Friday Favorites – Career Lessons From Popular TV Shows

Lessons can often come from unexpected places, such as from television shows. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, The Real Housewives, Arrested Development, or other popular television shows – read on! These 10 tips from popular shows give you perfect career-related advice, ranging from dealing with drama in the workplace to how to craft your personal brand, from dealing with your mistakes at work to how to deal with time management.

Kittens watching TV

The Walking Dead on Job Hunting

‘There aren’t zombies roaming the streets yet, but in some ways, the post-grad climate is not unlike the post-apocalyptic world facing the gang on The Walking Dead. It can be filled with uncertainty, anxiety and the occasional zombie-like former college roommate.’

One lesson from The Walking Dead is to always be on the lookout. In this show, someone in the group is always perched on Dale’s RV looking out for killer zombies. After you graduate college, you won’t need to search for zombies – you’ll need to search for jobs! Job hunting can be exhausting, just like running away from zombies can be exhausting, but your hard work will pay off once you score an interview! (Or kill a zombie!) For other tips on how to survive your post-grad life (or a zombie apocalypse), check out this article, Five Post-Grad Lessons From The Walking Dead.

Mad Men on Working Hard

‘Everyone scoffed when Peggy tried to break into the boys’ club at the agency, but it didn’t take long for her hard work and perseverance to pay off. She had to endure a fair amount of grief, but eventually she surpassed many of her naysayers and landed a role she loved.’

While you probably shouldn’t look up to the men of Mad Men’s conniving ways, you should look up to Peggy and how headstrong she is. Many people didn’t think Peggy could land a prestigious job, for she was only Don Draper’s secretary. But she had a dream in her mind and didn’t give up on it. Work hard for what you want and you’ll eventually climb your way up the ladder at work. For more tips from this show, check out 5 Career Lessons I’ve Learned From Mad Men.

The Big Bang Theory on Grad School

In this popular TV sitcom, four brainy scientists interact with a waitress, Penny, who lives across the hall from them. In this article, What The Big Bang Theory Teaches Us About Grad School, it states that those in the science fields may make fun of you if you stop at a masters degree.

‘Some people will not take you seriously if you stop at a masters. You know the saying, the masters is the new bachelors? Well now it’s becoming, the PhD is the new masters. Soon the post-doc is going to be the new PhD. If you can’t find a job, keep going back to school. But this will also narrow your job search,’ my older sister, Beth, said, who is currently attending grad school in Indianapolis.

If you’re thinking of going to grad school, don’t worry too much about being made fun of. ‘The show’s chemistry is not complex: It’s funny, we laugh. Take the grad school lessons with a grain of salt and a smile.’

Catfish Host on Success

‘When Nev Schulman found himself in the middle of an online fake relationship, he could have either been embarrassed and receded into a dark corner or have made a documentary chronicling his situation for the world to watch. He chose the latter.’ From Catfish Host Shares Advice.

Schulman found success unconventionally. ‘Catfish’ was originally a homemade movie turned into a television series on MTV. ‘‘I failed my way to success’,’ Schulman declared, quoting Thomas Jefferson. ‘I’ve done a lot of things that haven’t worked out.’ It’s okay to fail. Remember to pick yourself up, brush it off or laugh at yourself, and move on. The only way to be successful is to fail. And remember – not everything on the Internet is true!

Jersey Shore on Personal Branding

Jersey Shore. You either hate it or you love it. But if I showed you a group picture of the guidos and the guidettes, you could probably recognize and name every one. There’s Snooki, with her signature hair poof, there’s ‘The Situation,’ with his six-pack abs, and there’s Pauly D, with his spiky hair and cheesy smile.

These celebs have branded themselves by their looks, which is important in the workplace (just remember to take it easy on the tanning and wear professional clothes!), but there are more ways to brand yourself than by appearance. You can brand yourself by what you put on your online profiles, how you walk, talk, and even how you interact with others. You are living your personal brand 24/7. For more tips from our favorite guidos, read 5 Career Lessons From Jersey Shore, or check out The Power of Personal Branding.

The Real Housewives on Drama in the Workplace

‘If there’s one thing you learn from ‘The Real Housewives’ series, it’s that cattiness should be left in high school. We all went through our gossiping, rebel phase in high school, and that phase should not be brought into college or into the workplace.’ via Four Real Life Lessons of Reality TV.

‘The prevalence of reality TV has made it acceptable for almost anyone to ‘act out’ in the office,’ Amanda Mitchell, founder of Our Corporate Life, said. ‘There have always been ‘drama queens’ at work, but it seems that they are more accepted and that there are more of them now.’ via Coping With Drama in the Workplace. If you associate yourself with the workplace drama queen, or if you are the drama queen yourself, your credibility and reputation may suffer. Stay away from the drama and your satisfaction at work will increase.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians on Pushing Through Hard Times

If you feel like you’ve been slacking at work, dropping the ball on projects, or pushing aside work-related problems, if might feel like you are Scott Disick, the boyfriend of Kourtney, who we all love to hate. Scott and Kourtney have had struggles defining their relationship and he has repeatedly bailed on her, according to How The Kardashians Can Help You Succeed In College.

My advice? Don’t become a Scott Disick! Even when you get handed a project you might not be able to handle on your own, or if your coworker is driving you nuts, don’t push things under the rug, and don’t throw a temper tantrum like Mr. Disick. When things get tough at work, there are many ways you can ride it out. Talk to your coworkers to compromise, have a discussion with your supervisor, expand your social circle at work. Things will get a lot better, I promise.

Game of Thrones on Public Relations

‘Drinking while hunting on horseback might not be the wisest of decisions, as King Robert quickly learns. Using one’s better judgment in social media management is certainly not life or death, but a misguided or accidental post can cause problems.’

Make sure you don’t link your work social media accounts with your personal social media accounts, otherwise your tweet about your wild birthday party could do some serious damage to the company you work for. For more social media tips from the Stark family, Daenerys Targaryen, and your other favorite Game of Thrones characters, visit this article, 3 Social Media Lessons From Game of Thrones.

Arrested Development on Admitting When You Make a Mistake

There is rarely an episode that goes by without one of the main characters exclaiming with disdain, ‘I’ve made a huge mistake.’

When you make a mistake at work, own up to it! Your supervisor or boss will appreciate your honesty. The worst part about making a mistake is having to explain to your boss what went wrong. After that, you can learn from it and do better the next time. For more tips from this funny sitcom, check out 7 Career Lessons From Arrested Development.

Duck Dynasty on Time Management

A popular quote that the bearded men on Duck Dynasty like to live by is, ‘If you’re too busy to duck hunt or fish, you’re too busy.’ The Duck Dynasty family will occasionally leave their work to host donut-eating contests. But, at the end of the day, their work always gets done, according to 4 Management Lessons From Duck Dynasty.

Take the Robertson family’s words of wisdom and apply it to your job. Everyone needs a vacation once in a while! While I don’t recommend hosting donut-eating contests during your lunch break, take advantage of your weekends to de-stress and unwind. When you come back to work on Monday, you’ll be refreshed and ready to take on a new project. Your happiness and satisfaction will be sure to increase.

Here’s a bonus tip from Dr. Seuss – ‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.’

Take charge of your life! You have so many opportunities to connect with people, volunteer for a good cause, or work for your dream company. Forge your own path and make things happen. ‘You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So … get on your way!’ For more tips from our favorite children’s book author, check out 15 Social Media Tips from Dr. Suess.

Do you have any career-related tips from popular TV shows?

Photo by shellac.

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.