My son’s favorite thing in the whole world is sharks. Loves them. He can name about 20 different types by just looking at them and he’s 3. We read the same book about sharks every morning, every lunch, every afternoon, when I get home from work and at night before bed. You get the point. Reading this book is a very hard thing to do because by now I hate the shark book, but the other night as I was reading it became apparent to me how similar my career and a shark just are.
1. Sharks were here before dinosaurs and exist today because of adaption. Surely everyone hasn’t been working before the dinosaurs, but one thing is for sure, without being able to evolve your skill set, perceptions, attitude and craft you could be out like a dinosaur.
2. There are over 200-300 dinosaurs in the world and they are all different. Knowing that you are part of a larger species of working class ecosystem, you are your own type of shark because of the qualities you possess. Knowing how to make those qualities work for you, instead of trying to be a different shark, will help you make your way through the crowded sea.
3. Fish have shiny scales, shark skin is tough like sandpaper. Well I think this is pretty obvious, if not cliche. You have to have some think skin in business to make. Whether it’s the constant battering you take on a day-to-day basis or those times when nothing goes right. While it’s the fish that have the flashy scales and glimmering appearance, it’s the sharks that sit at the top of the food chain.
4. Fish have swim bladders that allow them to float. Sharks don’t. They rely on their fins to help them glide through the water. For most sharks if they’re not moving, they sink. Sharks are always moving. Looking for the next opportunity. Depending on the type of shark they’re either looking for food or looking for big food. It’s important to note that within a career it’s important to always be looking for the next project, client, opportunity or lunch.
5. When a mother shark gives birth to its pups, it’s stays in shallow, warm water to provide a safe hunting ground for its babies. When you’re beginning your career-or new job- it’s okay to take a bit of time to get acclimated to the position, the people and you’re new life. One of the best things I was forced to do in my current job was to take my time and ease into it. If you stick your neck out of the warm, safe water too soon, you become lunch for a bigger shark.
6. When a mother shark gives birth to its pups, the pups get the hell out of her way–because a hungry mother shark isn’t picky or emotional and will eat its pups. So, you’re probably thinking, “I need to leave my house because my mom will eat me?” No. I look at this as go after “low-hanging fruit.” There’s always a quick and easy meal around you. Find out where it is and go after it. The quick ones are usually the most tasty meals. High value, low output.
The last half of the book talks about how Great White sharks attack humans and how squid is a tasty meal for blue sharks. Which really is appropriate reading for a night-time story. This was a very quick look into the subject, but I think there’s something pretty funny similarities between your career and the shark. What animal could you compare your career with? Interested to hear what you’d say.