Category Archives: Screen vs Reality

A look at how entertainment relates to real life.

3 Career Lessons from Being Mary Jane

As winter draws near, my favorite television shows are ending for the season. Empire’s finale was Wednesday and tonight season 3 for Being Mary Jane will come to an end. Between the coming to Jesus moment in Greg’s office a couple of weeks ago and last week’s call out by the students paired with Loretta Devine’s advice, here are a few takeaways for the young professional.

Recognize who your advocates are
When you want to move to the next level, you cannot do it on your own. You need a support system – a squad. Look to people who have been in the industry longer than you have. What can you learn from them? If internal promotion opportunities come up at your job, is there anyone who can put in a good word for you?

To be early is to be on time
Transparent moment: this is a current struggle. At some point during my adult life, I became complacent. However, it’s a bad habit I’m working to break. In my role, I’m expected to keep my team running smoothly and minimize the chaos. If my team starts sliding into my Outlook inbox at 9 am or was up until midnight sending requests my way, I owe it to myself and team to get in a little early, read through the emails, and plan out the day before it starts to effectively get things done.

Always be prepared
Someone once said, “If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready” and that is true. Use the end of each day or first minutes of each morning to prepare for the work day ahead. Do your research. If you’re leading meetings or presentations, get the decks out at least an hour ahead so you can start on time. Even if there’s a casual dress code, your outfits should be put together as if your clients or CEO will walk by your desk. Develop a toolbox of alternative plans of action to pull from for last minute requests and fire drill moments by looking at past experiences and executions.

I’ve said it before: how you end this year will set the tone for how you start 2016. I’m determined to apply the above in preparation for the new year as well as the bonus point of not tearing down to build. Mary Jane Paul may not always have it together (see her love life) but her fictional career pushes me to pursue my non-fictional career goals.