In the first part of these blog series we discussed the benefits of writing poetry in realm of developing positive identity narrative which can lead us to closer picture and knowing what we want to do in life.But what about when it comes to other people’s poetry? How that can help us achieve our career goals? Here I want to share with you two interesting examples. A college teacher placed a job advert in front of her students and asked them what the job is all about. An advert was mostly listing of technological skills and many students didn’t manage to locate the key skills employer was looking for, as it was cleverly ‘masked’ under technological terms:
Expertise: Information Systems Technology
Job Type: Full-Time
Location: Tulsa, OK
Compensation: Commensurate with Experience
Start Date: Immediate
Provide technical support and assistance to both Williams internal application systems users and external customers/partners. Develop familiarity with business, application, and technical processes and use this understanding to improve the processing and accuracy of the data and the performance of the interfaces between internal systems and external customers. Lead efforts to resolve issues across business, application support, and technical support groups seeking the best solution to problems that arise in the process, performance, or accuracy of application systems and the data exchanged between internal and external systems and customers. Problem resolution efforts will often include direct interaction with external customers. Must be a strong leader able to manage cross-functional teams toward a common goal of problem resolution and process improvement. Problem resolution efforts will often involve teams with dissimilar goals and priorities and the need to manage them toward a common goal and gain the support of their disparate management organizations. Must possess exceptional written and oral skills. A good existing understanding of business, application, and technical areas is required and/or the ability to seek out and assimilate information independently and quickly. Must be able to work with little supervision and manage time effectively. Knowledge and experience acquired through this position will serve as excellent preparation for movement into advanced leadership positions within Williams Communications. Bachelors degree or equivalent experience.
When the teacher asked her students to take a look at deeper meaning in this advert, to treat it like they were reading a poem – that approach opend a lively discussion in the class and students managed to locate two key sentences:
Must be a strong leader able to manage cross-functional teams toward a common goal of problem resolution and process improvement. Problem resolution efforts will often involve teams with dissimilar goals and priorities and the need to manage them toward a common goal and gain the support of their disparate management organizations.
Beside the excellent communication and leadership skills, employer is looking for someone whose teams probably at the moment are not getting along; they are looking for someone new, with fresh ideas and perspective and as such who will be able to manage number of smaller groups with cross-purposes.
So the teacher proved to her students in this fun and exciting exercise, how poetry teaches us to take critical approach to what we are confronted with, and how in such fashion we are able to look for underlying causes and hidden facts, which are not obvious at first sight. This skill can be helpful in many life situations – even when it comes to haunting your dream job.
In another interesting article, we can see the results of survey that Linkendin has conducted – they asked influencers what is the single best piece of advice they’ve ever received when it comes to career. Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President at Apple Retail shared a single poem that encapsulates a lifetime of lessons: The Desiderata.
Its profound principles subliminally shaped and defined my core and have guided me throughout my life.
It was framed on the wall of her father’s office when she was a teenager.
At the time, I repeated the words without reflection, unconcerned by their meaning, but with perspective, I know these simple truths helped form the fabric of my leadership, inspiring me and reminding me of my place and my purpose.”
“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”
“Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”
So, in the nut shell these are my two recommendations for using poetry as a career guidance:
- Use metaphor to describe your problem: strong images and observations that can trigger some additional thoughts on how you can approach your problem differently and observe how you feel about each thought – it’s the best orienteer if you are on the right track with your solution. Positive language can enforce development of positive ‘narrative identity and choices’, which can lead to better understanding what is our purpose and calling in life.
- Find inspirational poems that align with your values and outlook on life. Read them frequently, use them as a reminder of what you stand for and what you desire your life to be.
Do you have any poem that profoundly influenced your life? Please share in the comments below.
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