You have a decision to make. A big one with two options. It involves your immediate future and impacts on your study or career path. Do you:
a) Toss a coin – after all, life’s a bit random however you look at it
b) Put if off until tomorrow, you’ve got more fun things to do
c) Quickly pick one and run with it
d) Take your time and research every possible scenario
Recently our team here at Victoria Careers undertook a strengths and behaviours assessment designed by the Gallup Strengths Centre. 177 thought-provoking questions later, your ‘top five dominant themes of talent’ are revealed. My top strength is Deliberative. Hmm, was hoping for something slightly more dynamic. Obviously I’m not going to set the world on fire anytime soon then – at least not without a lot of careful research, risk identification and due diligence first. If you chose d) it is likely you have some deliberative in you too. It can be frustrating as it takes you longer to make a decision, but once you’re there, you know it is the right one. I’m grateful to my more impulsive colleague who says she gravitates towards people who can offer that safety net.
This strengths finder exercise was not only helpful in understanding our own behaviours but also those of our team. Thinking about how each of our top strengths might be put into practice in the workplace, here’s our Careers team in action.
Ms Futuristic: “I need student interns for another mission…I know! Let’s get them to helps us prepare for a possible Zombie Apocalypse at Victoria! We can call them Careers Agents of D.A.Z.E.L.D – Defence Against Zombies Enforcement and Logistics Division! And then we could have a mock attack…”
At this point the two Ms Individualisation & Achievers, jump in. “Ooh that’s a great idea. We know just the right students for the job: let’s recruit design students to create some brain protectors, architecture to build some defences and the School of Chemistry to generate some zombie repellent. Ooh and we could have an Expo showing people how to defend themselves…volunteers from the Martial Arts clubs could help. Come on team, let’s get this show on the road!”
Meanwhile Ms Ideation is contemplating the concept. “The idea of Zombies and a student’s individual reaction to them is both complex and fascinating…perhaps a Walking Dead workshop on how to handle potential or imagined danger?”
Ms Strategic is busy creating visual representations of possible apocalypse defences using Post-it notes. “I wonder if the Zombies should be pink or blue?” Mr Adaptability is equally employed, re-modelling our system into ZombieHub and creating an online game Victoria vs Zombies and a newsletter called braaaaains alert!
Up pipes Miss Connectedness. “But shouldn’t we be inclusive and embrace their zombieness, learn their language and have a chat over coffee?”
“That’s right,” say the two Ms Empathys, “We need to consider their feelings. Rather than drive them away, we could set up career consultations and get them to reflect on their experiences.”
The twin Ms Harmonys begin to sense discord among the team. “Wouldn’t it be better if we all agreed on a plan of action here? And let’s make a list of employers to invite. But first, have a piece of lemon drizzle cake.”
“Whoa! Hang on a minute. There’s lots to consider,” I say. “We need to do a budget, zombie research, advise Comms and Marketing, and has anyone considered the likelihood of getting room bookings during a Zombie apocalypse? What about Health and Safety? And I need to proofread the plan!” Ten heavy sighs. I look round for support from the other Ms Deliberative. But she is too busy talking to Facilities Management, making sure there are enough chairs for the invasion.
This blog was inspired by my former colleague Sarah, currently undergoing teacher training and in sole charge of a class for the first time. Her main concern: What if there is a Zombie Apocalypse and I can’t save them?! Don’t worry Sarah, we will save you. Eventually.