Sometimes in life, you meet people with whom you just know you’re going to walk a long, beautiful path. In those moments it feels like, not divine intervention, but divine…collection—like we’ve all collected to the same place to touch each other’s lives.
I had one of those moments this morning as I was having breakfast with some producers I am working with, over pancakes at Cracker Barrel. This is the second time I’ve realized a blessing in the moment as I was experiencing it, whilst in a Cracker Barrel. God bless pancakes!
In all seriousness though, from our many conversations over the phone and email, I knew that this group of people was a people I wanted to know. They’re storytellers, they’re compassionate and passionate humanitarians, and kindred spirits no doubt.
We gathered to discuss work, but work immediately became the beginning of a personal journey with like-minded friends. As we were getting to know each other, we found that we have crossed paths several times and that our passions are very likely to collide and explode into a most magnificent starburst.
The entertainment industry has a tendency to turn many daring participants into jaded souls—business is business, you hustle to get what you want, and you want to hustle to your next stop. You brush hands with strangers and you build up an armor of distrust. I have been extremely blessed to meet several people along the way, who have become dear friends, and who remind me that there’s a greater reason we’re here. Sometimes in this industry, you start to feel like you’re being sucked into this cold money fueled blender of greed and superficiality. Then, an angel comes along to show us that there are some of us that still care about the storytelling and the human connection.
This industry is all about crossing paths and building journeys—your own, as well as with others—much like the beauty that is life. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and everyone comes into our lives for a reason. Sometimes I imagine God is up there in the clouds with a brush in his hand, painting his canvas, but that he also hands us our own brush to help fill out the details. What we do with what He places in our paths is up to us, but there’s always a reason. Do we see a dandelion or a weed? Do we make a wish on it, do we step on it, or do we ignore it?
When God places good people in my life, I feel like I’ve just discovered a long lost brother or sister, and it’s a reassuring feeling that fills my heart with hope, faith, love, and much joy.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I learned something this week that I thought I'd share with you--especially all you college graduates and job seekers.
The other day at work, I had my earbuds in while I was screening a movie when one of my colleagues came up to me and said, "Your thank you note is the company's gold standard now." I was very confused at first, because I was so in the zone of whatever it was I was watching and doing. After he repeated himself a couple times, I finally understood he meant the "thank you" note I sent after my interview. I was always taught to send thank you notes after you have a business lunch with someone for the first time or after an interview. I'm all about handwritten notes--I mean, I still write my friends snail mail from time to time. It's just so uncommon these days, that it's always a nice little delightful surprise when you receive something in the mail that isn't your standard junk mail or bill.
Then I asked, "Do people not normally send thank you notes?" Apparently, everyone has reverted to emails. My colleague said that the physical notes are nice, but the only problem with them is that they take a few days to get there. So for example, after they interviewed me, he said they really liked me; but my thank you note came a couple days later so in the meantime they were wondering if I was a jerk for not sending one haha. Then a voice in the distance blurted out, "I only want emails now." I was quite surprised by this. She said, by the time a physical note gets to her, she may have already interviewed someone else who emailed a "thank you" instantly.
Some people in the office still like the physical notes, but my suggestion is send both--an email to secure your interest, and a physical note to show you're serious…and awesome :).
Personally, if I was interviewing someone I would still enjoy a physical note--it adds character. Plus, sometimes you can get an idea of the person by the piece of stationary they use.
Anyways, a little career note to help you out in case you were wondering what standard of "thank you" notes to use.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
A friend of mine shared an article from CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/26/opinion/drexler-loyola-memo/) discussing what women wear to work—in particular, what female attorneys and potential attorneys should and shouldn’t wear. It referred to a memo that Loyola Law School recently issued to its students regarding what not to wear to work-study jobs—no low-cut shirts, stilettos, etc.
The key to this article is that the memo suggests women get judged on how well they do their jobs based on what they wear. So what you wear matters. However, for women, there seems to be so many more rules and opinions as to what that entails, and this happens in all industries.
As the article points out, “Look good, but not too good. Pay attention to vanity, but don’t be obvious about it. Be different, but about the same as everyone else.” I found myself upset and irritated as I was reading this, because it’s true. We live in a society obsessed with appearances, and memos like the one Loyola issued suggests that women cannot be both attractive and smart.
What we wear should exhume confidence and our personality. One of my friends is a very successful partner at a well-known law firm, and she’ll show up to a lunch meeting in a bright blue skirt with zebra print shoes, and neon green sunglasses in all her blonde hair blue-eyed bubbliness. So should the opposing party take her less seriously because she dares to wear color? Absolutely not. In fact, they should feel more intimidated, because she is that confident in herself. To judge her otherwise would be a fatal mistake.
Yes, it’s good to be aware of your hemline and neckline based on appropriate situations and venues, because you don’t wear cut-off jean shorts to the golf course, or a gown to a 30 Seconds to Mars concert. Beyond that though, fashion should always be a form of expression. I know when I put on certain pairs of shoes I mean business—fierce business. Those shoes add to my demeanor, and help me express my confidence and determination. I also tend to enjoy a pop of color in my outfits, but only because I don’t want to bore or depress myself. It’s all about your attitude, right? Why does one man wear a bow tie, while the other wears a skinny tie, or no tie? The only difference is that guys don’t get judged negatively for their wardrobe choices. As long as they get out of their basketball shorts and oversized t-shirts, we think they look good “cleaned-up.”
