Career Lessons From the Zombie Apocalypse

Q: Why didn’t the zombie go to school? A: He felt rotten.

Bad puns aside, zombies are a hot topic in schools right now. And when we say “zombies,” we’re not talking about students who stayed up all night studying, but the dazed and battered creatures staggering through comics, television shows and blockbuster movies. With the approach of Halloween and a new season of The Walking Dead, talking about the undead can be a good way to awaken students’ interest in careers.

Ask your students: Could they survive a zombie apocalypse? Which careers would they choose to help them boost their odds of survival? Some of the careers XAP features in our career planning information could help.

Ask anyone who’s seen a zombie movie: zombie fever can spread quickly. Epidemiologists would be able to track the progress. They unravel medical mysteries — and talk about a classic medical mystery! Epidemiologists have to learn to solve problems creatively. They notice patterns in the spread of disease

Emergency response managers are an obvious choice. They coordinate the work of emergency responders like physicians and firefighters. They work with the community to create plans to reduce the impact of environmental disasters.

How would psychologists fare in the apocalypse? They might try to explore the motivation behind zombie behavior. Why do zombies follow the crowd so blindly?

Like many things in life, defeating zombies successfully all comes down to preparation and creativity.  Sounds a bit like career planning, doesn’t it? If we follow a crowd without thinking, we can easily end up in a career that doesn’t engage us. The result could be feeling a bit like the walking dead during the workday — and that’s a scary thought.

Obviously, the zombie apocalypse will only happen in the entertainment world (or will it?). And the good news is that students can prevent becoming career zombies by investing a bit of time to find careers that would be a good fit. Which ones match their interests? What will let them to live the lifestyle they want? What education is required to reach those goals? (As with surviving a zombie apocalypse, preparation is the key.)  Asking these questions can help students build their own disaster prevention plan.halloween-banner

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