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Lessons we can learn from Sam Pointon

When I was six, I thought I was going to be a teacher. This may have had something to do with being around teachers all day. Teaching isn’t on my radar now, but I could see myself in some kind of educational role. No matter what I end up doing, it’s important that I have fun and demonstrate drive on the job, for life is too short not to have fun.

Sam Pointon is learning this lesson very early on. He’s the director of fun at the National Railway Museum in York. This in itself is remarkable. What’s even more remarkable is that he was only six years old when he got the position, and he applied for the regular director position at first. Sam’s application shows his passion for trains and his determined attitude, traits anyone should have (well, maybe not always with trains). The hiring folks were so impressed that they made up a position for him.

We job seekers can learn a couple of things from Sam’s application, even if we’re not in elementary school anymore.

1. Stand out. Sometimes it’s not about the material in your resume or cover letter, but how you present it. Sam obviously didn’t have a resume, but he showed off his interest in trains with style. You (and I) can do the same. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? Surely that’s better than the “blah blah this is what I’ve done” BS.

2. Don’t worry if you don’t seem qualified. Sam obviously wasn’t qualified. If you’re passionate, apply! (And show why you’d be better, of course.) I’ve done this for several positions and gotten interviews. None of them worked out, but they remember me.

In case you’re wondering, Sam still has to go to school. Going to school and having a cool job? I’d take that, even at that age.

2 replies on “Lessons we can learn from Sam Pointon”

This is such a nice story! When I first hit the job market, I presented a resume (the creative kind since I was fresh out of university) completely lettered by hand in calligraphy. It did make an impression. In the end, ironically, I started a calligraphy business. LOL

I do remember one summer job I dearly wanted. They said I had no qualifications for it, which was true. I countered with an offer to volunteer and pick up experience on the job for 2 weeks. What got me the job, though, was my persistence. Seems I phoned just as they were deciding who would fill the last position. I got it because I just wouldn’t stop bugging them. Translation: they knew I really wanted. It turned out to be a life-changing job for me – completely altering my career path. Who knew!

@Lori I never went the handwritten resume route, even though I do have nice handwriting most of the time. Whether this is because typing is the standard or because organizing my thoughts that way is easier on the computer is unknown. It looks like your calligraphy skills have definitely helped you out, as has your persistence!

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