To mark the 37th anniversary since the release of Lucasfilm’s cinematic opus, Raiders of The Lost Ark, we decided to look at the significantly pertinent, if unrealized, career advice that the good Doctor Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Junior offered us. We’ve broken these teachings into four easy categories … But you’d still be well-advised to watch the movie!
1.) The Right Education and Training
Career dreams don’t work unless you do, and before any idea can be put into motion, a plan must be made. Part of any job search plan is researching the credentials and education needed for any said profession. Indiana Jones could not have become an archaeologist without post-secondary training. He not only studied archeology, but he chose his institution precisely; attending the University of Chicago where he would eventually be mentored by Abner Ravenwood. Aside from dating, then dumping, then rescuing (over five times by my count), then marrying Ravenwood’s daughter, Indiana learned from the best. This was not only a wise move in terms of where he studied, but the networking contacts he met there.
2.) Match Your Vocation and Passion to the Current Labour Market
Indiana’s father was also an archaeologist. It was a shared family passion. That was perhaps all the self-assessment needed. Keep in mind, however, that the first Indiana Jones movie took place in 1936. This was the era of The Great Depression. Working as an archeologist would have been neither gainful nor full-time. Thus, Indiana adapted what he learned and loved to also become a part-time professor at Marshall College. While this was not what he really wanted to do, he adapted his passion and vocation to the current labour market – rather than expecting the labour market to adapt to him.
3.) Dress Correctly and Adapt as Needed
It was the 1930s and even in the middle of an economic sandstorm, people generally dressed as formally as they could. As a professor, Dr. Jones wore a proper suit. As the swashbuckling archeologist in the field he dressed down; however, he was still adaptable in that he could easily respond to changing weather conditions, formal encounters with dignitaries, tarantulas, and a lot of dust and sand. And that hat is, well, legendary!
4.) The Right Temperament is What Employers Need
A paralyzing fear of snakes aside, Indiana made it work. The snakes are worth mentioning because Indiana (despite his fear of said reptiles) never let that part of the job prevent him from working and doing what needed to be done. The lesson here is simple: no job is perfect, but you need to adapt. The job doesn’t adapt to you.
No matter the position, many employers want similar characteristics in their employees. While brash at times, Indiana Jones was as equally as patient and perseverant. He was technically astute, while remaining both an independent and loyal team player. He was also never afraid to roll his sleeves up and get dirty (assuming he still had sleeves). Employers crave these qualities.
It’s also worth pointing out that perhaps the most heroic employability quality to the personality and appeal of Indiana Jones was his ability to innovate. Whether it was using a statue to go through a wall, cutting down the bridge he was standing on to get off said bridge, or using a rubber life raft to escape a crashing airplane, Indy was never afraid to take a risk by looking at things differently. The ability to accomplish goals by thinking outside the box (or in this case the Ark of the Covenant) is not only a key trait in being hired but staying hired and being promoted.
Last we saw him, Indiana was promoted at Marshall College to associate dean. For his lucky students (if they can keep up with him), valuable life and employability lessons would seem to be aplenty.
Jason Douglas Smith is a Training Application Coordinator with The Career Foundation, and has successfully directed clients in not only developing personalized job search strategy plans, but in circumnavigating the rigorous demands of applications for provincially-funded retraining. When not working, this self-professed Futurist can often be found reading, writing and barbecuing in his native Burlington.