Career Lessons from TV

Because TV Doesn't Really Rot Your Brain

Archive for October 2009

“Heroes”- Get a Mentor

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Hiro mentors Emma in discovering her power in "Heroes"

Hiro mentors Emma in discovering her power in "Heroes"

Finally getting over that bug, and sinking my teeth into something new- mentors. One thing I haven’t been fortunate enough to have is a mentor in my professional life, but I’m absolutely convinced that it’s crucial to being successful. The latest episode of  “Heroes” drove it home.

In “Tabula Rasa”, more than one story line was running on the same theme. After learning that Hiro is dying, Peter asks for Noah’s help in finding someone with the power to heal. When they do find someone with that power( a teen named Jeremy Greer), they discover his power has developed so that he can take life as well, but doesn’t know how to control it. After Peter is accidentally shot, Noah desperately coaxes him to use his powers to heal Peter. Meanwhile Peter has referred Emma (played by Deanne Bray), someone whose just discovered her power, to Hiro. At this point her power frightens her, wants nothing of it and pleads with Hiro to help her get rid of it. Hiro shows her through a magic show that her power is a gift.

Everyone Needs a “Master Shifu”

I can’t avoid bringing it up because it’s on cable everyday. Everyone has gifts, great and small( and just plain weird), and it takes a Master Shifu from “Kung Fu Panda” to bring it out, develop it, and turn it into something awesome. Robert Half Technologies wrote an article finding and working with a mentor called “5 Steps to Help You Make the Most of a Mentorship“. Aside from the 5 steps, the most important idea they illustrate is that you may have raw talent and skill, but without experience to appropriately apply that talent, it’s not that helpful. A mentor can combine knowledge and experience with your natural talents.

Combining Old School and “Your” School

Good mentors hold themselves to a high standard. The high standard is usually defined by mentoring someone who through their own accomplishments  and experience, adds something new to the art,discipline, or job. Circle of life stuff, you know. So, should you decide on getting a mentor, make sure your talents, whatever they are,  mesh with their knowledge to create something that’s..you.

Got a good mentor? Share something about them here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

October 22, 2009 at 3:33 am

“Heroes” – Finding a Career Path

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Noah and Claire talk about new career paths in "Heroes"

Noah and Claire talk about new career paths in "Heroes"

Last night’s episode of “Heroes” looks at another side of careers common in today’s job market- being forced out of your job and career and forced to find another calling. So how does one find their calling?

In “Acceptance” Noah Bennet (played by Jack Coleman) has left his job with the government hunting mutants and has turned down any opportunities to do so for anyone else. Noah’s daughter Claire (played by Hayden Panetierre) visits him in his spartan apartment where he lives also facing divorce. As Claire spends the day trying to get her father to look for normal work, Noah’s at a loss on what to do next in his career in light of his dark and secretive past. Claire imparts a sage idea:

Life changes. We all change. Sometimes you, have to remember who you were, to figure out who you want to be.”

By the end of the episode, Noah realizes there’s no turning away from his life investigating and uncovering conspiracies regarding mutants.

Searching Your Soul for Your Career Path

There’s no easy way to look at yourself and finding your calling. It takes the slow working tools of life experience, pleasure, pain, triumph and tragedy to shape the passions that define your calling. An honest self examination of those passions and who you are as a whole can help you in your search. Alaina Love suggests identifying what kind of worker you are and evaluating opportunities as outlets for your passions in “Discover Your Passions to Find the Right Job“. Love has identified 10 archetypes to categorize what type of worker you are to figure out what kind of work you’d be happy doing.

Hard Looks (and Feedback) at Yourself and From Others

Emotion and stressful circumstances can make it difficult to get an honest look at who you are and who you want to be, which is why it’s important to do as much of it outside your head as possible:

1. Keep a Journal– get it on paper and look at it after you’ve gotten some distance from it. See if you gain any insight from what you’ve put down.

2. Ask “Trusted” Associates for Feedback– Notice I didn’t say friends or loved ones. While you need them for moral support, you need someone who’s going to be impartial about their impressions of you and your past work.

3. Revisit Things (and Find Things) That Inspire You– see if they’re still meaningful. See where they take you.

4. Make a Plan– once you’ve found a calling, make a plan to pursue it to include timelines and exit strategies. Point is not to get stuck or flounder if it doesn’t work out.

There’s no shame in finding yourself with out a path. Trick is not to beat yourself up, and to listen closely to yourself for the new path to who you want to be.

How did you find you calling? Share it here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

October 6, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Letterman’s 800 lbs. Gorilla in the “Dollhouse”

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Adelle and Victor have an improper affair on "Dollhouse"

Adelle and Victor have an improper affair on "Dollhouse"

I really don’t like writing about scandal, but the 800 lbs. gorilla brought into the room by David Letterman’s criminal case really makes it hard to ignore. While I’m still a fan, the indiscreet activities divulged in his case have brought up once again the subject of sexual relations in the workplace. It was also addressed in an episode of the “Dollhouse”, where its chief Adelle had some indiscretions of her own.

For the non-watchers, “Dollhouse” is about a powerful organization which underground activities include pimping out men and women whose personalities have been wiped and replaced with personalities and skills “made to order” for each client. Personalities include the obvious “professional escorts” to kidnapping negotiator (yeah, sounds so wrong on so many levels, but you still wanna find out what happens next). In ” A Spy in the House of Love”, we learn that the Dollhouse chief executive Adelle (played by Olivia Williams) has appropriated one of her “dolls” (in-house term is “active”) for her own personal use. Under the guise of a fake client, she has Victor (played by Enver Gjokaj) programmed to be her perfect romantic partner. By the end of the episode even the chief of a futuristic whorehouse thinks its wrong (even though he knows nothing about it), and ends the affair.

Power and Sex are a Bad Mix (at least for one) in the Workplace

As I’ve written before, there are risks as well as benefits to romance at the office, but when it involves superiors and their subordinates, it’s gets more risky than beneficial. Aside from extortion which is unfortunately Letterman’s case, you’re at least running the risk of perceived favoritism, because you really can’t keep a secret like that at work. I’m not even going to get into when one of them, either of them is married, or attached to someone else. You can read more on that in mainstream media. The point is, if you are a boss in your company, if you get involved with your employees, you’re playing with fire. Same thing applies going the other way. An imbalance of power, even in consensual relationships, makes it a toxic one. If you find yourself in one, you have 2 plays- quit, or if there’s illegal activities, step up and blow the whistle.

Got a story about workplace affairs? Share it here (don’t use real names though, not interested).

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Written by Reginald Bautista

October 4, 2009 at 12:41 am