Today is the birthday of beloved Dr. Seuss. To help celebrate, we bring you this conversation between Dr. Seuss and a college student sitting down at Starbucks for an informational interview.
As you’ll see, it appears Dr. Seuss would have been a fine mentor for many young careerists…
“Dr. Seuss, I am so far behind my peers, who seem to know what they want to do after graduation. How do I decide what career is right for me?”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
“But Doctor, my parents want me to go one way… and there is a lot of pressure… and I don’t know how to tell them what I really want.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
“You’re cool, but you talk kinda’ funny. Um, you’re saying to follow my passion, right?”
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
“That sounds really simple. Are you sure that’s how it works in this economy?”
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”
“Okay, so I want to get started on my personal branding but have no idea where to begin. What do you suggest?
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
“But what about everybody who says they are ‘detail oriented’ and a ‘team player’ – don’t I need to be those things, too?”
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
“What about everyone who says I should be transparent? Are they right? Will I stand out if I am really me?”
“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”
“Wow, that sounds great! But how do I make sure I’m the one they think of when hiring?”
“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
“But there is so much I haven’t learned yet, and I’m about to graduate. Where do I learn everything, now?”
“It is better to know how to learn, than to know. The more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
“Will internships help? How do I go to class, do my homework, get an internship, work a job and have a social life between now and graduation?”
“Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.”
Can you help me with my resume? I admit, it really sucks.”
“Everything stinks until it’s finished.”
“What about when I get to job interviews… I am SO nervous. How do I answer all those tough questions?”
“Sometimes the question is complicated and the answers are simple.”
“Your advice today was so great! I’ve always wanted a mentor like you. Can I come back and see you tomorrow?”
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
“I know there are many jobs out there. And I know I came to you late for help. Be straight with me: do I stand a chance after graduation?
“Will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.”
Well said, Dr. Seuss… well said indeed. Happy Birthday!
About the Author: CEO and Founder of YouTern, Mark Babbitt is a serial mentor who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable and Forbes regarding job search, career development, internships and higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce. A keynote speaker and blogger, Mark’s contributions include Harvard Business Review, Inc., Huffington Post, Bloomberg News and Switch and Shift.
Mark’s book, A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive (AMACOM), with Ted Coine is now available.
Questions? Contact Mark on Twitter.