Friday Favorites – How Pop Culture Can Help You Get a Job

This past week, I’ve noticed and tweeted a few articles about pop culture and how it relates to job searching. I began looking on Brazen Careerist (one of my new favorite websites) for more great articles and found most of what I will share with you. I found some other articles around the web, and they’re equally as good and eye-opening. All of the ten articles are very diverse when it comes to what kind of celebrity/television show/movie/etc. they’re explaining. I think there’s something for everyone here!

Movie Posters in Trivio!

  • I recently got interested in the AMC television drama Mad Men. Don Draper is the man I love to hate, and his lesson goes, ‘Don Draper didn’t get his dream job through normal channels—and you might not, either. In today’s competitive job environment, you’re going to have to be creative to land that job.‘ Check out more of the 5 Unexpected Workplace Lessons From Mad Men.
  • Now, if you’re more interested in Disney movies (I mean, come on. Who doesn’t enjoy a great Disney movie once in a while?!), each of them carry a unique lesson of their own. One of my favorite Disney movies is Alice in Wonderland, and a sneak peak of the 7 Grown-Up Lessons From Your Favorite Disney Movies goes, ‘Alice might have dozed off while her sister was trying to help her study, but Wonderland was too intriguing to ignore. Don’t feel the need to stay trapped where you are, doing what you’re doing. If you’ve always wondered what it might be like to quit your jobs and become a freelance photographer, there’s only one way you’ll get to experience what that feels like!’
  • The movie Forrest Gump is chalk full of lessons, memorable quotes and superb acting. One of his famous quotes goes, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ ‘There is a lot of truth to it – life never turns out the way you planned. Don’t be scared to take a chance and bite into something new, you might just like it.’ This was taken from the short and sweet list, What Forrest Gump Can Teach You About Being Successful.
  • After President Obama won re-election on November 6, Erin Palmer found inspiration in his speech and wrote this gem – Valuable Career Lessons from President Obama’s Victory Speech. One lesson from the article goes, ‘Even if you think you know better than some of your peers, genuinely listen to what they have to say. You can learn the most from the people you least expect to teach you.
  • Katy Perry and Jay-Z have it figured out. They know all about personal branding, and it seems effortless. If these two famous singers can build their personal brand, you can too. Take advice from Katy Perry’s career, ‘Think less, do more. It’s that simple. It’s why James Bond shoots first, and asks questions later. Act first, ask questions later. Stop talking yourself out of things before you even start. Katy Perry didn’t ask your permission to bombard your radio with music that personifies how we all want to live. A life where you take action, knowing its a mistake, just to come out the other side, invigorated and ready to do it again. Do something. Anything.’ This article is full of empowerment, so if you need a confidence boost, read What Katy Perry and Jay-Z Can Teach You About Personal Branding.
  • If you’re into video games, whether it be Halo, Tetris or Pac-Man, 7 Video Games That Secretly Prepared You for Work is the article for you. I’m sure everyone’s played Tetris at one point or another, and their lesson states, ‘Always plan ahead, even if something seems months and months away. The more preparation you do now, the easier it’ll be when that deadline looms. It also gives you ample time to adjust on the fly, should emergencies or even common problems creep up.’
  • For those of you who grew up in the ’90’s, you know about Boy Meets World, Full House, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I watched Full House when I was a kid, and their work lesson, which definitely applies to real life as well, goes, ‘What happens at the end of every episode of Full House? The sappy music comes on and the members of the Tanner family have a heart-to-heart about their latest conflict and the episode concludes with a hug. Hug (or talk) it out.‘ To check out the Boy Meets World and Sabrina the Teenage Witch lessons, read 3 Life (And Career) Lessons from 90’s TV Shows.
  • If you’re a fan of reality television, did you know some shows can teach you about personal branding? ‘Whether someone gets kicked off an island or goes on a blind date with a stranger, the spontaneous nature of reality TV requires that its protagonists adapt quickly and seamlessly to change. Similarly, recognize that today’s market makes industries particularly vulnerable to rapid evolution and change. Therefore, any brand strategy should be very fluid and adaptable.‘ Read more tips here: What Reality Television Can Teach You About Branding.
  • For all you sports fan, especially basketball fans, I’m sure you were aware that this summer the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the 2012 NBA Western Conference Final. They’re the seventh youngest team in the league with an average player age of 25. With millennials, also known as Generation Y (who were born between 1982 and 2002) already taking over the workplace, it’s becoming clear that this younger generation can teach us new things about work, and the writer of this article, 3 Things The Oklahoma City Thunder Can Teach Us About Our Youngest Employees, says, ‘You get old when you stop learning. Age isn’t a function of time—it’s a function of one’s willingness to learn. Millennials, it seems, have an undying love for learning. This desire for learning doesn’t end at college graduation. Millennials want professional growth opportunities on the job.
  • If you’re a movie buff, like myself, you love watching movies that have a lesson at the end. When it comes to your career, a funny movie that depicts having a horrible 9 to 5 job in a stuffy office is Office Space. Their lesson goes, ‘Co-workers are everything. The best thing about this movie is the cast and how the characters work together (and sometimes completely mess with each other). Co-workers teach us how you can stand even the worst job when there are awesome people involved.‘ I definitely agree how coworkers can affect how much you like your job. For more lessons based on movies, check out the 8 Best Career Movies of All Time.

I hope some of these pop culture icons, movies or television shows have spoken to you and you have taken a lesson or two away from it. Did I miss anything?! Let me know in the comments, or e-mail me at!

Photo by madebymangotree.