ROMANCING THE STONE Why Your Career is Like a Treasure Hunt
By Jessica Sitomer

Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner), a clumsy romance writer, is thrust into an adventure when her sister is kidnapped in Columbia and her ransom is a treasure map that Joan must deliver. This goal isn’t an easy one. Joan doesn’t speak Spanish and winds up on the wrong bus, the bus hits a truck and she has no transportation, there is no one to help her but a corrupt policeman, until Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) comes to her rescue. Jack is more interested in the treasure map and the two endure challenge after challenge, though they never lose sight of their goals.

Does this sound like your entertainment career pursuits? No? I beg to differ. Let’s compare how Jack’s pursuit of the treasure (aka Joan finding her sister) is just like your pursuit of your career:

1. Jack meets Jane: This is the moment when he has agreed to help her and soon finds out there is a treasure map involved.

For you it’s the moment you discovered that pursuing your career was something you wanted very badly and that achieving success would be like navigating a treasure map (difficult to decipher, but worth the reward). So you take your map and start your journey…

2. Mudslides: Jane & Jack slip down a mudslide taking them off course.

On your way to finding your treasured success, you, too can go off course. Maybe you think pursuing one direction will take you where you want to go, only to discover you are lost, and while you see that big “X” on your treasure map, you’re not sure which path gets you there now. But you keep moving…  

3. Untrustworthy People: Jack & Jane were being pursued by many untrustworthy foes including a corrupt police officer.  

As you pursue your treasured success, people come in and out of your life. Some offer to help and don’t follow through, others take advantage of you, and still others are so competitive that they make your journey unbearable. With your eye on your treasure, you keep those you trust close and keep moving…
4. Gorge Crossing: Jane carefully step by step walked across a rickety bridge. It was unstable (like our industry) and just when she thought she’d made it, a wooden plank breaks beneath her foot. Clutching a vine, she swings to the brush below, lost once again.

You set goals, you follow them step by step, and then one day, the rug gets ripped out from beneath you and all the progress you made has gotten you no where, and once again you feel lost. You pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and set off to make some new goals…

5. Asking for Help: Jane asked for help in Columbia, but her inability to speak Spanish got her in trouble. When she met Jack she begged for help and then finally paid for his help.

When you first started your pursuit you asked for help, you may not remember, but you did, because you believed in the treasure at the end of your map. Along the way it may have gotten complicated, you may now feel uncomfortable asking for help, maybe you don’t think you know the right way to communicate what you need, but it’s necessary to ask for help in order to continue your journey…
6. Poisonous Snakes: Jack cut the head off of a poisonous snake slithering over Jane’s shoulder.

Have you noticed a theme here? Neither Jack nor Jane are pursuing their treasures alone. They have each other for guidance, protection, and company. With whom are you experiencing your journey? Many “poisonous” people may show up along the way, you need a partner to help you navigate, to protect your feelings, to keep you company. And you choose to take this journey with…
The movie has a happy ending. And your career can give you all of the fulfillment and success of a Hollywood ending, the question is how are you pursuing the journey? If you look at it as a map to follow, obstacles to overcome, people to share the journey with, and an incredible treasure at the end, you may just have some fun in this pursuit of success.  

And Action!

1.Create your treasure map. Your big goal is the “X” and the smaller goals are the milestones of the journey.

2. Find your “Treasure Hunters”. Who are the people who will help you on your journey?

3. Identify your current obstacles and commit to powering through them. Your treasure is worth it.

4. Watch a movie like Romancing the Stone or National Treasure to see how unstoppable a true treasure hunter is and take on those strengths.

Like Jack and Jane, if the treasure is precious enough, there’s nothing that can stop you from getting it. Go get your treasure!