Career Lessons from TV

Because TV Doesn't Really Rot Your Brain

Archive for the ‘Job Search’ Category

“Burn Notice” – You Can Work For The CIA Too

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Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in "Burn Notice"

Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in "Burn Notice"

Yes, “Burn Notice” is still on mid-season break, but a spy organization who hasn’t taken a break from hiring is the CIA. They’re not just hiring Michael Westens, but for everyday jobs as well.

The Agency Is Looking for You

Michael Westen is more than qualified to work as a spy for the CIA. Military training, strong sense of morals, and an ability to lie at near pathological levels. While the Central Intelligence Agency is always looking for people like Michael Westen, there are other positions the agency is also trying to fill that may be suited for people like you and me. Eve Tahmincioglu writes about the agency’s hiring increase and about life working as  an undercover and non-undercover employee of the CIA in “Top Secret Jobs at the CIA“. If you don’t have a 2 black belts in martial arts, that’s OK. Tahmincioglu writes the agency is looking for college students, former wall street workers and people with language skills to fill a number of administrative and analyst positions.

Not Easy Getting In Or Staying In

Tahmincioglu also writes that it’s a highly competitive hiring process with extensive screening and background checks. Should you make the cut, your family life may suffer depending whether or not you position is undercover. You’re also still subject to background and security checks after you’ve been hired.

Believe in What You’re Doing

From my experience working in government, I think the difference between a rewarding government career and a hellish one with little pay and a lot of bureaucracy is just how much you believe in what you’re doing. If you’re truly committed to serving the country, it really makes it all worth it.

Other Government Opportunities

If the CIA is not your thing, you can find out what other government agencies are hiring on USAJobs.gov.

See yourself in the CIA? Let me know by posting here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

September 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

“Burn Notice”- Stay Motivated On Your Job Hunt

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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.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm

“Royal Pains”- Blog Your Way to a Job

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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.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm

It Pays To Know Someone On “Warehouse 13”

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The show tackles the subject of networking for a job from a couple of angles. First, in the latest episode, Artie makes a few calls for a former colleague recently rescued from another dimension. Secondly, the “Warehouse 13” website utiltizes social media strategies that you can use in your online networking efforts.

Saul Rubinek as Artie on "Warehouse 13"

Saul Rubinek as Artie on "Warehouse 13"

In the last episode, Artie makes amends to a former colleague Joshua Donovan (played by Tyler Hynes) who he lost to an alternate dimension in a botched experiment 12 years ago. After Artie rescues Joshua, he hooks him up with a job in Switzerland doing atomic research. Classic example(minus the Sci-Fi) of networking for a job, right? These days networking face-to-face isn’t the only way to network. Hopefully most of you already know online social networking can be a more efficient way of connecting to the right people. Karen Burns provides some beginner tips on using social media for your job hunt in “Can Social Media Get You a Job?” One tip she writes about I can personally confirm is offering something of value.

Yesterday, I participated in a lively discussion on Twitter moderated by MarketingProfs (discussion hashtag #socialmedia). The main topic was the importance between good content and good conversation. One of the takeaways was that good content can drive good conversation and ultimately connections, one of your main goals in social networking. The “Warehouse 13” website has a pretty good example of good content. It has a section called “Consign Object.” For the uninitiated, the show is about acquiring and guarding “supernatural” objects in America’s attic. To consign your object, you submit a description of your object and what “supernatural” effect it has. Once you’ve consigned your item, you can see what other items real fans have consigned to the warehouse. Great way to share common interests and more importantly spark conversation. Fans can connect with each other on SyFy’s message board.

It’s a no brainer that you should be networking online for a job. Just remember to provide something of value to your prospective connections before hitting ’em up for a position.

