Ted Williams: Lessons for the Down and Out
Ted Williams, former radio announcer, went from being homeless to appearing on the 'Today' show and receiving multiple job offers. Those offers are coming from just about every kind of employer, ranging from Kraft to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri suggested that Williams replace Robert Gibbs as Barack Obama's press secretary.
Clearly, Williams' story has plenty of lessons for others who are down-and-out. These suggestions start off with stopping self-destructive behavior. For two years before he was re-discovered Williams had been substance free. Had he not been, the chances of him forging such an amazing comeback would have been diminished.
Second, know your strengths and go with them. Williams never lost sight of his speaking talent or the knowledge that its best setting was radio. A lot of folks have written off radio. Not Williams. He refers to the medium as the "theater of the mind."
And, third, be quick on your feet. When the public keeps accusing the Obama administration of not creating jobs, Williams swings back with the reality that people such as himself, are finding jobs. In fact, he has his pick of jobs. That quickness underlies the new economy in which success comes through opportunism -- that is, identifying possibility, pouncing on it, and exploiting it to the maximum. Forget plodding and too much planning.
Jane Genova, coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializes in transitions. Her talk on professional shifts at the New York State Bar Association has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY. Her latest book is OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. She blogs on the subject at http://janegenova.com, http://lawandmore.typepad.com, http://careertransitions.typepad.com and http://over-50.typepad.com.more...