5 Little Monkeys

My kids love the song, “Five Little Monkeys.” Even if you don’t have kids, you’ve likely heard it at some point in your life. It’s a counting song. You start with five little monkeys jumping on the bed. One falls off and bumps his head. Mama calls the doctor and the doctor says, “no more monkeys jumping on the bed.” The song then moves on to four little monkeys jumping on the bed. The inevitable happens, one falls off, is injured and mom has to call the doctor again. The doctor repeats his advice that the monkeys no longer be allowed to jump on the bed. The mom, who must take in advice with cotton filled ears, makes no changes to her kids’ form of entertainment. The song repeats itself until all of her five children have been injured by her inability to follow the doctor’s sound advice.

It makes me wonder why she bothered to keep picking up the phone and calling the doctor. She knew what he was going to say. She knew the root of the problem. Reaching out to an authority on children’s health wasn’t going to change a thing since the real issue lay in her commitment to take advice, change course and put an end to this vicious cycle.

I have to confess, there are times when I’m giving advice to job seekers I feel like that doctor on the phone repeating, to the point of blue lips, how an action someone is taking is damaging, counterproductive, futile or what have you. The job seeker thinks enough of my knowledge to solicit recommendations from me, but not enough to implement them. It’s not that the individual disagrees with my take. Quite the opposite. I’m often told how much sense my recommendations make. What stops people short is the fear of stepping out of their comfort zone. It can be a painful process. The thing is, it’s worth it in the end. When you weigh how painful remaining in one’s comfort zone can be against trying something new that stands a chance of giving better results, it’s a no brainer to me.

The monkeys’ mom was used to letting her kids jump on the bed. No matter the carnage, that was the norm so that’s what she stuck with. Listening to the doctor and coming up with another plan may have taken work and required an adjustment to her day, but it would have spared her little monkeys bumps and bruises.

Job seekers, don’t be the monkeys’ mama. There is no need to stick to your routine and endure the pain that goes along with doing so. When you reach out to experts with the knowledge and contacts to help you, grab on to what they have to offer and take that leap. Listen the first time and spare yourself the consequences of putting off much needed adjustments to your job search.

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