After threatening and/or accidentally shooting countless women (and former wives), flaunting his nonchalant public cocaine use, insulting his executive producer with anti-Semitic epithets, starring in his own SNL spoof, and potentially endangering all tigers in the process, the public breakdown of Charlie Sheen has led to its inevitable conclusion: Hollywood’s most expensive bad boy is officially fired.
Luckily he already has some backup plans worked out. Sheen set a Guinness World Record for drawing over a million Twitter followers in one day and has signed with ad.ly to get paid for his rambling tweets. And he’s also looking for a #TigerBloodIntern. You have until Friday to apply.
Yesterday, I spoke with Debra Shigley, a Harvard alum and author of The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide: Get What You Want in Work and Life (and Look Great While You’re at It). She had some great advice for those of us using our Ivy League diplomas as place mats.
I think the first thing you should do is divorce yourself from thinking you’re so special because you went to an Ivy League school. Yes it looks good on your resume and it will open doors, but it’s not everything. Now where it is very helpful is your alumni network. An alum is much more likely to call you back than if you’re just cold-calling. I think most people are very supportive of their fellow alumni. So I suggest tapping into that. I don’t think the Ivy League thing makes that much of a difference otherwise. I think one of the strongest advantages is the network you have from your school. Many of your friends will accomplish great things and your network gets stronger, because you’re grouped with a lot of accomplished go-getter type people. You can’t sit there and think ‘I have a Harvard degree, someone should get me a job.’ Unless of course you’re sitting across a table from someone who also graduated from Harvard. I think people might be more quick to call you back in that case.
One of the best parts about being unemployed is sharing inspiring emails with the rest of your jobless cohorts. Today’s mailbox gem comes in the form of an online pep talk.
First things first: HR Consultant Peter Weddle tells us over and over: “You are not a failure. You are not a loser or a deadbeat or a flop.” Thanks, Peter! I’ll be sure to let my parents know.
Turns out, the reason we are full of self-loathing is because of two silly misconceptions.
1) There is no one climbing a career ladder nowadays. Instead, we’re all hovering dangerously over a jungle gym.
As you may recall from your schoolyard days, the jungle gym had two alluring qualities. First, you got to pick your own way forward–there was no teacher and today there is no employer telling you where to go. And second, sometimes you might move straight up, but occasionally you would move from side-to-side and even down and around to get where you were going. There was no discredit, disgrace or dishonor in the path you picked, because (a) everyone got to pick their own way and (b) if you kept your eye on your goal, you would eventually get there. The same is true with your career.
This metaphor is blowing my mind. But mainly, I wish I knew how to interpret what a side-to-side entry-level job looks like.
2) Wonder why your proofread, perfect, even goddammed perfumed resume isn’t cutting it? Weddle says your past experience and skills don’t mean anything anymore.
You have to reinvent yourself even as you are looking for a job. Update your skill set or add a new skill that will enable you to apply what you can already do in a broader set of circumstances. Enroll in an academic or training program or take a course from your professional association, and then, add that fact to your resume. Such a notation demonstrates that (a) you understand the importance of always getting better in today’s workplace and (b) you take personal responsibility for doing so. Those two attributes will help to set you apart in the job market and restart your career.
Hm. I wonder how Rabid Gossip Girl Fan will look in my skills section.
On Thursday night, I found myself listening to The Donald’s daughter as she gave a book signing for her authorial debut, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. Below, a transcribed nugget of inspiration:
“I spend a lot of time talking about passion and the importance of identifying your passion, because not only is the book focused on me and some of the emotions I had early in my career, but also my peers and my friends who tell me their experiences and the issues that they face in the work environment. A lot of them have an issue whereby they’re in a job they’re not miserable at, but they’re also not particularly happy. And they’re staying in that job for fear of taking a bold career risk for fear of this economic climate and that may be one of the saddest things for my generation about this current recession. Because I really believe that in your youth, you have to be experimental. You have to be bold. And you have to be decisive in terms of leaving jobs and positions that you wouldn’t be able to grow in because now is the time for us to take risks.”
I totally agree. Though it would be a lot easier to risk losing a job if you have, oh I don’t know, a family legacy to survive on?