Allison Cheston, Career Connector


Career Connector Blog

What's Your Game?


I had a bit of an epiphany the other day about why I enjoy being a career advisor. It links to one of the pastimes I enjoy most: playing Scrabble.

Now I always loved playing Scrabble, but I never liked any other games, really. I did like doing puzzles, but not crossword puzzles.

I was talking with a friend, an excellent Scrabble competitor, who is also not enamored of crossword puzzles. He said he thought the reason he liked Scrabble was that the game presents you with parameters in the form of the letters you randomly pick. It’s up to you to maximize your score by assembling the letters in the most advantageous combination you can think of. Bingo!!

That is exactly why I love being a career advisor. You are provided a set of givens: someone’s background, skills and experiences, which are the foundation of that person’s career to date. You then spend time asking the right questions in order to tease out the interests, the anecdotes, and the qualities that fill in the picture of what that person should be doing at work. The connections you make can be exciting. And, they can lead to putting your skills to work in a more advantageous combination.

I was talking with a client today about moving from law into branding–a difficult switch, you might say. We will see. As she warmed to the discussion of this new field she suddenly recalled that when she was a kid she loved to create new product ideas featuring her favorite authors or characters. One of them, cleverly, was a new cereal she would call Agatha Crispies. The clues to a murder would be packaged with the cereal, and the mystery would be solved when you got to the very bottom of the inside of the box.

Now take that into an interview!