Career Lessons from TV

Because TV Doesn't Really Rot Your Brain

Archive for the ‘Getting Hired’ Category

“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

Advertisements

Written by Reginald Bautista

August 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm

“Burn Notice”- Dream Job Pursuit Turns To Nightmare

leave a comment »

Officially beginning “Burn Notice” withdrawal. In the summer finale, Michael’s shot at his dream job turns into a nightmare. It brings to light the issue that sometimes, the new job you just landed isn’t what it turns out to be.

Michael’s “professional” relationship with Strickler goes sideways when he’s forced to lie during his case review to get back into the CIA, in order to serve Strickler interests. Strickler also “excludes” Fiona from Michael’s future by attempting to auction her off to the highest bidding adversary. Michael “terminates” his partnership with Strickler and rescues Fiona from becoming an auction item. The episode emulates a familiar situation to job seekers- when the new job doesn’t turn out to be the opportunity they were looking for.

Sometimes, no matter how diligent you are in vetting your new offer, as I wrote in a previous post “Lesson from ‘Warehouse 13’- Look Before Leaping Into Your New Job“, the unsuitable aspects of your new job won’t be discovered until you actually start on that job. When it all becomes too much to bear, you have to discuss the matter with your new manager. Since there’s no way to predict whether they’ll accommodate you or fire you, you also need to be looking for another job anyway, which is what Susanne Lucas advises in “What To Do When a Dream Job Isn’t“.

In the event that you are terminated, be sure to update your professional and social networks that you’re back on the market. Also, you can leverage social media to do additional research on potential employers to find company buzz and even former employees.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to catch the warning signs before getting into a suspect situation, but should you find yourself in one, remember that there’s always a way out.

See You Soon, “Burn Notice”

Really gonna miss this show as it takes its hiatus. For the fans, I think the people who burned Michael are back, but then again I am a serial guesser. I’ll have to live on the show’s website, Facebook and Twitter offerings in the meantime.

Left or saved a job gone bad? 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 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Lesson from “Burn Notice”- Surviving the Fallback Job

leave a comment »

To celebrate the “Burn Notice” appearance at Comic-Con in my own non-privileged way, I’m pulling another lesson from one of my favorite shows- how to survive the job you’re stuck in.

In the latest episode, Michael is compelled to help a teenage boy stay with his mom in a custody battle with his abusive father, whose brother is a local crime lord. For those who didn’t see the pilot, Michael Westen comes from a broken home where his father beat him. It’s natural he would identify with his latest client, and ultimately find something of value in his current line of work (which he still scorns)- fighting for those victimized as he was in his childhood.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Hard Lemonade

Like Michael, many people are forced by circumstance to work in fallback jobs just to make ends meet. The way things are going, they’ll be stuck in those jobs for some time. So if you’re fortunate enough to have any job, but not fortunate enough to be doing something you enjoy, there are things you can do to make your situation more tolerable. Rachel Zupek has a list of suggestions in “Are You Stuck in Job Prison?” to include changing your perspective on your current job, identifying the good and bad parts, and focusing on the positive aspects. Zupek also writes that you should still be pursuing the work you desire by networking, continuing education, and coaching. Volunteering for something within the company that excites you , as Zupek writes, can lift your spirits and provide more opportunities to get a better job. For whatever reason you’re stuck in a job you don’t like (whether it be fear, financial necessity, or both), making the most of what you already have, in addition to pursuing your career goals regardless of difficult economic times is what’s ultimately going to help you through.

As For Me…

While I’m not currently working, I’m doing what I can to make the most of it, as many others are. As I’ve written before, I continued my education, I’m networking, and I’m blogging. I’m also taking the time to really enjoy what I have, such as the TV shows I write about, and also my very supportive family. Times are rough, but they’re more bearable when you’re not struggling alone. I commend anyone fortunate to be working now, regardless of what it is, and if they’re still pursuing the work they desire, I hope they get it.

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

July 25, 2009 at 11:46 am

Lesson from “Burn Notice”- Using a Recruiter

leave a comment »

No, I don’t watch just 3 TV shows. There’s more. Trust me. This particular lesson is rather timely.

In the most recent episode of “Burn Notice”, Michael encounters a mysterious figure named Tom Strickler (played by Ben Shenkman), a self proclaimed “Agent to The Spies”, as the witty signature captions in the show illustrate. Makes sense the writers should introduce Strickler now. Michael is still burned by the CIA, and the mysterious organization that got him burned no longer controls, or protects him.  He’s completely unemployed.  Hence, another archetype of unemployment comes on to the scene- most of us call them “recruiters”.

