Career Advice From the World’s Most Popular Superheroes

Jolene Pilgrim
29 Aug 2017

It seems as if everywhere we turn today theaters, television and even online streaming services are chalk full of super-powered characters.  Capes, laser vision, super speed a, d spandex, oh my!  While you may be tempted to dismiss these glimpses into extraordinary lives of incredible individuals as fantasy best left to the kiddos, we think the genre may have something to offer career minded folks grounded in the real world, as well.  What can superheroes teach us about our jobs, careers and more?  As it turns out, quite a bit!

Superman: The Lifelong Idealist

Any discussion of supersized heroes of course should begin with the iconic blue and red caped, broad shouldered man of steel.  Superman may have been born on the since destroyed exotic planet of Krypton, but his earthly upbringing was as humble as they get.  Maybe it was his own good nature or perhaps the upbringing afforded by Jonathan and Martha Kent in Smallville, U.S.A., but Superman certainly knows how to give back and find happiness in serving those who have the least.

Despite lightning fast speed, laser vision, super strength and that whole flight thing, Superman tends to keep things cool in his daily life, preferring the quiet and unassuming alter ego of Clark Kent.  Clark’s day job as a reporter with the Daily Planet, fighting for justice by exposing corruption, might seem like a bit of a let down considering all the potentially glamorous or lucrative potential gigs his skill set could have landed him.

The lesson to be learned from Superman’s story is one familiar to those looking for careers in criminal justice, public service or any other field that gives back to those in need.  Regardless of your abilities or upbringing, choose a career that calls to your passions and desires.  Serving others, even if it doesn’t land you in the limelight, can be just as fulfilling as a mansion in the country or your name splashed in papers.  And hey, who knows, maybe you’ll end up with your own crystal-like Fortress of Solitude and being handed the keys to the city for all of your good work.

Batman: Do What Your Love and Never Work a Day in Your Life

When everyone lined up and voted in High School for the person most likely to do good by others, the uber-wealthy, consummate playboy Bruce Wayne probably wasn’t at the top of many lists.  With an established bank account, courtesy of his deceased parents and Wayne Enterprises continuing to be managed by business minded CEO’s, relaxing on his laurels probably looked okay to young Bruce-ey.

Instead of living it up in the lap of luxury, Bruce took that bankroll and a passion for tech and set up shop in the sparse surroundings of an underground cave.  With no distractions and a hefty dose of computer software, Bruce Wayne got down to doing what he loved; fighting crime as the Batman.  Sure he may be a bit broody with methods that border on questionable, but when Jim Gordon needs help to rid Gotham of the newest super villain, everyone knows just who you call.

What Bruce Wayne cum Batman teaches us as job seekers is that a passion and calling for your work are bound to make you happier than piles of money.  If you’re lucky enough to land a job that pays well, don’t just sit back on your laurels.  Hard work lets Bruce Wayne play hard too, with plenty of cool toys to zoom about Gotham on and never a lack of a date or party to attend.  Sure, you may run into a joker or two along the path to fame, fortune, and fulfillment, but what fun would life be if you took the easy route?

Spiderman: Never Give Up on Your Road to Success

Starting out in the world straight out of high school can be tough.  Add in the death of your beloved uncle and getting a dose of superpowers courtesy of a bite from a radioactive spider and the hurdles to trying to financially support yourself in the big city can seem a bit daunting.

Peter Parker aka Spiderman never let any of that stop him in pursuit of both financial security and honoring the legacy of good ole Uncle Ben while fighting crime and protecting the innocent.  From the painstaking process of learning how to use his new found web action, to gearing up with a serious physical training regimen, it’s going to take some hard work and dedication to meet your long term goals.

Speaking of dedication, Peter Parker was rejected numerous times from his pursuits to be a photographer for the Daily Bugle.  Through persistence, follow up and innovative thinking, Peter was finally able to use his negotiating skills to snag a long term position snapping pics that would end up on the front page.  Bonus points for Peter choosing a job that catered to his newfound ability to get the perfect shot thanks to his ability to scale tall buildings and sling from rooftop to rooftop quickly to the scene of New York City’s breaking news.

The Flash: Make the Best Out of Adversity

While the Flash may not be the most well-known of our super hero job inspirations, his back story is certainly one from which we could all learn a lesson or two.  Already a successful forensic scientist, Barry Gordon may have had just about the worst timing in history being jolted by lightning coincidentally after a lab accident doused his body in an elaborate chemical concoction.  The accident could have been deadly, but instead, it graced Barry with super speed, a handy trait but one that was initially difficult to adapt to.

Out on the job market, potential career seekers can learn much from the Flash’s ability to make lemonade out of a tragic accident.  After trial, error, and persistence, mastering the new found skills allowed Barry to not only perform his day job with more speed but also allowed him to expand his role into a crime fighting superhero, replete with cape and cowl.  It may not have been immediately obvious how the newly found zoom would benefit the career he was passionate about, but with some trial and error Flash was able to overcome his hurdles and turn a negative accident into some seriously positive outcomes.

Iron Man: A Little Bit of Confidence Goes a Long Way

We’ve all been at that point in our job hunting adventures when nothing seems to be going your way.  How you handle when you’re feeling less than awesome can make the difference between getting ahead or staying stagnant.  When it comes to superheroes that hold their heads up high, Tony Stark aka Iron Man certainly has confidence in spades.

While he was a successful businessman before hooking himself up with an internal nuclear reactor to power a super powered suit, Tony Stark’s fake it until you make it personality, backed up with a healthy dose of dedication and perseverance, skyrocketed him to personal and crime fighting stardom.

You may not have Iron Man’s bank roll, but approaching the career market with a confident attitude will never serve you wrong.  Be sure to stay polite and professional but if you know your stuff in your field, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and experiences.  This could make the difference in a close call between candidates, tipping the scale well into your favor.

Jolene Pilgrim