Recently, while I was caught up in a web of curiosity – leaping from site to site – clicking on links and images that garnered interest, I came across a sleek, well designed website – www.unclaimedbaggage.com. I was fascinated by this one-of-a-kind store.
Unclaimed Baggage Center purchases the small percentage of orphaned luggage that remains after claims are settled between airlines and individuals who have lost their possessions. That small percentage of lost luggage, however, amounts to more than 7,000 new items daily, and it’s all stored and available for viewing and purchase at their 40,000 square foot facility in Scottsboro, Alabama.
As I scanned the numerous discoveries – from jewels to money to national treasures and even a shrunken head – I realized how much our travel accessories have evolved. While seemingly every traveler today has the standard model, black suitcase on wheels with an extension handle, it’s a far cry from the leather-strapped trunks stacked and looking like some art-deco inspired pyramid of days gone by.
The image of a tattered piece of luggage weathered by time and experience, and covered in stickers from around the world appeals to me. Each badge – neatly decorated with colorful, bold lettering and attractive destinations – signified a sense of pride in the experience of travel and discovering the mysteries of the unknown. It was more than prestige, though. It was a launching point for discussion. The unknown is fascinating, and a badge from another place lured interest.
Your career should be riddled with badges of the brands for which you’ve worked.
Think of it as your ‘Occupational Branding’. Each destination represents your unique experience, and separates you from your competition. Each stop is a point on your career roadmap, building a path for your future. It’s practical experience. Knowing how you handled a situation in the past will help better prepare you for a similar, future challenges.
You will not – and should not – work for one company your entire career.
It’s stifling to be with one company for too long because you don’t know what you don’t know. The skills you developed with previous employers attracts future employers, and the right balance of skills and experience is what will ultimately get you hired. It all comes down to how well you frame your specific career path for the interviewers. Invest your time in you, and prepare to tell your tattered career story.
David Rose is an author, candidate advocate, and the Vice President of Recruiting with YELLOW DOG Recruiting , a recruiting firm specializing in the placement of leaders in the hospitality and services industries. Follow David on Twitter @YELLOWDOG_01.