The Devil Wears Prada.. & You Should Too

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.

Lesson 1:

“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.

Lesson 2:

“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.

Lesson 3:

“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

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8 responses to “The Devil Wears Prada.. & You Should Too

  1. I love this article that you wrote. I would not have thought to tie the movie to ways that will be helpful in finding a career, so I love your 3 lessons from THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. I think that college students who work have a great advantage by having multiple jobs. No matter what the job is, there is always a lesson that you can take with you, and being a jack of all trades seems to be especially helpful when something unexpected happens at work. I think it was super creative to get the information from the movie, especially since the lessons ring so true. Your three lessons are things everyone should know before starting a new job.

  2. First off, I love your blog. Second, this makes me laugh because in about a year this is going to be us in an entry-level position thinking, “I went to college for this?”. The only choice we really have is to take jobs where we can and endure them until the next best thing comes along. As a proud former Brusters, Dunkin Donuts and car wash employee, I can safely agree that job experience, whether or not it’s the career path we’ve always planned on, will benefit us in the future. From working outside the public relations realm, I’ve had the chance to experience what I don’t want as a job in the future as well as learned important skills that will be useful in any line of work.

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  4. I couldn’t agree more with your blog and the comments! Not to mention I LOOOVE that movie! I’ve had numerous jobs, from bartending to retail, and they all have helped me learn and grow as a person and a employee. Just like you, I’ve taken my experience from one job with me to the next. I don’t think you can ever have enough experience in the work force. Even if it’s not in the PR industry you can still gain valuable experience and network with others. Great blog!
    ~Megan

  5. This post is too cute! You have such great advice and paring it with quotes from the movie was a nice touch. I have been attending public relations conferences this year and everyone I have been too they say the same thing you have said, each job can build and lead you to the next. Learning from previous jobs and networking can build you up to your dream job. I have a year left before I graduate and I am super nervous about finding a job. I am hoping that the economy will turn on the up before I graduate. Of course if it doesn’t then I hope to land a job and be able to get my foot into the door of public relations.

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  7. This was such a great post!! I love how you incorporated these rules with a personal favorite movie of mine. I have heard these tips before, and my favorite one is boring someone else with your questions. It is confusing when you are also told that there is not such thing as a stupid question.
    Here is a rule that my dad told me a few years ago…
    As soon as you get one job or complete a goal, know what your next step will be. So once you land your first PR job, know what you want your next job to be and work to achieve that goal. If you do this, you will never be stuck doing the same entry-level job for 20 years, and you will continue to climb the ladder of success.
    Although this movie is so entertaining and fun to watch, it really gives some great advice for the working girl!
    Thanks for the post! I enjoyed it!

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