Allons-y and Geronimo job seekers! If you’re not familiar with Doctor Who, it’s the longest-running science-fiction TV program of all time. With nearly 800 episodes, the show has been on British television since 1963. The story is about The Doctor, an eccentric alien who befriends companions from Earth to travel across space and time in his time machine, the TARDIS.
While Doctor Who is a family program teaching viewers to better understand each other through knowledge and compassion, there are several correlations to the job market that The Doctor can teach you as well. Here are some lessons you can learn from the Doctor’s adventures that you can use to help your job search, no matter where or when you are.
Do What You Can With What You Have
Most of the time, The Doctor is able to protect the universe and beat the bad guys with his intellect, sonic screwdriver, and trusty time machine. But, the doctor will often have to figure out ways of saving the day without his handy, dandy gadgets. In one episode, the TARDIS gets trapped in the time vortex by an unknown alien force with one of The Doctor’s companions still trapped inside while the doctor is stuck in modern-day England. To find the alien threat, The Doctor has to fit in as an ordinary human and build a tracking device out of lampshades, paddle oars, and shopping carts in his room. You can get an idea of what the Doctor has to do without being discovered by the alien threat in the video below.
Please note, the video clips herein and their sponsors do not necessarily represent the views of Express and are used for educational purposes only.
Just like how The Doctor has to take the junk he finds and play like a human to save people, you as a job seeker should be as adaptable. If you find dead ends in your job search, you may have to consider alternatives like freelancing, going back to school for special training, or look into staffing agencies. Sometimes a job in another area can lead to something much more desirable.
Finding a Job is Like a Big Ball of Wibbley Wobbely, Timey Wimey… Stuff
The story in the Doctor Who episode “Blink” folds upon itself and doesn’t follow a strict line of progression. It correlates to the way The Doctor sees time. In the episode, he is trapped in 1969 and needs help from two characters in 2007 through a DVD recording and explains this theory in a way only The Doctor can explain.
Since The Doctor sees time as a giant ball of wibbley wobbely, timey wimey stuff, job seekers should treat their search in the same way. Job seeking isn’t just about handing a résumé to a recruiter, manager, or decision maker, then get the interview, then get the job offer. Opportunities to find a job can be found in unconventional places. Making a good impression at a job fair could lead to an unexpected opportunity later in life, providing content on LinkedIn could catch the eye of someone who could offer work, or being active in a hobby or activity could lead you to working in that industry. There are opportunities out there, we just might not know when or how they appear.
Regenerate When you Need to, Like a Time Lord
One of The Doctor’s most famous abilities is to regenerate his physical form when he’s about to die. When he changes, he still keeps all of his memories, motives, and skills, but his looks, personality, and attitude change. This puts The Doctor in new situations, planets, and interactions with different allies.
Just like The Doctor changes during his adventures, as a job seeker, you should too. You should be the same person with the same talents, motivations, and soft skills, but you should adapt your message, résumé, and cover letter to highlight your specific skills that fit the job description you’re applying for. Sending the same stock application to every job posting will get much fewer results than customizing your work to match the needs of each job and employer.
No matter where you are in your job search, you can always use a little push by learning from The Doctor. If he can chase his dreams across time and space, you can achieve your job searching goals.
Thank you for not calling him “Doctor Who!” So many people get that wrong. Obviously you have nerds working there, which is awesome. 🙂
Yes, there is plenty of geek to go around on this blog. As soon as I can get approval, there will be more pieces like this one. I have to ask, who is your favorite Doctor?
Mine is 10th! I’m such a David Tennant fanboy!
As a long “time” fan of the Doctor Who series, I find this an excellent analogy. I have learned a lot from that venerable old Time Lord over the years, and I think the writer of this article (or at least, submitter) should be praised on their insight.
Thank you, Duffy, for the kind words. I only discovered The Doctor on NetFlix a few years ago, but it’s turned into quite the obsession since then. Are you a fan of the new series or the olden days?
Nice! I love the new series but I remember watching Tom Baker as the Doctor on PBS a long time ago. Some good analogies were made here and caught my eye enough that I read the article – I get overloaded with too many messages but I made time for this one. 🙂
I think all the new doctors have been fantastic – I’m always sad to see one go, but I’ve been increasingly impressed by the series.
Thank you so much for the kind words, Beth! I do prefer the new series, but I do have a fondness for Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, when I do watch the old series. Have you heard that there’s going to be a new companion next season?
I like that one, too. I just want to know what they’re going to do if they run out of times the Doctor can regenerate and they need to replace the actor.
I’m sure the BBC can write around it. Have you seen the episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures where the eleventh Doctor makes an appearance? He talks about his regenerations in a way that could be taken as a joke or seriously: