What a Shirt Collar and Your Career Have in Common

Today’s story will serve two purposes: it will make you more knowledgeable about men’s fashion, and it will adjust your career search vision. That’s a big challenge in a few paragraphs! Let’s step into our time machine to begin.

The button-down collar dates to the 1890s, when John E. Brooks—a scion of the Brooks Brothers empire—took a trip to England and went, as scions will, to a polo match. Polo is, of course, a vigorous sport, what with all the galloping on the field and the gold-digging on the sidelines. Players had begun telling their valets to tell their tailors to do something to keep their shirt collars from flopping about so bloody much. Brooks, admiring the result, then launched a line of oxford-cloth button-down shirts.

(Borrowed from an article in Slate)
This was invented because someone went to a polo match.

Every time you look at a button-down collar on a man’s shirt you will know why those “point buttons” are there.

Now, about that job search…

Look at the list you have made of the tasks you are good at, and you enjoy doing.

What’s the natural extension of those tasks?

Being a teacher was not on my list. I had never been one. But in my earlier career I loved staff meetings and giving presentations. The “performance” of presenting information was the secret buried in the noise.

I was able to get a job doing just that. I learned how to change from merely presenting information (what I would do in class) to concentrating on what students do in class – teaching them to teach themselves – the essence of learning.

As time went on, I found new lanes of interest (helping students get jobs) that I could extend from my teaching tasks. Passion developed from doing a job – it wasn’t pre-determined.

Just like John E. Brooks did not invent the button-down collar in a fashion merchandising conference room, your career answers are encrypted in things you are doing now or have already done.

The answer is on that list you’re going to start making – today.

There are 7 days left in John’s Kickstarter campaign to produce a hardcover version of his new book, “Destination:Reinvention”.

Your backing makes it a reality. Thank you.

Find out more at Kickstarter.com.


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