Career Lessons from TV

Because TV Doesn't Really Rot Your Brain

Archive for August 2009

“Eureka”- Embracing FAIL

leave a comment »

Colin Ferguson and Jordan Hinson in "Eureka"

Colin Ferguson and Jordan Hinson in "Eureka"

There’s a funny side, a painful side, and a tragic side to failing. What the last episode of “Eureka” shows us is the most meaningful side of failure- the “successful” side.

In “You Don’t Know Jack”, Sheriff Carter’s daughter Zoe (played by Jordan Hinson) is at a loss to decide what memories to add to Eureka’s version of a time capsule. From her perspective, all the memories she has of Eureka are of the mistakes she has made. Henry Deacon (played by Joe Morton), the mayor of Eureka does his best to change her point of view on mistakes and failure. “..mistakes are what makes the exceptional, possible” and “..mistakes can lead to new directions. Sometimes the wrong path, leads to the right path so just give it time, and you will find your OWN path“,  Henry sages. Never get tired of hearing that.

It’s growing trend in corporate culture to embrace mistakes and failures in order achieve greater success more quickly. Arguably one of the best examples of companies and employees embracing failure is a much socially shared video produced by Honda “FAILURE- The Secret to Success“.

I’ve been waiting to blog about this for a long time. It really is the one idea that keeps me going. Hopefully you have been, or will be working for a long time. In that time, if you ever fail or make a mistake, you’re actually doing it RIGHT. It’s hard to get anywhere much less know any real success unless you make mistakes and fall on your butt sometimes. Honda’s employees aren’t the only ones to realize it takes failure to achieve success. Any successful individual who’s above-board will tell you it takes a lot of failing to achieve success. Anyone you think is successful and hasn’t failed is either really good at hiding or lying about their mistakes, period.

No matter what mistakes you’ve made or if you’re the featured subject on the FAIL blog, if you learn from the past, let it inspire ideas about the future, believe in yourself and your dreams, you’ll end up being thankful for those mistakes when you finally hold success in your hands.

Got a story where failure led to success? Post it here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

The “Royal Pains” of Self-Employment

leave a comment »

Hank faces the possible end of HankMed in "Royal Pains"

Hank faces the possible end of HankMed in "Royal Pains"

In the season finale of “Royal Pains”, we see HankMed coming apart at the seems. Divya’s getting married and Evan has underhandedly lost all the company’s money in a scam involving his father. While the episode can illustrate the pitfalls of running your own business, there are other issues to consider when considering self-employment.

While Hank up until now has been successful working for himself as a concierge doctor, the circumstances around his venture into self-employment aren’t exactly typical. Like any other life changing decision, there are factors to consider before going down this road. Aside from the entrepreneurial questions you have to answer, there are also financial, legal and personality issues that factor into a successful business. Martha E. Mangelsdorf provides a brief questionnaire of all the things to consider before working for yourself in “Should You Try Self-employment? 12 Things to Consider“.

Having tried self-employment myself, I can say the article asks some very good questions as well as providing other resources to help you start your own business. I can also say that it takes a lot of soul-searching to decide whether or not you’re suited for self employment. You’ll need passion and ability to manage and minimize risk to keep your business both profitable and personally rewarding. While the season finale ends in a cliffhanger, you know Hank will use his uncanny ability to think on his feet to save his practice and “probably” his relationship with Jill. If you can think on your feet too, that’s a big plus in working for yourself.

As the star of your own show, take a page from Hank’s story. As he did in the Pilot, put some serious thought in before starting your own business. It could mean the difference between a defining success or a forgettable failure.

What are your questions about starting your own business? Post it here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm

“Royal Pains”- The Ground Rules of Flirting in the Workplace

leave a comment »

OK, so I’ve written a post on a similar subject in ” ‘Royal Pains’ – Dating In The Workplace” , but there’s a slightly different angle that’s also a staple of  the workplace and an admittedly  entertaining part of the TV show- flirting.

Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint in "Royal Pains"

Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint in "Royal Pains"

As I’ve said before, this one isn’t going to be something to help you ace your next interview, or get you that raise you’ve needed , like,  ‘forever’, but it’s something that’s part of the workplace environment that can do serious damage to your career if you’re not careful.  In “Nobody’s Perfect”, Jill’s (almost) ex-husband  Charlie (played by Bruno Campos),  doesn’t really want to make the divorce final, and in subtle and not-so-subtle ways flirts with her in an attempt to win her back. First a trip down memory lane, and then signing the divorce papers “Give me one more chance”. Complicates (but makes for good TV) things between Jill and Hank.

While it’s fun to watch workplace flirting and romance on TV, the twists and turns when they’re happening to you probably won’t be nearly as fun. While dating is common in a place you’re stuck 40 or more hours a week, flirting is even more so. Even though it isn’t as clearly defined as dating, there are still boundaries to respect and rules to follow if you don’t want to ruin your job. Mary Lorenz has some pointers, all the way through to relationship phase in “Is It OK to Flirt at Work?“. Highlights from what Lorenz writes is to keep it relatively clean (i.e. PG rated), develop good relationships with your cowokers first so they know where you’re coming from, pay attention to nonverbal feedback, and know your audience. If the two of you like to take it to the next level, Lorenz writes that you should both be upfront about intentions.

For me, flirting is like my sense of humor- I don’t mean to be, it just comes out that way. One rule I’ve always had is that I wouldn’t initiate flirting,  unless I knew the other person relatively well enough that they wouldn’t kick me in my man bits for doing so.  In the end,  I’d say it’s harmless, but unless you like sexual harrassment seminars, my advice is keep a leash on it, will ya?

Think flirting’s OK at work? Post your thoughts here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

When Clients Become “Royal Pains”

leave a comment »

If you’re in any business where you have to keep a client happy, you’re inevitably going to run into one that doesn’t know, or doesn’t care about boundaries. On the latest episode of “Royal Pains”, Hank faces one of his most difficult clients yet. Thankfully, unless you’re a concierge doctor, you won’t have to save your client’s life with the contents of someone’s purse. You just need to know the tricks to handling ‘that’ kind of customer.

In “Am I Blue?” Hank has to help a client’s father (played by Andrew McCarthy) overcome drug addiction. As patients go, drug addicts aren’t the favorites of health care professionals. They lie, cheat, and firmly believe there’s an easy way out. Even after Hank saves him from a crash treatment gone awry (which Hank refused to assist him in), He still manages to keep a stash on him until finally his son catches him and takes him to a drug treatment center himself.

While Hank had some help keeping his patient in line, all you may have to deal with an unruly client is some sage advice. Jun Loayza shares some pointers in “Dealing with a Needy Client“. As Loayza writes, it’s important to set expectations about what you’re delivering and how you deliver it. Loayza also writes that you should stand firm on your ground rules and if the client is beyond reason, re-evaluate whether or not that client is worth keeping.

Difficult Clients Problems Can be Solved (Or Not)

I’ve had my share of  ‘those’ clients myself. The way I see it, if you strip away the drama and the perception that the world is going to end, it’s just another problem to be solved. The problem I refer to is a matter of compromised trust. Whether you can repair that trust with clarifying the issue, escalating it to someone better paid to deal with it (if you’re the owner, consider making a referral to your competitor), or just listening, it all depends on the situation. Just remember that a business arrangement has to benefit all parties, or else it may be best to part ways.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 19, 2009 at 2:55 pm

“Burn Notice”- Stay Motivated On Your Job Hunt

leave a comment »

I know I know. The show is on mid-season hiatus now, but the story line holds timely lessons for your job search. Like many, I’ve been looking for new career opportunities for some time. With all the effort  I’m putting in to continue my career, it’s not easy staying focused and motivated.

