Career Lessons from TV

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Posts Tagged ‘warehouse 13

“Warehouse 13”- “Married” to Your Co-Worker?

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Myka and Pete's close working relationship on "Warehouse 13"

Myka and Pete's close working relationship on "Warehouse 13"

In any workplace, it’s a nice to have a co-worker you can count on, even though appearances can be deceiving. It’s hard to dispute that what makes “Warehouse 13” entertaining is the “relationship” between Pete and Myka. While the sexual tension is amusing, it’s their professional and platonic relationship that can be beneficial, but misconstrued by others.

In “Nevermore“, Pete follows Myka as she visits her parents in light of a family emergency regarding her father (played by Michael Hogan). Turns out the family emergency involves an artifact and they spend the episode trying to neutralize it. During the episode, it’s apparent the bond between Pete and Myka grows stronger as a result of what she and her parents are going through. In larger terms, the workplace is a stressful environment and having a trusted partner and friend to help you deal is a huge help in my book.

What It Means to Have a “Work Spouse”

Call it what you will. Your best friend at work. Your best work buddy. Your actual “partner” at work. Having someone you can trust and work closely together can be beneficial to your work and career as whole. Careerbuilder.com helps to determine whether or not you have what they call a “work spouse” in “7 Signs You Have a Work Spouse“. The article also explores the risks and benefits of having one. It’s not surprising that the benefits and risks are similar to those for dating someone in the workplace, minus the sex part. The trust, teamwork and productivity are offset by other co-workers feeling excluded, the proximity to co-workers where your working relationships have gone sour, and jealousy of actual spouses.

Same Sex Work Spouse

I would add that the your work spouse doesn’t have to be of the opposite sex. I have contacts that outright call their business partners their “spouse” even though they’re of the same sex. I believe the same benefits and risks still apply though.

From my point-of-view it’s nice to have a “battle buddy” as those from the military would say. It can be tough dealing with anything alone. As with any relationship, it takes work to make it work, but it’s also important to be as above board and transparent as possible to any third parties, whomever they may be.

What’s your “work marriage” like? Post it here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

September 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

“Warehouse 13”- Co-Workers to Avoid at All Costs

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Quirky but non-toxic co-workers on "Warehouse 13"

Quirky but non-toxic co-workers on "Warehouse 13"

On “Warehouse 13”, everyone has their quirks to say the least. Pete is a manchild. Myka’s uptight. Artie keeps too many secrets (I still they’re all awesome, though). It’s inevitable that people are going to rub you the wrong way, whether they have a grudge against you, or it’s just how they role. In this post we’ll take a look at the kinds of co-workers to avoid, or at least minimize contact as much as possible.

In most cases, if someone at work is rubbing you the wrong way, chances are that’s are that’s how they role. They’ve gotten so far in their career putting goals before people, stepping on toes (and sometimes faces) is justified. “Just business” as they say. If they actually have  a grudge against you, it’s probably because they perceive you as threat to their careers and will do whatever it takes to ruin yours. While avoiding these folks is desirable, it’s pretty hard to do. Your only other options are:

1. Stand up for yourself (call them out on their games and don’t back down)

2. Find another job

Jonathan Littman has similar advice and writes about 10 other types of co-workers that damage your piece-of-mind and your career in “10 Least Wanted Co-Workers“.

Keep in mind a big factor that causes people to behave in inappropriate ways is the company itself and how well it may or may not be doing. If the work atmosphere is one of fear and fierce competition, you may find more than one co-worker that’ll threaten your job and career. Be careful.

What type of co-workers do you find torturing and career-threatening? Post it here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

September 14, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Acing The Review on “Warehouse 13”

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warehouse13_breakdown

Artie get grilled with Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder) in "Warehouse 13"

For some, undergoing an annual review can be like facing the judges on “Top Chef” or any other reality competition show of your choice. On the latest episode of “Warehouse 13”, Artie takes a bold approach to a surprise review meeting with warehouse management called the “Regents”. With some documentation and some open communication, you can ace your review meeting with your pride and career intact.

In “Breakdown“, Pete and Myka are left to watch the warehouse while Artie runs an administrative errand. While on that errand, he’s invited to a meeting with Mrs. Frederic (played by CCH Pounder). The meeting turns out to be a surprise performance review of Artie, by the mysterious governing body of the warehouse called the “Regents”. As Artie is being grilled, he figures out the reason behind the meeting is their fear of Macpherson, a rogue ex-warehouse agent introduced in “Implosion“. Artie declares in a not-so-subtle way that the only way to stop Macpherson is to let him do his job. Although it would be nice to stick it to your manager on just how valuable you are to your company, there is a nicer, more PC way to do it.

Make Your Case

Patrick Erwin shares some simple tips to tackle your annual review in “Do You Panic at Review Time?“. Erwin writes that you should document the work you’ve been doing as well as your accomplishments to ensure that your manager hasn’t overlooked anything.

Evaluate Yourself

Erwin also writes you should be assessing yourself and taking steps to improve your performance from one review to the next.

Communicate with Your Boss

Finally, Erwin writes that you can take the edge off the fear of reviews by getting constant feedback from your boss or manager between review periods. They can give you guidance on how to improve and you can keep them on the same page as far what you’ve done and accomplished.