Jeffrey Donovan & Ben Shenkman on "Burn Notice"

Jeffrey Donovan & Ben Shenkman on "Burn Notice"

How a Recruiter Can Help (Maybe)

In the episode “The Hunter”,  Strickler sets up the main plot  by tipping Michael off to an old adversary that’s come to Miami to settle a score, in which there happens to be monetary reward for disposing of him. After Michael dispenses with his old foe, Strickler attempts to solidify the relationship by offering Michael his cut. Because he doesn’t want to be a mercenary, Michael refuses, and Strickler asks Michael what he wants to do with his skills, without anyone of consequence to work for, or protect him.  A question many of us ask as we continue our job search. Using a recruiter can be a powerful resource in your job search, but you have to know how to work with one. Selena Dehne has some tips on working with one in “What Works When Working with Recruiters“. Keep in mind it’s a business relationship. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to dictate what kind of job you want your recruiter to get for you or where, especially now. Recruiters are in essence matchmakers. If they have a job spec and it appears that you fit the spec, you’ve got an opportunity. Like any relationship matchmaking service however, it can take some time.

As For Me…

Many of my past positions were landed through recruiters. There were very helpful in interview preparation and were interested in continuing a business relationship after contracts were done. However, even as I committed to a certain career track, recruiters weren’t able to match me with future opportunities. Not for the lack of trying. Most gave a concerted effort, and that’s why I say it may not work for anybody. You still need the right education, qualifications and experience to readily fit into opportunities a recruiter receives on a daily basis, which means you can’t take work solely on financial need. You need clear vision of your career path-where you’ve been and where you’re going. I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but sometimes the most valuable lessons are the ones you have to learn over and over again.

I’m working with a recruiter now from Kforce. It’s uncertain what might come of it, but no matter what happens, there’s always something to learn. Regardless of your job hunt status, whether you decide to use a recruiter or not, getting all the help you can is always a good thing.

Written by Reginald Bautista

July 18, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Lesson from “Warehouse 13”- Look Before Leaping Into Your New Job

leave a comment »

Though many are going to roll their eyes, I have to bring up a new show from the SyFy channel (why they rebranded, I’ll never know, but the promos are top-notch). The pilot for “Warehouse 13” (Tuesdays @ 9pm on SyFy) deals with an  important issue in managing one’s career- ensuring the job offer is right for you. Yes, while most are just focusing on getting an interview in the first place, making sure the job you’re being offered is the right move is just as important. Trust me, I know, but more on that later.

The show is about 2 Secret Service agents, who, after foiling an attempt on the President’s life, are given a top secret assignment-  acquiring and guarding objects of a ‘supernatural’ nature for the sake of national security. A little bit like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” meets “The X-Files” but I’m sure other fans can come up with something more fitting. In the pilot, after Agents Pete Lattimer (played by Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (played by Joanne Kelly) are introduced to their new assignments, Lattimer takes to it like fish to water, while Bering is kicking and screaming to get her old post back protecting the president. After they manage to close their first case together, Agent Bering has the opportunity to get her old job back. Of course she declined or else there would be no show, but it does illustrate that one does need to review a new job offer  before taking it. In the case of Agent Bering , she didn’t really have a choice until the end, but for us mere mortals, it can be difficult to vet a job offer when you’re so happy just to get an offer in the first place.

Make Sure You Get More Than a Place To Go 40 Hours a Week

While everything looks and sounds promising before and during the interview, things may look different afterwards, and by the time you’ve taken the job and realized how much a mistake it was, it’s already too late. So, before you accept the offer, make sure it’s serving your career interests and not just your financial needs. Siri Anderson Yahoo! hotjobs suggests a reviewing 5 point checklist before accepting an offer. It could save you from lost time, opportunity, and potential damage to your career. Like I said I know.

As For Me…

Without speaking ill of any past employers, all of which I’m appreciative , I’ve looked before I leaped on more than one occasion.  I’ve also seen others do the same in my journey through the working world. It really is difficult to appraise opportunities objectively when both fear and desperation describe your job search mindset. However, your career is a lot like chess- you have to think several moves ahead before making your next. Something to think about at the very least. I know each and everyone of us will get the offer they’re waiting for. I just hope we’re mindful enough to check under the hood and kick the tires before signing on the dotted line.

Written by Reginald Bautista

July 16, 2009 at 12:39 am