Job.”  This has been an extremely trying year for professionals. Many have lost their jobs and many have spent an unprecedented amount of time (28.5 weeks, on average) trying to find new employment. When faced with the unfamiliar (and somewhat scary) reality of the job market, why not turn to something/someone more familiar for guidance. And who is better known than Santa Claus?

I gleaned from Krensky’s books 10 valuable, yet simple, lessons about finding employment and a satisfying career taught by a jolly old fat man in a red suit:

  1. Identify your interests, abilities and values
  2. Sample different jobs
  3. Recognize when something is not a good fit
  4. Accept that some people will not like you or the way you work
  5. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities
  6. Don’t internalize failure – learn from it
  7. Build and nurture a strong professional network
  8. Don’t go it alone – work and problem solve as a team
  9. Leverage your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses
  10. Remember that no job is perfect – always be prepared with the right tools and resources

eBook Review: The Zero Hour Workweek

In this post I would like to take the time to review a book written by Illuminated Mind author Jonathan Mead.  It is called the Zero Hour Workweek and you can download it here for free.  As a relatively new blogger looking for independence myself, it is hard to begin prioritizing the tasks to be done in order to make the site successful, to get feedback, and really feel like I am helping someone.  

You may ask after seeing books that promise workweeks of 4 hours or 2 hours, “how the hell can anyone work 0 hours a week and get paid enough to live?”  Well, that isn’t exactly the point, according to Jonathan.  To do something like he does, he argues, most people could consider “work,” and he does a lot of it.  The difference between the work Jonathan does and the work you might do, is that it doesn’t feel like work to him.  Nowhere in the book does he say slow down, or be lazy, or success will come if you think about it, or any popular LoA mantras.  

What exactly does Jonathan say he does for 0 hours a week that makes him a sustainable income?

“The person you want to be is the Business Owner Who Blogs to Build Relationships, Gives Value, and Qualifies Potential Buyers.”

Notice he never says you want to be the ultra mastermind guru who analyzes traffic patterns, constantly checks how to get more traffic, or tries to find some clever tricks to get more people to visit.  You will lose with that strategy, he says.  You will waste a lot of time, and he admits that he wasted a lot of time doing such things as well.

Instead, the ultimate value of your site is based on the ultimate value you hold for yourself.    The main point you must realize in order to start on the path of “getting paid to be you” (the tagline of the book), is that success in the field that you choose comes from inside you.  Once you realize your own worth and value to the world, and once you couple it with skills you believe you’ve been naturally born with, then you will be ready to be a person of value to others.  It really is not a direct way of looking at things, I know.  It is one of the hardest but most important ideas in the Personal Development community because it has been adopted from ancient wisdom and seems illogical at first.  If you have questions about exactly what I mean by this I would love to explain it further somewhere else other than this post.  I’ll put it simply:

You cannot force people to pay you to be yourself.  You must believe that you really have something special to offer and then, probably very slowly, the people that need you, or want you, or just want to be near you, will become magnetically attracted to your being.  Another way to call it is intrinsic value you have for yourself – that you are all you need and nothing else.  No fancy cars or homes.  Just you.

The Zero Hour Workweek gives a brief story of Jonathan’s path to realizing what he could do everyday without ever feeling like it was work and he also gives a nice little exercise to find that passion for yourself.  I’ll give you the pleasure of reading that for yourself 🙂

Also, he gives some examples of people you can look towards as mentors – other successful bloggers on the Self Improvement path and why they stand out from the rest of the pack.  This was probably my least favorite part of the book because I felt it broke up the momentum of his story – I would have left it until the end at least.  Nonetheless, I did find some new bloggers to find inspiration from.

Looking forward to the next publication of Jonathan’s, I hope you have the time to check it out and maybe give it to a friend as well.