5 Career Lessons from “Scandal”

 

If you haven’t started watching ABC’s new hit show “Scandal,” you’re late.

Scandal features Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope – a hot, brilliant, do-gooder lawyer – who uses her leverage to help her clients manage the crises they’re in.  Written and produced by Shonda Rhimes – the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, it’s become one of the best shows on TV – and it’s not going away any time soon.  Rhimes just got afforded a full season order for fall 2012 thanks to some great ratings from viewers 18-49.  Best of all, Pope is based on real-life Judy Smith – a crisis management queen and former Deputy Press Secretary, based in D.C. who’s worked with everyone from George H. W. Bush to Michael Vick.

Here are five tips from Scandal that will help you go further in your career:

1. Image matters.  It’s no secret that Olivia is hot – and no one cares why she is.  Not only does her appearance add to her put together persona,  it helps her maneuver herself in the man’s world.

2. Go with your gut. Olivia’s gut is never wrong. Before you think too much, what’s that small voice in your ear saying to you?

3. Secrets will come back to haunt you & the consequences are real. All of her clients (and even the team themselves) are haunted by actions they took many years ago.  When a promotion is on their doorstep, it’s often threatened by old news that (unfortunately for them) would make good news.

4. You need leverage. Olivia’s relationship with the president is a lot of the reason why she can get away with what she does.  When her relationship with the president “ends,” everyone’s left wondering how she’s going to do her job. Then it’s revealed that she has another spade – the mystery committee. If you can gain some leverage, get it – without sleeping with the President.

5. Say thank you. Pope’s relationship with Rosen (US Prosecutor) is mutual.  She utilizes him but he needs her.  No matter how hard she is with him, she never forgets to say thank you for putting up with her trouble.

*Bonus tip:  Always deliver.  Olivia always makes good on her promise.

Check out “Scandal” this season.  You won’t like it, you’ll love it.

Have you watched Scandal?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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5 Traits You Need to Be the Best at Your New Job

Being a newbie is awful.  Thankfully you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you adjust to your new job.

1. Initiative. Make yourself knowledgeable.  You have tons of questions right now.  Make yourself familiar with the resources available to you (i.e. Policies & Procedures).

2. Confidence. Be willing to take (reasonable) risks.  At some point you’ll have to own your responsibility.  Once you’re familiar with the general aspects of your work, don’t be afraid to take (reasonable) risks on the job.

3. Wisdom. Learn from others’ mistakes. ‘Nuff said.

4.  Intuition. Listen to your gut.  If someone asks you to do something that would jeopardize you or give you added responsibility for their work, don’t do it.

5. Humility. Utilize constructive criticism. Everyone hates Newbie Know-it-All.  If a co-worker offers a suggestion, it’s more likely they want you to improve and less likely they’re trying to control your every move.

BONUS: Work ethic. Never take shortcuts.  They will be found out.  Do things the hard way first.  Then find faster and more efficient ways to complete tasks after you’re more familiar with your position.

Being a newcomer on the job isn’t the most exciting time in life, but with a little effort, you’ll be settled in ASAP.

What other tips would you give newbies on the job?

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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How to be a Savvy College Grad (Even When You Don’t Feel Like One)

 

I graduated from college over a year ago and, needless to say, I’m not where I thought I should be.  You know, with my college degree and all.  I mean, some of my friends have great jobs that are right in their career path while others are in graduate school or even at home.  Yet, here I am – a teller at a bank (for now).

And truthfully, there should be no shame in my game.  I have a degree that I’m using, bills that are getting paid, family that loves me and friends that are true.  But still, there was a ginormous amount of adjusting I had to do in order to get to this point.

Maybe you’re gravy right now and are doing your best to get in shape, save and invest for your future, and make personal strides.  Or maybe you’re like me and you’re not where you thought you would be since you graduated. If so, here are some suggestions to help you get there:

If you’re having trouble paying them, put your student loans in deferment or forbearance.  This is usually pretty easy to do.  Figure out how much you’re spending on household bills, rent, gas, and food, and then factor in the cost of loan payments.  If you can’t stretch it, postpone it.  This should be a short-term solution because interest still continues to accrue on each loan daily. When you get a better paying job, get back to paying them quickly!

Get a roommate.  It’s a lot easier to pay the aforementioned bills when you’re splitting them.  You also don’t have to worry about buying all new furniture. Simple.

Exercise and eat healthy.  Stress caused by a transition – like graduating from college – might affect you mentally and emotionally.  Keep your body in balance by exercising and eating healthy. You’ll feel better and won’t dread those awkward moments when you run into someone from your alma mater.

This is a post I wrote the blog of professional career counselor, Steve Langerud. Read the rest here.

Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.

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