What valuable content are you providing in your networking efforts to get a job? Post it here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Follow “S.A.R.A.H.” – Find A Job Using Twitter

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She doesn’t give out job advice, or retweet job postings, but she is noteworthy for being a FICTIONAL smart house on SyFy’s “Eureka” that just happens to be on Twitter. Yes, the REAL Twitter. If a fictional TV character is on Twitter, then why aren’t you, looking for a job?

S.A.R.A.H. - Sheriff Jack Carter's Artificially Intelligent  Residence on "Eureka"

S.A.R.A.H. - Sheriff Jack Carter's Artificially Intelligent Residence on "Eureka"

When I was growing up, the only way to truly emerse yourself in your favorite TV shows and movies was to go to Universal Studios to take the tour. Now, it’s as simple as a fictional character posting on Twitter to make fans feel like part of the show. While SyFy is using S.A.R.A.H. (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat) to keep a fan base, you can use Twitter to find job postings and network your way to a new job. Needless to say there are numerous resources on Twitter job hunting. Tara Weiss provides a few tips on getting started on finding a job on Twitter in “Twitter To Find A Job“. Adam Ostrow writes about a relatively new job search engine for Twitter in “TwitterJobSearch: Find A Job On Twitter“.

In the end, Twitter is yet another social networking site that you can leverage to network with your next boss or find a posting about your next job. Since your limited to 140 characters anyway, it’s quick, it’s easy (with some use and practice), and surprisingly fun.

Did you find your new job on Twitter? Post your story here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Lesson From “Royal Pains”- Make Your Own Luck

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Another one of my favorite TV shows also deals with unplanned career changes. “Royal Pains” (Thursdays @ 10pm on USA) is about a New York  ER doctor Hank Lawson (played by Mark Feuerstein), who was fired from his last job when a hospital trustee dies under his care. Subsequently, his brother Evan (played by Paulo Costanzo) coaxes him to take a weekend trip to the Hamptons where he’s literally coerced into his new career as a concierge doctor (a doctor who makes house calls for the rich). Aside from Evan seeing dollar signs in this new business, another cohort with a vested interest in Hank’s practice is Divya Katdare (played by Reshma Shetty). As part of the wealthy elite, she’s rebelling against her roots and determined to make her own way as Hank’s Physician Assistant or “Associate”.  While Evan and Divya rarely agree on how to make the practice successful, they have one thing in common-they make their own luck.

Improve Your Chances by Looking For Them

Mark Feuerstein, Reshma Shetty, and Paulo Costanzo on "Royal Pains"

Mark Feuerstein, Reshma Shetty, and Paulo Costanzo on "Royal Pains"

In the pilot where Hank and Evan arrive in the Hamptons, Hank makes a name for himself by saving a party girl from pesticide poisoning. His very wealthy and influential party host Boris (played by Campbell Scott) notices and word spreads faster than the speed of light. Hank is in demand instantly, not just by potential patients, but Evan and Divya as well. They both go to great lengths to ensure they’re able to capitalize on Hank’s success, but in a not-so-selfish way. While Evan markets the practice and finds business, Divya helps Hank translate his patients’ needs and navigate Hamptons society. Evan and Divya are both insightful and motivated enough to create opportunities that not even Hank saw coming. There’s no reason any of us shouldn’t do the same, especially in times like these.  Ian Christie on Monster.com outlines a high-level strategy for “Creating Your Own Opportunities”.  Worth checking out if you’ve been looking for your shot as long as I have.

As For Me…

I’m admittedly still working on it. While I’m expanding my knowledge with certification from InboundMarketing.com and contributing to online communities on LinkedIn, it’s still challenging to position myself for opportunities that I may identify in my rounds online. Not saying it isn’t worth the trouble, but it does take time. Yes, patience is a luxury these days, but they also say you only need one shot to be successful. May as well be vigilant in getting yours.  So, until mine comes, I’m still writing, joking, and making the best of my situation.

So what are you doing to make your own luck and opportunities? Happy to hear about it. Talk to you soon.

Written by Reginald Bautista

July 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm