What the Hunger Games taught me about the job search

The other night I saw The Hunger Games with my daughter and one of her friends. When we got into a discussion about the various scenes in the movie, we all agreed that Rue’s death was the saddest…oh, I hope I’m not giving away too much of the movie.

There’s another scene I would classify as more bloody and kick-you-in-the-gut than sad. It’s when the tributes race from their platforms and charge to the Cornucopia to get the weapons of their choice.

Wham, like 12 kids get wiped out. It’s at this point when I thought this was not an appropriate movie for two 14-year-olds or, for that matter, me. It began to look like a scene out of Platoon or the Deer Hunter on steroids.

Prior to this scene, Haymitch tells  Katniss to head for the high grounds, not the weapons. “Water will be your best friend,” he advises. The things-career-related freak I am, I immediately saw a parallel to the career search and this scene.

Obviously the higher grounds, where the water is, represents the Hidden Job Market where 80% of the jobs exist unbeknownst to many jobseekers. It appears only two people in the movie make this wise move, Katniss and Peeta, while the others go for the desirable weapons and other goods.

The Cornucopia and the weapons, on the other hand, signify the advertised jobs, representing 20% of the available jobs. The tributes who race all at once for the weapons are the majority of jobseekers vying for the measly number of available jobs. Don’t you see it?

You may think it's silly to equate a scene in a teenage movie to the job search and, further, you may think me a lunatic. But you don’t know me; I’m always thinking about how the job search relates to…almost anything. In this case, it’s about taking control you your job search. Shuck off the job boards (the Cornucopia), The Hunger Games tells us, and unlock the HJM.

Haymitch’s advice was wise and followed by Katniss, thus saving her life. Certainly the makers of The Hunger Games didn’t devise that scene with the job search in mind. It was merely to point out the best way to survive in a battle to the death. Albeit a bit extreme to compare it to the job search, nonetheless that’s what I did. Are you as obsessed with the job search as I am? Probably not.

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Comment by Elise Reynolds on March 27, 2012 at 1:11pm

I loved the movie and I enjoyed your analogy to the job search.  Don't waste time slogging it out with all the other desperate people.  Move to higher ground.  This is also true for the recruiters pursuit of clients. 

Comment by Bob McIntosh on March 27, 2012 at 4:39pm

Thanks, Elise. I wonder if the analogy was a bit strong--the Cornucopia representing job boards. I hope none of the jobseekers were offended. 


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