Today’s guest post on All Groan Up is from Reyna Ramli. Enjoy!
“Grownups never seem to understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince.
We all loved Sesame Street. With its outlandish characters, lessons of caring and sharing and subtle political messages (what?), it was as much a staple of our childhoods as apple pie and grass burns from falling off the water slide.
Now you’re a grown up (yes, sorry, you have to be) and you’ve entered the workforce, here are five of the valuable Sesame Street lessons that you can apply to your own career.
5 Career Lessons from Sesame Street
1. Opportunities (like friends) come in all shapes and sizes.
Do you remember Kermit’s song, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green?” Kermit taught us that it’s okay to be nerdy, awkward and green. His best friends Big Bird and Snuffleupagus were hardly cookie-cutter characters, yet they all learned to get along and they each brought something new and unique to the group.
Sesame Street Career Lesson: Opportunities are like friends – if you never look beneath the surface, you’ll never know what gems might lie inside. So accept that meeting request to the unpromising out-of-town startup, despite the fact it’s a pain to get to and nobody’s ever heard of it. You might be missing the opportunity to work with the next Apple.
2. Never underestimate the power of a helping hand from a friend.
One of the most often-stated values on Sesame Street is that we all have the power to share our spoils and help each other out. Ernie and Bert taught us about the many benefits of learning to share – whether that be sharing your room, your things, or your successes.
Sesame Street Career Lesson: Learning to share in business means not keeping all the glory for yourself. Spreading the praise liberally around your own team, or working collaboratively with a rival firm rather than against them can bring big gains in terms of goodwill.
3. Always listen to others
Big Bird was one of the most beloved character in Sesame Street because he represents the child in all of us. He sees the world through the eyes of an innocent, and doesn’t understand ‘adult’ concepts like guile or sarcasm. Kids love him because he genuinely listens when the kids on the show talk to him.
Sesame Street Career Lesson: Try to listen with an open heart when someone in your company comes to you with an issue or a concern. The more approachable you are, the more likely you are to learn of problems before they become big problems.
4. Earn respect through honesty
When the actor who played Mr.Hooper died of a heart attack, it would have been easy for writers to brush this under the carpet. Instead, they made a boldly controversial move: they revealed during the episode that Mr.Hooper had died. Rather than getting letters of complaint, the episode was widely praised for helping teach kids about death.
Sesame Street Career Lesson: When things go wrong in business, it’s tempting to sweep them under the carpet. But by coming clean with customers or co-workers, you lay the foundations for a stronger, more trusting business relationship.
5. Don’t mistake wealth for success in life.
The Cookie Monster is everyone’s favorite because of his single minded quest for one thing: cookies! His obsession with this delicious treat consumes his life, although he will eat other things – plants, lamps, posts, and at one point he even tries to eat Kermit!
Sesame Street Career Lesson: Be like the Cookie Monster. Although he is not rich, so long as he has cookies, he is happy. Ask yourself what your ‘cookies’ are – whether it be mentoring, little league coaching, raising a family or raising a startup from the ground – and make sure you indulge as often as possible for a healthy work-life balance.
Reyna Ramli is a writer for CyberCoders.com, technology company that is dedicated to match skillful job seekers with great companies. When Reyna is not writing, she enjoys cooking, working out, and reading fashion blogs and magazines. Follow Reyna on Twitter!
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