Daily Archives: June 29, 2012

Get a Job, Charlie Brown

getting a job with charlie brownCharles Schulz’s famous comic series, “Peanuts,” was about fusing adult ideas on art, psychology, and current events with the world of children. The comic has delighted, thought-provoked, and entertained children and adults for more than 50 years. The cast of characters in Peanuts typically cover a wide variety of issues about daily life, but with tough economic times, even the most prepared job seeker can feel like saying, “good grief.”

The truth is, there are several things to take away from Charlie Brown that can affect your job search. Here are three lessons you can learn to improve your job search from Charlie Brown.

The Great Career Pumpkin
In the 1966 TV special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” the character Linus waits in a pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin, who rises out of the pumpkin patch on Halloween night and flies through the air delivering toys to all the good little children in the world. Despite Linus’ faith and commitment, the Great Pumpkin never shows.

Sometimes we treat our job search like we’re waiting for the Great Pumpkin. We have that dream job in mind and no other opportunity will do. The hard truth is that sometimes that dream job may just be out of reach. Those just graduating from school or training might need more job experience before getting the dream job. Look at your industry and see if you need to follow another opportunity and build your skills and experience before jumping at job openings you aren’t qualified for yet.  You’ll be better prepared and more skilled to do it if you work your way there.

Book Reports and Resumes go Hand in Hand
In the musical and TV special, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” the Peanut gang has trouble writing a book report on “Peter Rabbit.” Lucy focuses solely on the word count, Linus gets lost in his own vocabulary, Schroeder ends up writing more about “Robin Hood,” and Charlie Brown gets so nervous, he never writes anything at all.

We can have the same mishaps when writing resumes. Like Lucy, we can meet the minimum requirements on a résumé, but we can forget to market and sell ourselves as the best candidate for the job. We may be the most qualified person, but can end up like Linus and fill our resume with jargon and technical words recruiters might not understand. It’s easy to ramble like Schroeder about what you’ve done for previous employers, but stick to the experience that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. If you see a job opening for a position you want, customize your resume before applying to present your abilities in the best light for the position. Don’t wait and get panicked like Charlie Brown.

It’s a Group Affair
In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie Brown finds a small, almost broken Christmas tree to use in his nativity play. Depressed by the commercialization of the holiday, he gives up on the holiday until his friends show up to decorate the small tree together, which revitalizes Charlie’s Christmas spirit.

Just like Charlie needed his friends to decorate the tree to revive his passion, we should be open and welcoming of others to help us with our job search. Have old contacts or mentors review your updated résumé, practice interviewing, and talk about any job leads. There are several people in your life who want to help, you just have to ask.

It’s amazing how Charlie Brown can give us insights as kids and adults. What are some lessons you’ve learned from Charlie Brown and the Peanut gallery?