Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Have a Smurfy Career

One of my favorite cartoons as a child was the Smurfs. And although I have strong opinions on my perceived unoriginality of remakes and the making of TV shows into movies, I admit, I was oddly excited when I saw a photo of Hank Azaria donning a Gargamel costume for next year’s Smurfs movie. I then read that the Smurfs have been around for more than 50 years. I’m not good at math, but I’m good enough to realize that means Smurfs were around long before I first started watching Saturday morning cartoons. So I did what I always do when faced with a potential trivia question. I googled Smurfs.

I was surprised to find out that the Belgian creator, Peyo, was faced with two job prospects after his schooling: one in dentistry and one as an illustrator. He applied for the job at the dentist first, only to find out the job had been filled 15 minutes earlier. And to think, had Peyo gotten started earlier that morning, I would have led a Smurfless life. Devastating. Peyo began illustrating for Le Journal de Spirou in 1952, but it wasn’t until the Smurfs made their costarring appearance in Peyo’s Johan and Peewit comic in 1958 that he was launched into cartoon fame. And the world has had an obsession with these lovable little blue creatures ever since.

The obvious lesson to be learned here is that the early bird doesn’t always get the worm – something I am ever so grateful for considering my solid existence as a non-morning person. Okay, so that’s not really the lesson. I also believe in the “you snooze you lose” mentality as well. I meet a lot of aspiring coders who are looking for an “in” into the industry. And those ins are not always glamorous. Or well-paid. Even with the right credentials, you may have to take a lower paying position to get your foot in the door or take a position close to the one you really want. But who knows? With the right mix of hard work, divine intervention, planetary alignment, or just plain luck, you may find yourself on a career path you never expected. And like Peyo, it could lead you to great things.