8 Aesop’s fables hiding the ultimate career advice

A core staple in many a school assembly, the fables composed by Greek storyteller Aesop hold many morals. Whilst they taught us rights and wrongs as children, we can still apply their lessons to our busy lives and careers as adults.

1. The Crow and the Pitcher

Unable to drink from a pitcher of water, a thirsty crow assesses a way to make the water come to their beak. By dropping pebbles into the pitcher, the water level rises, and the crow can drink. Hardship is merely an opportunity for innovation.

2. The Lion and the Hare

A lion stalks down a hare, gets distracted, and chases a larger, meatier stag instead. But it can’t catch the stag – and loses the hare. The moral is set yourself realistic goals… And don’t set yourself up to fail.

3. The old Hound

An elderly dog chases a boar for a hunter, but is unable to kill it due to the ailments of old age. The hunter begins to beat the hound – but it speaks up to remind the hunter of the service the dog has provided for the years. Focus on achievements rather than mistakes: it’s easier to motivate with a carrot than a stick.

4. The Lioness and the Vixen

When two mothers boast about their young, the fox points out she birthed a litter of cubs versus a lionesses one. But that single cub is a lion. The secret to success is quality not quantity… and working on creating something you can be proud of, rather than just for the sake of it.

5. The Lion, the Fox and the Ass

After hunting together, the ass split the catches into three equal piles. The lion promptly ate the ass, and asked the fox to divide the meat. The fox complied, giving the lion the majority of the meat. It is wise to learn from the mistakes of others – and only an ass would provoke the wrath of a lion!

6. The Fox and the Grapes

Unable to reach a bunch of juicy grapes, a fox slinks off muttering that they probably weren’t even very good. No one likes a sore loser: it pays to work hard rather than give up and be negative about something you might lack expertise on.

7. The Ass and its Purchaser

A man takes a donkey home on a trial basis, and lets it hang out with his other donkeys. It immediately buddies up to a particularly lazy ass, so he returns it. The people you surround yourself with have an impact on your attitude – and how others perceive you. Choose your work friends wisely.

8. The Ants and the Grasshopper

Whilst the ants spent summer working hard to collect food, the grasshopper bounced around having a laugh. Come winter, the grasshopper was dying of hunger, whilst the ants soldiered on. Working hard is the only guaranteed way to succeed – and you should always be thinking of the bigger picture.


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