What Young Professionals Can Learn From The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz, a favourite among so many young professionals and an honoree at last night’s Academy Awards, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Even after all this time, this classic movie continues to have an incredible impact on every generation. So in light of this grand occasion, we’ve taken a trip back down the yellow brick road to see what Dorothy and her pals can teach us today. The Wizard of Oz is rich in literary themes, but instead of relaying the same old high school English version, we’ve compiled this list of Oz lessons exclusive to today’s young professionals (YPs):  

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. 

Fear not the unknown: Dorothy, the self-described “small and meek,” faces strange characters and unknown surroundings without a map, smartphone, or single known friend. Yet she openly accepts help from strangers, trusting her gut in judging friend from foe, choosing her own direction at every fork in the yellow brick road, and ultimately conquering the baddest witch in town and successfully reaching her goal. So the next time you find yourself over the rainbow, faced with overwhelming circumstances and unexpected characters, just think of lil’ ol’ Dorothy, and that if she can do it, so can you.  

I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too! 

There are evil witches out there: Following us along our YP journey are certain characters trying to steal our magic and put a stop to our success (and who are crazy jealous of our shoes). Like Dorothy, it’s best to treat such people with kind assertiveness and to keep our energy focused on the path in front of us and never, ever surrender. If we happen to accidentally throw a bucket of water (or cocktail), ending their reign of terror, well that’s just a bonus.    

Just follow the yellow brick road. 

There are also good witches: Thankfully, there are also good witches, wise and caring characters directing and protecting us along our YP paths. They can sometimes be elusive, hovering just above us or out of sight (although not likely in a pink bubble). To reap the wisdom of our good witches, we must make the effort to spot and recognize these characters in our own lives, and to listen to their insights and follow their guidance.

Why don’t you come along with us?

We’re on our way to see the wizard now.

In helping others, we help ourselves. Dorothy puts the concerns of her new friends at the same level of importance as her own, and in helping them reach their goals, they in-turn help her. Dorothy and her new friends would have never made it on their own. Only in working together, bringing their unique individual abilities to the tasks they faced, were they all able to succeed.  This seemingly simple lesson in teamwork may sound cliché, but it’s one that will never get old, and that will remain as classic as The Wizard of Oz itself. 

You’ve always had the power . . .

We’re smarter, kinder, braver and more powerful than we think! Most YPs already possess the important qualities of brains, heart, courage, and power, but lack the self-confidence needed to realize and utilize them. Like the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, and Dorothy, we must believe in our character and our abilities to truly see and fulfill our potential. Engaging in continued education, participating in philanthropy, facing challenges, and standing up for important causes are all ways to build self-confidence and to realize the qualities and powers we already possess.    

  Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

Make your own magic: In the search for our own Wizard, that one person or big break that will solve all our problems and guide us to our goals, many YPs come to learn that the power to fulfill our heart’s desires was within our reach all along. Don’t be intimidated by giant-headed leaders. In reality, most are regular folks hiding behind a curtain (or desk) of power. Realize that within you exists the ability to click your own heels, to make your own magic, and to find your own way. Be your own wizard.   

There’s no place like home.

Never forget where you came from: It can be easy for YPs living and working in this exciting Technicolor time to get caught up, perhaps lose touch with where we came from. But while travelling toward our own Emerald City, we must not forget our roots, the people and places that made us who you are, and the ultimate purpose of our journey. It’s okay to indulge in fantastic new adventures with fabulous new friends, but never forget: there’s no place like home.   


#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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