5 educational parables of career

5 educational parables of career

  • What useful thoughts can we learn from parables of work and career?
  • Should we take parables serious?


As told by Wikipedia, a parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. Our ancestors used to tell parables of life in order to share their wisdom with each other. Nowadays, on the Internet we can find many different parables about career and business, which tell us how to become a successful person. Not so that those stories can create a miracle… But sometimes just one vivid image is enough to make us think about important things at least for a while. So, one day…

Point of view

One day a big shoe factory sent its representative to Africa. After two days of being there, he sent a telegram saying: ‘There is no opportunities here! Everybody walks barefoot!’ However, the company did not give up. Instead, it sent there another representative. That second one sent even more than just optimistic telegram: ‘Incredible! We have huge opportunities here! EVERYONE here is barefoot!’

CONCLUSION: it is not only state of affairs that can define opportunities, but our attitude towards the surroundings.

Once an expert, always an expert

One day a factory had a crash – steam generator was broken, and nobody knew how to fix it. The CEO said that he would reward a person who can sort the problem out. After some time, an unknown master came and said that he knew how to fix the problem. It took him some time to investigate the generator. He has been walking around, knocking it in different places and listening to the sounds it was producing. Then he grabbed a hummer, and hit the generator tooth and nail. A miracle happened – the device started working again. The CEO asked how much did the master want for his work. The specialist signed him a check. It was saying: ‘One hour of work - £1. Knowledge of where to hit - £9999. Total - £10000».

CONCLUSION: being a master is not only a big effort you make to solve a problem. It is a knowledge of how to do it.

Watch your surroundings

One day a scorpion asked a turtle to carry him over the river. The turtle agreed but asked for just one thing: the scorpion had to promise that he would not sting her. Scorpion promised. They started the trip. As they reached the coast, the scorpion stung the turtle. ‘Why did you do it? You promised not to!’ – said the turtle. ‘Why did you agree to help me if you knew that I could sting you?’ – asked the scorpion. ‘I am kind by my nature. I always trust and help everyone.’ ‘Your nature is to be kind, my nature is to sting. I did what I always do.’

CONCLUSION: before collaborating with someone new, try to know that person better. If he plays hard or even against the rules, there is no guarantee that he would not let you down at an opportunity.


High post

One day an eagle was sitting on a tree. Just sitting, not doing anything but looking around. A rabbit was running beneath. Then the rabbit stopped and asked if he could sit and do nothing, just like the eagle. ‘Sure, why not’ – answered the eagle. The rabbit sat and relaxed. A fox noticed it, ran towards the tree and ate a rabbit immediately.

CONCLUSION: Do not overestimate your abilities. If you want to allow yourself to do nothing, you have to be on a high post.

About subordination

One day a secretary, a manager, and their boss found an old oil lamp. Jokingly they decided to rub it, and Genie appeared. He offered them all to make three wishes – one for each person. ‘I want to go to Bali!’ – said the secretary. Genie made the wish come true. 'And I want to go to Maldives!' – exclaimed the manager. Genie sent him to the desired islands. – ‘What I want is them both back at work today in the afternoon’ – said the boss.

CONCLUSION: it is a good idea to let the boss speak first.

Megan HotWork author
18 May 2016
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