Lacking career inspiration - a cat is your perfect muse!

Posted in: Advice, inspire, Tips & Hints

We have a lot of cat lovers in the Careers Service, I am shamelessly sharing a photo of my two cats - Sooty and Snowy.


Like all cats, mine are incredibly tenacious, adaptable and know all the 'cuteness tricks' to get us all mushy and give in to demands for food and treats. I think we can learn a lot about job hunting from cats.

  1. Cats know what they want: There is so much pressure at this time of the year -  looking for a graduate job, applying for a placement - you may find all your friends and peers are applying to 'certain' employers and this may not be the right fit for you. Perhaps you're the sort of person who enjoys working for a smaller organisation or that a particular geographical location is more important to you. The two most important aspects of successful job hunting are knowing who you are and knowing what you wantWindmills Interactive allows you to undertake a series of exercises which help you clarify the kind of life you want and how you can start working towards it. Bath students can take advantage of the Team Focus Personal and Career Development Reports which allow you understand your personality and work environments that you are best suited to.
  2. Cats do their research: observe any cat, you'll see they are always watching - they stalk their prey and are researching how they move and react. The same is true of job hunting. The more you research different roles, industry sectors and organisations the more you'll understand how to pitch yourself on paper and during an interview. Do consider attending our employer events or harness tools such as MarketLine and Nexis to stay up-to-date with industry developments.
  3. Cats are incredibly flexible:  Have you noticed the way cats effortlessly twist, bend, leap and flip? They can instantly change direction or jump to amazing heights. If your first choice for placement or graduate job wasn't successful look at the organisation's competitors or their clients. Consider other roles or extra curricular activities to develop the right skills so you can manage and transition your career - I love the 'related jobs' function on Prospects as it can widen your potential job options. Simply search by job title such as 'Economist' and then look at the related jobs link.
  4. Cats are both prey and predator: The advice by Deborah Wheatman is spot on! She suggests, "most animals are lumped into one category or the other: prey or predator. Cats are both predator and prey. To do well as prey and predator requires a high level of awareness and the ability to make a move quickly. Sometimes you may be proactively job searching. Like a cat, you are actively scanning for opportunities and ready to pounce on your target. On the flipside, it is the passive job search that is akin to the cat’s prey mode. For a healthy passive search, update your LinkedIn profiles, have your CV ready and network continuously"

Good luck and don't forget, the careers team are here to help you with all aspects of job hunting. Please book a 1:1 appointment with one of our careers advisers! We promise you are all not mad cat lovers 🙂

Posted in: Advice, inspire, Tips & Hints


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