Jeffrey Donovan as Micahel Westen on "Burn Notice"

Jeffrey Donovan as Micahel Westen on "Burn Notice"

As I’ve said before, Michael Westen is a very driven individual. He knows how to balance pursuing his goals with biding his time until he can make his next move. No matter who he’s helping, or how many times he’s geting beat up or nearly killed, he stays motivated in the pursuit of his goals. Like Michael, the only way you’ll get anywhere is to stay motivated in your job hunt.

Eye On Th Prize

John Gordon shares some tips on staying motivated in your job search in “From Fired…to Fired Up“. Aside from losing the anger, having clear goals to pursue, staying humble and staying open minded as Gordon writes, I can also add that it’s really hard looking for a job on your own. If you don’t have friends and family members who can help you network and get referrals, try social networking sites like Linkedin and Twitter to meet people in the same boat, as well contacts that can get you hired. Like Michael Westen says in the series, you won’t live for very long unless you put your trust in somebody.

If you know that you’re not alone and that others are interested in your success, the hunt goes a lot smoother.

Got a tip trick to stay motivated? Post it here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm

“Royal Pains”- Blog Your Way to a Job

leave a comment »

A genius move by the folks at USA Network highlights a new trend in today’s job search. The “Royal Pains” website now features a real-life doctor blogging about the medical conditions featured on the show and questions from the fans. If you’re in the job hunt, you could use blogging to show off your expertise, as well as your writing and communication skills.

Dr. Irving blogs for "Royal Pains"

Dr. Irving blogs for "Royal Pains"

I wish they would’ve gotten a real spy to blog for “Burn Notice”, but I guess they’d get into trouble for sharing the recipe for explosives using fertilizer and toothpaste. Anyway, Dr. Irving’s Blog on the “Royal Pains” website is a great way to bring the entertaining aspects of the show into real life for the fans to enjoy and connect with.

Strutting Your Stuff With a Blog

Whether you’re entering the job market for the first time, or back in the market after a long stint of employment, you know something. Sharing that knowledge through a blog can give potential employers a better idea of your knowledge, experience, and personality. It also shows off really important soft skills such as writing and clear communication. Tara Weiss can help you with some starter tips for your blog in “Blogging Your Way Into A Job“.

One thing to remember when writing your posts is to have fun with it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an actuary or a Colorado River guide, let your passion and enthusiasm about what you do come out in your writing (in a natural way, don’t force it).

Already have a blog for your job hunt? Post it here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm

“Warehouse 13”- Old School Vs. New School

with one comment

I need an old [geek] and a young [geek]… The power of [science] compels you! For the young’uns, that was a ripoff from “The Exorcist”. A recurring theme of “Warehouse 13” is valuing both old and new ideas, and ways of doing things in the workplace. The last episode was entirely dedicated to the concept.

Saul Rubinek and Allison Scagliotti in "Warehouse 13"

Saul Rubinek & Allison Scagliotti in "Warehouse 13"

In “Burnout”, Artie and Claudia (played by Allison Scagliotti) take different approaches to solving a case involving an artifact that burns people to a crisp. While Allison takes the holograms and hardware approach, Artie takes the pen/paper and hands-on approach. While both have their shortcomings, the point is that both have value.

Speaking from experience, the biggest mistake you can make in your career, or life in general is becoming “set in your ways”. Sure, there are values and beliefs you’ll take with you wherever you go, but if you’re trying to meet professional challenges with the same rigid mindset/approach, you may as well be doing house or car repair with just a hammer. The trick is to be open-minded and pragmatic. It’s a bad idea to dismiss ideas or perspectives outright just because they’re old. By the same token, you shouldn’t dismiss any new ideas just because they’re unproven. One should be looking at both approaches, gleaning value from both sides, and coming up with new ideas and perspectives that incorporate the best of both worlds.

The same is true when working with coworkers of differing ages. Whether you’re a young professional trying to prove your worth, or an seasoned vet trying to maintain your worth, you should be appreciating ideas/concepts that are either fresh or proven. Stubbornly holding on to an approach or perspective regardless of the circumstances may turn you into 1)  a TV news pundit or 2) Darth Vader.  Seriously, don’t go there!

So what’s your school? Old? New? Both? Post it here.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm