What Can Dickens Teach You About Searching For A Job?

Be a success at christmas Although this festive tale was written and published during the Victorian era, there is a lot of useful information for the job seeker in this classic piece of literature. First of all, let’s set the scene….. This was a similar time to the one we are in now. There was strong nostalgia for old traditions, running alongside the introduction of new technologies i.e. photography and industrialisation. There had been a boom during the 1830s and 1840s (sound familiar?) and this moved Dickens to write about the suffering of the poor and their families that happened during this time.

“How does this relate to finding a job?”, you ask?

There are certain characters and events during the tale, that we can glean knowledge from. Let’s take them 1 by 1:


The main character. To start with he is set in his ways, a semi-recluse, stingy with his resources. By the end of the story though we have a “new” Scrooge – He is well-meaning, kind, sociable and full of goodwill and generosity. Sometimes during your job search you can become a bit like the first Scrooge – not wanting to embrace new ways of approaching the task in hand; thinking that you’re on your own and subsequently withdrawing yourself – resorting to sending CVs out en masse, without tailoring your approach. There are far too many different ways on approaching your job search to be able to write here, but try to constantly embrace new approaches to searching for your next job. Look for new contacts, new job boards, new agencies, why not try social media if you haven’t already? Approach companies directly instead of waiting! Be SOCIAL and get yourself out there! Join forces with other job seekers and help each other! Sharing knowledge will help everyone concerned, so try not to see others as just competition!

Jacob Marley

Scrooge’s business partner. He “coaches” Scrooge through the start of the story. He is honest with Scrooge and tells him exactly where has been going wrong. We all have people in our life that will help and support us through the “tougher” times. Make use of the advice they give and any feedback that you may have received in your previous endeavours. You may have received some praise – remember it, you may have received some constructive feedback – use it! No-one is perfect, so always look to improve and by embracing this feedback loop, you will!

Ghost of Christmas Past

The ghost takes Scrooge back to his childhood and the reasons why he is a miser today, but this also reminds him of a time when he was more innocent. When looking at your next job, you need to take into account what you have done before and how this can be taken into that new role. See how your skills and passions will fit into the next job before you apply for it. If you’re looking for a complete change of career, these skills will more than likely still be transferable. When you’re being interviewed for your next job, you’ll need to convey your skills and experience, so start thinking about these early on. Can you remember the motivation and excitement you had when you secured your last job? Take this into your job search and when you get your new role it will just keep growing!

Ghost of Christmas Present

This ghost takes Scrooge to several places – A Christmas market full of joy, the festive spirit and people preparing for their Christmas dinner; the celebrations in a miner’s house and a lighthouse; and finally, the family feast at the Cratchitt household. The points to make note of here are the joy, celebration and social interaction. You don’t need to approach your job search on your own. Share the experience with family, friends and anyone who will listen! The more people who know you are looking for work, the more exposure you have. This can only increase the chances of you finding what you’re looking for! Although at times during your job search you may feel disheartened, try to stay positive. Being negative will only affect your efforts and not the result. Be happy that you’ve been given a chance to change direction, a chance to spend time looking for what you really want – look for the silver lining in that cloud!

Ghost of Christmas yet to come

This ghost shows Scrooge the outcome of his current actions; the death of Tiny Tim and also Scrooge himself; a conversation between Scrooge’s business associates, who will only attend his funeral if lunch is provided; Scrooge’s neglected grave, which finally makes him decide to change his ways. Obviously this is quite a dark part of the story, but we can still take the motivations into our job hunting. The main thing we can take from this is there is HOPE! You can change your current situation and your future. There is a common phrase to bear in mind – “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”. If your approach hasn’t been working, change it. If you’ve been thinking negatively, change it. Look for any new things that you can do to make a positive difference in your frame of mind. The results will follow. In conclusion, Scrooge turned his life around over night. You can too! He changed his approach and his mind-set and, as a result, got the happy outcome that we all want when looking for a new job.

Merry xmas I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous 2013!

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