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It’s Shark Week! Take Some Career Advice from the Great White Shark

What would August be without Shark Week? This programming started in 1988 and has grown in popularity year after year. Ratings for the Discovery Channel double during this week dedicated to all things “jawsome.”  (Yes, that is part of the Shark Week fan vernacular.) Let’s dive deeper and see what the great white shark can teach us about career success.

Great White Shark (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Be Curious
Great white sharks are intelligent and curious creatures. This is exhibited through their apparently playful behavior at times. They are able to distinguish smells and detect electromagnetism. Unfortunately at times they also use their mouths to test or taste the object of their curiosity. Take a tip from the sharks and arouse your curiosity to explore your surroundings, including your customers, associates and co-workers. Rather than walking blindly through your career, be alert to better understand others.

Be Interactive
If you saw the classic film Jaws, you may think of the great white shark as a solitary predator.  However, they do have a social life. They network and commune with other sharks for survival. According to Dr. Salvador Jorgenson, these sharks share a migration routine and an area to which they return to congregate.  This is the great white’s version of the networking group.  Their hang-out of choice may be off the California Coast, but you can follow the lead of the great white and network online and in the real world at conferences, workshops and industry meet-ups.

Have a Competitive Advantage
The great white shark is able to maintain a higher body temperature than the surrounding water and surrounding organisms. This biological advantage enables the great white shark to react quicker, move faster and outlast the competition. What advantage can you cultivate to help you gain the competitive advantage?  Analyze your market and your competition continuously to keep your edge.

Sharpen your teeth and your career skills with these tips from these fierce creatures.  So go ahead…take a big bite out of your career.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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