This post is taken from a series of blogs looking to pop culture for career inspiration.
Adorable image from lil BUB
Career inspiration can come from anywhere. There are your obvious (and very useful) sources like careers advisers. But then there are the fun places. Like the life of lil Bub.
If you’re not familiar with lil Bub, get familiar. Because lil Bub is the cutest. She’s a celebrity cat. Born a runt of a feral litter, she was rescued and raised by Mike Bridavsky. And due to a variety of disorders she’s a perma-kitten with an adorable tongue that’s always sticking out. Lil Bub merchandise sales and appearances have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal charities and for her (at one point nearly bankrupt) owner.
And she’s about to release an album.
Yep that’s right. She’s about to be a music star, a feline Taylor Swift. So what career lessons can we learn from the astounding success of lil Bub?
1) Social media is powerful.
Lil Bub first shot to fame because minor internet celebrities noticed her cute instagram pictures. Social media isn’t just a way to share pictures of your latest meal with friends. Everyone uses social media, including people who will be important to your career. Jobvite’s recent surveys show 96% of recruiters use social media in their recruitment process, 93% google a candidate before hiring them (wouldn’t you?), and 42% have reconsidered a candidate, either positively or negatively, based on what they found online. So follow in lil Bub’s footsteps and get yourself an online presence of which you can be proud.
2) Appearances matter
Lil Bub has the right look for her celebrity cat role: goshdarn cute. Get to know the right look for your industry. It varies, so if you’re not sure what to wear to networking events or interviews don’t be afraid to ask – speak to people in your sector of interest or to your university careers advisers.
3) A weakness can sometimes be a strength
It’s all about context. Lil Bub wouldn’t have faired very well in the feral cat world. But the very things that would have been her downfall in the wild – her multiple cuteness-causing disorders – are what have gained her such fame and fortune with us.
Sometimes I work with clients who are frustrated that they don’t have qualities they think they need to succeed. But often they’re focussing on the wrong skills or perhaps the wrong career. For example, a lack of precision and attention to detail could mean you won’t make a great statistician or coder. But on the flipside it probably means you’re more flexible and better at seeing the big picture. You should be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, and try to investigate paths that play to your strengths.
Supercute image of lil Bub's upcoming album from lil BUB