What children on Halloween taught me about life, love, and my career

Since clarity is a recruitment agency and our primary focus is to place candidates with clients and create a happy working world, I have spent a lot of my blogging brainstorming sessions trying to consider what information job seekers need and what information they do not seem to be receiving.  My brainstorming sessions generally hit more brick walls than open windows and I must admit that I blame an ebbing imagination and a pressing adult life for my creative brain farts.

However, this week is Halloween and Halloween is the grand daddy of imaginative holidays, what better lens to explore our career path through?  After all, Halloween is the holiday during which you can be anything that you want to be- a doctor, a police officer, and fire fighter, a dinosaur- the possibilities are endless.  Perhaps it’s time that we invite a little Halloween spirit into our career endeavors.  And so, in the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to explore the lessons that the holiday taught me and how we can best apply these in our careers.

  1.  Always inspect your haul– Although the world didn’t seem quite as scary a place as it is now during my trick-or-treating years, my mother always instilled in me the importance of checking your candy before eating it.  No, I never received anything terrible or terrifying in my pumpkin basket, but in celebration of teaching our children not to take candy from strangers (then allowing exactly that for only one day a year) parents everywhere have taken to checking the seal on their children’s fun size snickers.  How does this apply to work?  The principle of double-checking should be alive and well in every office.  Remember how you checked that bag of M&M’s before you ate it?  Check the spelling in your emails before you send it (and so on).
  2. Dream big– Remember that adorable three and a half foot tall T-rex that came to your door last year?  Inside that too cute exterior is a ferocious carnivore just waiting to strike.  In other words, something inspired little Billy to be a dinosaur and he committed to that dream!  Don’t you owe yourself the same courtesy?  At times, work, life, and job searches can get the best of us and it is easy to forget our truest desires and dreams.  Sometimes you just have to say to yourself “If Billy can be a T-rex, then I can be a CEO.“  After all, Billy changed species; you only need to change jobs!
  3. Dress the part– At Halloween you aren’t a cow girl without a cowboy hat.  Whether we like to admit it or not, clothing is an integral part of our lives and, as a result, our careers.  Is there a blazer in your closet that cuts at your waist just right?  What about a necklace that makes your simple black dress pop and your smile sparkle just a bit brighter?  Just as you would go searching for the perfect plastic sword to adorn your belt, you should go searching for outfits and accessories that make you feel like a deal-making dynamo.
  4. Eat lots of candy– Ok, so maybe this isn’t great career advice.  The real sentiment behind this lesson lies within finding your inner child.  Children are wonderfully creative and amazingly resilient little beings.  In many ways I think that children are wiser in the ways of the world than adults (or at the very least the take an issue at face value while adults are susceptible to stress and fret).  No, this lesson isn’t about candy, but about enjoyment.  Children at Halloween are hopped up on sugar and smiles and scary stories and in that moment they dominate our neighborhoods, our cities, and our world.  Wouldn’t it be great to find that kind of joy in something so simple?  The truth is that you still can- find your Halloween candy and never let it go!

It seems that if you try hard enough one may find a lesson in even the simplest task.  This Halloween, channel your inner five year old and brace yourself for a new spiritual awakening.