CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 14, 2013
version 3, draft 3

Six Degrees of Job Separation

Six Degrees of Separation, Career

Initially proposed in 1929 by Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy, six degrees of separation is the belief that anyone on the planet can be connected through a string of no more than six acquaintances.

Since the publication of this theory, many individuals and organisations have put it to the test, including web mogul Microsoft. After checking a whopping 30 billion electronic messages, they proved that 'six degrees' actually does work, well, to an extent anyway! By studying this archive of messages, they discovered that any two complete strangers are separated on average by 6.6 degrees, which basically means you can be connected to Keith Richards or Prince Charles by a string of seven or fewer introductions!

Due to the popularity of this notion, there is now a game called The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, in which movie aficionados challenge one another to link Hollywood actors to Mr Bacon in six moves or less.

With this in mind, I thought I’d conduct my own experiment and attempt to connect two seemingly unrelated occupations to one another in just six moves…

Flint Knapper

Knapping is an ancient art which involves crafting stone into tools, strikers or flintlock firearms. One of the county’s oldest working flint mills is located in Cheddleton, Stoke-on-Trent which is famously known as The Potteries.

Rock Musician

Aside from its incredible ability to produce a large selection of world-class ceramics, Stoke-on-Trent boasts a few other notable exports including legendary rock and roll guitarist and former Guns ‘n’ Roses member, Slash.

Slash seems to have developed a creative flair from his parents and his mother, Ola Hudson, designed some of David Bowie’s most iconic stage costumes during her career.

Costume Designer

Working closely with scenic and lighting coordinators, the costume designer has the often pressured responsibility of bringing characters to life for film, theatre or television productions.

With a whopping 8 Academy Awards under her belt, Edith Head is arguably one of the most accomplished and influencial costume designers of all time. Edith is from California’s San Bernadino City, home of the official McDonald’s Museum.

McDonalds Crew Member

Like all other fast food establishments, McDonalds simply couldn’t exist without a dedicated team of floor staff to maintain the premises, take orders and serve food in an efficient and friendly manner.

It is known that many famous faces started their working lives under ‘The Golden Arches’, one of them being former Chief of Staff under George W. Bush, Andy Card. Mr Card is the person who famously whispered the devastating news of 9/11 to Bush while he was reading a book to school children.

School Teacher

Whether in a primary, secondary, college, university, public or private school, the teacher has the noble task of providing our youth with the education and skills to eventually get jobs of their own.

A particularly noteworthy historical figure who started their career as a teacher is once US President, John Adams. He graduated from Harvard and taught at a school in Worcester, Massachusetts for several years before moving onto other ventures.

Country Leader

Being a president or prime minister is one of the most powerful and high-pressured positions you can have, and although they are not always popular figures, when in power these people always seem to leave their mark (for better or for worse!).   

So there you have it. From flint knapper to president in 6 steps! I do hope this has offered a little entertainment or inspiration – and just think, you may be closer to getting that dream job than you even realise!

 

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