If you’re one of the 6 million weekly viewers that tuned in for season 2 of HBO’s Girls, you’re probably pretty pumped about season three’s two-part premiere this Sunday, January 12, 10:00-11:00 pm EST – and equally excited that season 4 was just ordered!
Beyond getting your quirky Adam fix or discovering what rash decision Jessa will make next, watching HBO’s Girls is also good for your career!
Here are some career lessons Girls has taught us thus far:
Your boss is not your best friend or significant other.
We all cringed simultaneously as we watched Hannah interview for her first paying gig in NYC. She covered everything from bar banter to an insanely inappropriate joke. And it was just a matter of time until Jessa would be fired when she started flirting with her boss… then she invited him to a wild party and her employment fate was sealed.
Take it from the Girls – your boss is not your best friend or your significant other. Regardless of how laid-back the work atmosphere or how strong the “work hard, play hard” mentality, always remember YOU’RE AT WORK, so please act accordingly.
Your boss shouldn’t get away with inappropriate behavior either.
If your boss acts inappropriately, but you stay silent because he/she gave you “health insurance and an iPod for Christmas,” there are major issues!
If your boss crosses any of these lines, among others, first, attempt to have a polite, but matter-of-fact conversation with him or her. If things don’t change, report the situation to your HR department. Still no resolution? You may want to consider looking elsewhere for suitable employment.
Unemployment is not the end of the world.
Being laid-off is terrible. But unlike Marnie believes, it’s not the end of the world.
Instead of wallowing in self-doubt, agonizing over a bad break-up or resenting your ex’s success (Marnie, we’re talking to you!), pick yourself up and follow these steps for what to do as soon as you get laid off.
Your career plan won’t always work out the way you want it to.
We bet that, during her time at Oberlin College, Marnie did not plan to be a hostess at a gentleman’s club. But after being laid off, that’s exactly where she found herself!
According to Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia’s CEO, you should dump your 5-year career plan and instead “optimize for the next one to two years instead of the next five or 10. Look for the right opportunities, stay flexible, have some idea of what direction you are headed in, but don’t lock into a long-term direction because chances are that the world will change up on you.”
Unpaid internships are okay – especially in an uber-competitive job market.
If you’re like Hannah, finding an actual paying job can be very difficult. Accepting an unpaid internship can be a valuable opportunity to learn a new skill, refine existing abilities and network in your job market.
Before accepting an unpaid position, however, be sure to have a financial plan in place, preferably one that doesn’t rely 100% on your parents. You don’t want to end up like Hannah, being cut-off over dinner.
Know (or learn) the best way to ask for what you want.
After being cut-off by her parents, Hannah decided she would approach her boss about turning her unpaid internship into a paid position. This conversation was almost as cringe-worthy as her failed interview and – no surprise here! – she didn’t get the promotion.
Instead of complaining about her situation and money problems, Hannah should have highlighted her accomplishments to the team, and explained how she can help make her boss’ life easier and the company more successful. These tips for negotiating salary would have also come in handy.