Street art of David Bowie with pink hair on red and yellow striped wall
Career coaching can help you to use your strengths to find a new career.  Street art by The Postman, Brighton.

Career Change, What Would Ziggy Stardust Do?

David Bowie achieved musical greatness during his long and varied career, including seven Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, estimated sales of 140 million albums and many millions of fans around the world.  Ziggy Stardust was one of Bowie’s most popular characters, created with the album entitled The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which has sold 7.5 million copies worldwide.

Lessons from some of David Bowie’s achievements can be translated to career change and job seeking.  My favourites are:

  • Use your strengths
  • Move with the times
  • Transfer your skills to new settings
  • Tell your story
  • Learn from other people

In my years of experience as a Career Coach, I’ve found that people who do these things are more successful at finding a new career that they love.

Use your strengths

Bowie maintained his relevance and popularity by always moving forward, making the most of his strengths and never being afraid to experiment.  Early on in his career Bowie considered singing to be lower on his list of strengths.  However, he knew that he was a remarkable songwriter and an impressive storyteller, these were some of his top strengths, so that was where he focused his energy.

Move with the times

Bowie had his first big hit with the single Space Oddity, re-released in 1969, just days before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to walk on the moon.  This awareness of current world events enabled Bowie to capture both the imagination and the emotion of music fans through his portrayal of character Major Tom, showing us that he was versatile, dynamic and able to move with the times.

In the mid 1970’s Bowie recognised that people wanted something different to the harshness of rock and punk music and moved to a New Romantic style as character The Thin White Duke.  In the video for the successful single Ashes to Ashes we see Bowie dressed in a Pierrot outfit with painted face, which illustrates how heavily he influenced later pop stars such as Boy George, Steve Strange and Spandau Ballet, again showing his continued popularity and relevance.

Transfer your skills to new settings

Creating and changing characters proved to be one of David Bowie’s top strengths.  Ziggy Stardust burst onto UK television screens on BBC Top of the Pops in 1972, during the performance of Starman, which rocked the nation and catapulted him to stardom.  During his subsequent album Aladdin Sane, Bowie employed the popularity of the character to straddle the divide between the alternative youth and the conventional mainstream through his hair style, long at the back (in the alternative style) and cropped at the sides (in the mainstream style) and of course bright red (in the David Bowie style!).

Tell your story

With each new look or character came an open mind and a new thought process, which energised Bowie to introduce different musical styles, appealing to fresh audiences from varied settings across the world. He told the story of his characters and in doing so maximised his strengths and created his own story in the minds of the public.

Learn from other people

Experimentation hugely appealed to Bowie.  His process of writing paragraphs then cutting up and shuffling phrases to become lyrics, which he introduced on his Diamond Dogs album and used again on the number one album Scary Monsters … and Super Creeps, demonstrates his strength for storytelling combined with his desire to constantly learn and grow.  He was apparently inspired by this technique after meeting writer William Burroughs.  Whilst collaborating with various artists, engineers and producers, such as experimental producer Brian Eno, Bowie seized opportunities to try new sounds and recording techniques, learning from the expertise of others and consequently attracting new audiences.

There is so much more to the story of David Bowie’s life and career. His music will always be relevant and the legend will live on. I’ve enjoyed learning about some of these highlights and adored seeing photographs of the outfits.

As an experienced career coach, I’ve helped many people to tell their story and move on to a new career they love.

I can help you to:

  • Boost your confidence
  • Know your worth
  • Find your passion
  • Get a better work life balance
  • Focus your time and energy

Find out how career coaching with me can help you to get what you want.

Click here to send me a message

Photograph of wall art in Brighton by The Postman, taken by Jo Murfin