I’ve been speaking with several headhunters recently. A good thing, since I am looking for a job after all. And luckily, two of the three I spoke with were lovely people with great insights on how to make me more marketable, appealing, sellable. The third one will surely have a special little cubicle reserved in hell, but I digress.
During my chats, the same phrase came up over and over again. It seems I’m the “out of the box” candidate. What, you ask, does that mean? Well, as far as I can make out, my background and career path are not typical, at least for the positions I applied to, making me the less obvious choice. No, I haven’t been a circus clown (though I think I worked with one or two), and then switched to physicist, then sheep shearer. Nor did I go through a series of job-related ‘no, this isn’t what I want’, like someone standing in front of an open fridge late at night.
What I did was adapted to the course changes and challenges in my path, learned along the way, and in the end traveled a more curvy career route than some. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t driven or ambitious, just flexible. Problem is, thinking ‘out-of-the-box’ is often touted as an asset, but being ‘out-of-the-box’ as a job candidate isn’t. At least not in a crappy job market when standing behind you is a long queue of boxes ready to jump into the square hole being filled. Know what? I’m O.K. with that. I have to be. It’s my past, and there isn’t a hell of a lot I can do about it anyway. I don’t have box envy either. My box-less-ness made me what I am today, and it’s likely what will get me my next job. It always has. So I don’t have square edges. I’m curvier, squishier, like human silly putty. I can fit into a lot of different spaces and am good at picking up things as I do. Maybe without a defined shape I can put more in, fill more, like a fabulous Ferragamo tote. Or maybe I’m more like a bowl, where all the best ingredients mix and create something even better. Everyone knows making from scratch is always better than something that came out of a box. So, I think I’ll just embrace my lack of a box. I couldn’t fit into one anymore, anyway.
Seems appropriate that this weekend we celebrate something in a super BOWL (sorry…but I had to go there.) And to go with Sunday’s game (GO BIG BLUE!) a big batch of cookies is the winner. These Coconut Oat Cookies are crunchy on the edges, chewy in the middle, and guaranteed to give you the energy to scream at the TV through all 4 quarters. Think of them as a good way to get your daily oatmeal. Or, as Miss Piggy says, “a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand”!
Coconut Oat Cookies
Yield: About 38 cookies
1 cup flour
1 cup ‘old fashioned’ oats (don’t use quick cook kind)
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
3 TBSP Lyle's Golden Syrup (you could use agave or Karo syrup if you can’t find Lyle’s, but it is worth it to try to find it – it’s delicious on pancakes or oatmeal too!)
2 TBSP water
Zest of 1 lime
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, coconut and sugar and lime zest and set aside.
Melt the butter, syrup, 2 TBSP water and salt in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until butter has melted. Add to dry ingredients, stirring well with a wooden spoon.
Drop by tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet and flatten down with the back of the spoon or bottom of a juice glass to spread them into 2 ½ to 3” cookies. These cookies don’t spread much, so you can fit them fairly close together on the sheet.
Bake until the cookies are light golden on the bottom (do not allow them to get too dark)- about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Calories: approximately 115 per cookie