You’re not always going to work in the occupation you want to work in. The staircase to your dream career (in my case, public relations career) may often times be littered with jobs that “pay the rent.” The strategy is to use these jobs, every single one, as a learning opportunity.
I have worked 4 jobs since starting college, and I have learned a lot more than how to serve a cocktail, stock a dressing room, and how to explain to someone how to better keep track of their finances. What I have learned from one job has always helped me with the next. So here are 3 big lessons I have learned from working, brought to you with quotes from “The Devil Wears Prada.”
For those who haven’t seen the film:
The movie is about Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathway), a college graduate who wants to work as a journalist. Instead, she lands a job as junior assistant to Miranda Preistly (Meryl Streep), the editor and chief of Runway magazine (the movie equivalent to Vogue). Andrea has no knowledge of the fashion industry, but she knows that working for Miranda for a year could open the door to almost any career she wants in journalism. She quickly realizes that working at Runway wont be an easy year of getting coffee and taking phone messages. Once she gives the job a chance however, she discovers that she can take more from her job at Runway than designer goods.
“Please Bore someone else with your questions”
Know your stuff. Before you ask questions, try to find the answer yourself. Employers like it when you take the initiative. There are times when you do need to ask questions so that you don’t do the wrong thing, but by all means attempt to find the answer first. When you have exhausted all other means to getting the problem solved, then it is time to ask questions. Your boss may be busy with multiple task, if there is an option of asking one of your co-workers first- ask them. Don’t use asking questions as a shortcut.
“I’m not going to be in fashion for ever so why change everything about myself just because I have this job?”
You aren’t always going to work in an occupation you want to work in. Try to be present, don’t use every job as a means to an end. You would be surprised by how much easier work will seem and how much happier you will be at work if you treat it as a learning experience and not just a step in the stairway that leads to your dream job. You might end up getting an opportunity based on the recommendation your current employer gives or a door that opens through your current job. You don’t have to stay in a job you don’t like, you don’t have to change everything about yourself for your job, but you should let it work with you and for you.
“I could get another girl to take your job in five minutes.. one who really wants it
Getting a job in this economy isn’t the easiest task. It might not be your ideal job, and you might have an idea of how to move on or move forward, but don’t take it for granted. There is always someone else willing to fill out an application, maybe even someone willing to do the same job you do for less pay. Be grateful for your job, or move on, but don’t stay in a job that you don’t want because chances are there are more than enough people who really want it.
What have you learned from working outside of your “dream” job? What aspects of that job do you think will help you to be a better job candidate in the future?
You can purchase the book The Devil Wears Prada or the Movie here at Amazon.com