In continuing my support of the ideal world of work promoted by CBS and the producers of the Friday night prime-time offering, “The Job”, I again offer some thoughts as to the fact vs. fiction goings-on in Episode 2, where 5 more candidates vie for a job as an Assistant Editor at the prestigious women’s magazine, Vogue.
The producers were smart enough to start the show with all jobs focused in the New York area…for reasons of production costs as well as a big enough metropolitan area where nearly every possible type of work can be found. I only wonder how much the glitz of skyscraper publishers and high-end dining establishments in New York City can relate to the hiring dilemmas of the mass of American Everymans (and women). But, after developing my own “reality” show concepts in this TV game for the past 7 years, I simply appreciate that producers with clout like this are at least making an attempt…when so many other job show ideas have been cut before even a sizzle reel was produced. Networks have been antsy about this kind of content, so kudos to CBS.
Here are some fact vs. fiction as well as educational ideas to consider from Episode 2. Again, I won’t outline the show’s drama, twists and turns. You deserve to see it for yourself. And when you do, keep these things in mind:
1. Brenda, the twice-their-age contender for this Asst. Manager role, shows gumption after having been an entrepreneur for perhaps the last 10-15 years. Good for her! Except she was obviously so out of the job-search (and newly graduated) mode that she forgot to do her homework! She didn’t even read any recent issues of Vogue to catch the style and flavor of the voice of the magazine? Every company, whether it’s a publisher, a restaurant, or a saddle-maker, has a style, flavor and voice. Do your homework!
2. Give me a break! 5 apparently sharp women competing for a role in publishing who don’t even do a spell-check on their final work? I would like to think that this was a gimmick put in by the producers to create some gasps of incredulity for the viewers…yet you would be amazed at some of the resumes and emails that come into my office. Fine, upstanding, highly-experienced professionals with typos and misspellings throughout. Folks, this is an easy one. Spell-check your work…and have a few other friends do it too, because you get too close to the forest for the trees!
3. This is the second show in which the candidates were grilled with common terminology, facts, and trivia surrounding the field…therefore, I suppose this will be a staple in future episodes. And it points to a glaring fact: if you are really pursuing a field you are passionate about, this is a no-brainer. And yet, if you simply need a job, you will be stumped. For a couple episodes now, the candidate who seemingly had the most sincere interest and passion in the field tended to get more answers correct. The point is: don’t waste your time pursuing jobs of non-interest. Go for what your passionate about, because it shows more than you know!
4. The show is built for suspense and drama, and therefore takes the viewer and candidates up and down, up and down. Just when you think you’re the bees knees, you fall on your face. And just when you think you’re sunk, the sun also rises. How much is this like the real world of job search! Keep moving, don’t give up! It reminds me of a little piece I use to inspire my clients when they get down and out. It’s called “Press On” and goes like this:
Nothing In the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful individuals with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent
5. Joanna, the Editor-in-Chief, gives a pre-commercial tip to “not be a braggart in the office” because nobody likes self-promotion and you need friends around you. I agree…and remember, she’s talking about in the office once you have a job! One of the things I work on most with people actually competing for jobs is their ability to speak well and highly of themselves…because most are so afraid of being perceived as a braggart that they don’t even sell themselves well. As I say in my book, Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest, if you’re not tooting your own horn (in order to be known so you can land), then nobody is!
6. This is the second show where one of the onlooking companies makes an offer to take one of the candidates out of contention, so the main sponsoring company (Vogue in this case) can’t have them. The joke here is that these candidates or being “offered” a job by the competing company and they have to make a decision as to whether to take it or wait for their chances with the main company without knowing any details of the offer! Come on producers! We all know an offer isn’t simply a childhood request “Will you go with me?” “Want to be my girlfriend/boyfriend?” An offer is made up of a LOT of factors that go into the decision. Perhaps the offer Diandra would have received from Archetype Me was 50% more than Vogue? We will never know, as this aspect of the show is simplified to ridiculousness. How about teaching viewers how to sort out all the pieces of an offer, and to negotiate??
7. I love the questions the final candidates are asked about their social media presence. “Anything untoward may we find about you on Facebook or elsewhere?” It’s real folks. Don’t think they aren’t Googling you as much as you are them!
8. Again, the show needs to simplify and spoonfeed the emotions so as to compete with much less educational and even plain dumb shows out there…so they make everyone happy at the end by giving both of the far and away “good guys” (the top contenders) jobs. Yet, we all know folks, most often, and especially at the higher levels, there’s no room for “Oh, sure, let’s take two”…so what are you doing, right now, today, to stand out from the rest when there is only one position? Will you be chosen…or the biggest loser?
So glad there’s now a mass venue in which to discuss the very real world of work that the entertainment world has been devoid of addressing. This has been a personal mission of mine for several years, and I can’t wait until my own offering in this “reality” show genre is ready for unveiling.
More next week on “Real World on ‘The Job’?”
DARRELL W. GURNEY, Executive/ Career Coach and 20-year recruiting veteran, supports people at all levels to make fulfilling and profitable career transitions. His first book, Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters, was winner of the Clarion Award for Best Book by the Association for Women in Communications and was reviewed in Publishers Weekly. His newest book, Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest, has been endorsed by bestselling thought leaders such as Harvey Mackay, Keith Ferrazzi, and Dr. Ivan Misner. A personal and business brand strategist, Darrell’s Stealth Method of networking has helped folks expand their reach within both careers and new client circles. He speaks, leads workshops, and is a media expert on subjects such as recruiting, networking, and finding one’s passion. He was recently named Networking Expert for BeyondB-School.com and offers webinars and programs that get MBA students and working professionals out, connected, and landed.