I’ve had my fair share of reviews myself, and I can say things go much better when you and your boss are on the same page. If you have regular contact with your boss, keep them posted on what you’re doing and getting guidance from them on what you should be doing, there won’t be any surprises during review time. It’s pretty tough to be a valuable contributor to your company if you don’t tell anyone what you’re doing, nor can you be a valuable contributor if your boss isn’t giving you any feedback on how to be more valuable to them or the company.

Any tips for surviving performance reviews? Post it here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

September 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm

“Warehouse 13” – Prison of Fear and Regret

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We make our own hell. In the latest episode of “Warehouse 13”, Pete and Myka discover that the biggest challenges in our careers and our lives are the ones we make for ourselves. It’s in our hands to face these challenges head-on and overcome them.

In “Regrets” Pete and Myka investigate a prison with a mysterious increase in suicides. They discover that the suicides are being caused by hallucinations of people in their past they may have wronged. Pete sees his dead firefighter father. Myka sees her dead former partner Sam.  They’re both forced to confront the darkest moments of their lives to realize that the fear and regret that has shaped their lives has also been their prison. If you read my last past post, Joe Morton once again steals the show as an inmate and reverend with sage advice.

Regret has no place in your life. Your only salvation is here (tapping his heart with his hand).”

The cruelest prison is the one we make for ourselves out of fear and regret“, he further sages.

Pete takes the words to heart and frees himself from the regret he feels from failing to save his father, and helps Myka to overcome her guilt from failing to save her ex-partner. No matter what’s happened in your life you believe has held you back, you have the power to free yourself. If  fear is the “prison” you’ve made for yourself, Chad Levitt shares some advice on how to overcome it to promote yourself and your brand in “Is Fear Holding You Back?“.

If it’s regret that holds you back from your career and life goals, the only way to get past it is forgiveness. Whether it’s your fault or not, you’re the only one who can get you off the hook, and let you move on with your life. Trust me, I have plenty of reasons to throw myself in a personal prison and throw away the key, but I believe the best way to salvation is to achieve meaningful goals in your life. Keep doing good for yourself and others, and you’ll never be held back again.

You can refer to my last post “‘Eureka’ – Embracing FAIL” as it’s related to this one.  No matter what goals you may set for yourself, more often than not the biggest challenge you face is within you.

So what’s holding you back? Post it here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

September 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm

“Warehouse 13”- Old School Vs. New School

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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.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 12, 2009 at 2:55 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

Lesson from “Warehouse 13”- Play Nice (At Work)

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It’s natural to have disagreements in the workplace, but when disagreements on business matters escalate into interpersonal conflict, it’s time to put a kibosh on it.

The latest episode of “Warehouse 13” provides a light-hearted take on the matter. When their last mission to recover an artifact in Paris runs into some complications, Agents Lattimer and Bering chalk it up to a lack of defined leadership. When they each go to their boss Artie Nielson (played Saul Rubinek) asking that they be put in charge in the field, Artie has a devious (but humorous) way of resolving they issue. He tells each one that they’re “in charge” but instructs them to treat their partner as if they’re in charge (because they’re “sensitive”). While their work styles are to blame for their spats and bickering(Lattimer is instinctive, Bering is observant, logical), they’re different approaches ultimately help to complete each mission they’re given.  It reminded me of how important it was to get along with your coworkers on an interpersonal level.

Joanne Kelly and Eddie McClintock in Warehouse 13

Joanne Kelly and Eddie McClintock in Warehouse 13

It’s Not You, It’s The Problem Itself

In “Magnetism”, the show puts a big highlighter on workplace conflict. After the Paris mission, Lattimer and Bering are sent to Unionville,  Colorado to investigate strange, unexplained behavior that is suspected to be the result of a supernatural artifact. Eventually, Bering succumbs to the strange behavior herself, inexplicably hitting Lattimer in the face repeatedly(it’s funnier when you watch it). They soon discover that the behavior is the involuntary expression of subsconcious thoughts and desires, caused by sitting in a chair which belong to James Braid, the father of hypnotherapy. The springs in the chair, along with the voice of the town priest, a descendant of Braid, caused Bering to act out her desire to punch Lattimer in the face(because he pisses her off). While they really do get on each other’s nerves, there’s still a mutual trust and respect. Lattimer convinces her to keep working the case, even when Bering pleads to stay in the town jail to protect Lattimer and the mission.  While completing their mission, they discover Artie’s deception and at the very end, play a joke on him “together” by feigning they blew up his car.

If you’re fortunate to be working, I don’t have to tell you bickering is part of the job, but in spite of it, you should still have some trust and respect for your coworkers, as Agents Lattimer and Bering do. If it goes beyond business and becomes personal, it may take a team leader sensitive to team dynamics to resolve the conflict, which Cheri Swales writes in “Overcome Team Conflict“. Swales outlines a set of strategies that defuses interpersonal conflict to include focusing on the problem, not blame others, openly communicating(with respect) and considering different points of view on the problem. Swales also suggest setting ground rules and celebrating as a team to improve cooperation.

As For Me…

While I’m not in the position to bicker with coworkers, I’ve had my share of disagreements. Without trashing anyone or any company, I know in a lot of cases it wasn’t them, but what the company or business may be going through that put people in challenging positions. While I know I’ve done my best to work through any issues I’ve had, I know not every conflict can be amicably resolved. Sometimes you do have to walk away from the department, or that company all together, but I suggest you jump off that bridge when you come to it.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

July 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm