Mario Castles and Careers

Posted on October 17, 2019

Mario Castle

Today’s Buzz is by Christian M. Williams @MyPublicTweeter

I grew up in the 1990s and a popular video game on Nintendo during this time was Mario…it was a big part of my experience growing up as an only child. There are countless levels in Mario where the setting is a castle; on your journey (as Mario), through the castle, you must climb various ladders or chain-links in order to advance to next point in the game. Mario must climb in order to get to the “boss” and beat/win the level.

You would think these ladders are straight forward and he just climbs upwards until he reaches the top. However, as Mario climbs a ladder it eventually ends. He needs to make that terrifying jump to the next ladder, navigate down a pulley system headed in the wrong direction and/or hop over dangerous obstacles.

Pulley SystemIt is scary because there are also creatures chasing after you. If you get scared and hesitate or jump too soon you could end up falling into lava, be crushed by a pulley system and/or attacked by the unknown. Sometimes what is scary is that while you are moving forward, the ladder or pulley system is taking you in a downward direction…you have to go down in order to go horizontal (over towards the right) and back up. It feels like you have lost ground when you have to navigate into the unknown.

I loved my previous job (I held the position for 5+ years), I loved my role, I loved what I did! I could have stayed in that role forever, I suppose. However, I realized I had more climbing to do and that there was no direct ladder for me to climb up to get to “the boss.” My former supervisor and I often spoke about my professional development plans and opportunities; she inspired me to take the leap and reach for new rungs, new successes and new opportunities (this is how I ended up in local government in the first place). I am happy I took the leap!

It is scary going into the unknown but if I have learned anything from Mario it is to keep navigating the castle; eventually you will find your way.

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