So, all I’d like to say about this is that what you wear matters, but it mostly matters to you. How does what you wear affect you? How does it affect your attitude, and your ability to perform? My friends sometimes laugh at me, because I will feel shitty and completely exhausted, looking ghostly with eyes that barely function, but if I have to go out, instead of allowing myself to be swallowed up by a hoody and baggy yoga pants, I’ll put on a pair of heels, and something that makes me look at least a little better than I feel, because then that makes me feel better. And then I’m not a walking ball of negative energy.
When I’m getting ready for a meeting, I do think about with whom I’m meeting. Is it a man or a woman? How old? Where are they from? What are we discussing? What is the purpose of this meeting? But then I choose the outfit and even the shade of eye shadow that I think will make me feel most confident in a room with that person. If you’re shoes are killing you, then find another pair of shoes, because cranky feet make for a cranky lady. But it’s not the height of your heel or your hemline that should convey your intelligence and ability to perform. It’s your intelligence and how you perform that conveys your intelligence and ability to perform.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
My Uncle Allen always tells me, “Just keep putting those forks in the road for yourself, and then take a risk and pick one—pick the one you think is the best one for you at the moment.” He tells me to keep doing what I’m doing, and by doing so I’m creating opportunities for myself, and I’ll never look back on my life with sadness or regret, because I’ve made the most of it, and I’ve enjoyed the ride.
Recently, I found myself forging another fork in the road and faced with the opportunity to choose a path to go down. Choosing which path was difficult, but there I went, 2,000 miles back to the City of Angels. It seems my life keeps comically taking me in circles. I grew up performing, and so when I went to law school I initially tried my hardest to avoid the entertainment and music industries; but alas, it seems my passion for it was too great to ignore and I was drawn right back in. Then I decided I’d pursue my dreams outside of the City of Angels and head for Music City instead. 4 years later, I’m back in Lalaland, still continuing the dream.
I ended up driving back myself, which turned out quite nicely. I’ve done this drive so many times now it seems practically like nothing. I just got on the 40 West and took it all the way back to California. Except for the intense back ache that always ensued after about hour 7, the drive was really easy. I was surprised. I was worried, because every other time I’ve driven with someone, I remember always getting sleepy after hour 4, and switching off. Maybe that was just because I knew I had a crutch so I wasn’t afraid of becoming sleepy.
Anyhow, the first leg of my road home was 14 hours from Nashville to Amarillo. I woke up early and left while the fog still hugged the trees and the ground, but the sky above me was blue and clear. I could still see the moon and she comforted me as if she was smiling at me, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. And there I went, chasing the sun west.
This particular route I had done twice before, because it’s the most direct route, so it was a bit cozy. And though being by myself was a little intimidating, it wasn’t terrible, because Cracker Barrel always made me feel safe. Ha. It was my designated pit stop. It always is. I stopped to eat at one outside Oklahoma City, and I broke Lent so that I could indulge in my beloved blueberry pancakes for the last time…well, for a while. It was fabulous. Well, it’s always heavenly as I’m enjoying it, but give me an hour or two and I’ll feel it on my hips. I mean, I’ll literally feel discomfort in my hips. It’s really weird. It’s like my body telling me, “You ingested high fructose corn syrup and who knows what other kinds of fillers! Blaahh.”
It’s once I get to Oklahoma that I feel like I’m almost home. But Amarillo is the midway point, at which time I feel like I’m practically home. As soon as I got out of my car in Amarillo, the smell of cow invaded my nostrils. I thought, “Well howdy to you too, Texas.”
The next morning I was up and out early for a nine-hour drive to Flagstaff. I almost forgot how much I love driving through Arizona. There are teepees and dinosaurs in the most random places along the highway, and sometimes together! There was one scene I came across that looked like a group of veloceraptors had trampled over a set of teepees. It’s quite funny. You’ll find these in eastern Arizona. I highly suggest you take a gander and yonder that way one day just for a bit of amusement.
I also don’t know why I’ve never noticed how pretty Flagstaff is. I don’t remember there being so many trees. Due to the time change, I got there at 3pm and could have gone exploring a bit, but 1) I was too pooped, and 2) I felt weird driving around more than I needed to with a car packed full of stuff. So instead, to try to shake off some of the glumpiness I was feeling, I went to the gym. The gym at my hotel was extremely tiny and all the equipment looked like it was twice my age. It’s funny. Even after 9 hours in the car, I still had no desire to stand, so I biked for 20 minutes, but then I thought I should really walk if not run, so I walked on the treadmill at an incline for another 20 minutes. Then I went upstairs and did some ab work in my room. That made me feel better. I think I knocked out pretty early that night.
Well, I got up early again, so I headed out after breakfast. It was FREEZING! I forgot how cold it can get in the desert. It always surprises me, because it’ll be nice during the daytime, but then at night or in the early morning hours it becomes bitterly cold.
And alas, the last leg home. The fun part about driving cross-country, is that you can cruise control it at, at least 85mph most of the way. 85/90mph was a good fuel-efficient range for my car. There were times when the road was so open I practically took flight though. I tested my car at 110 mph a few times. It’s exhilarating. A bit scary, but exhilarating. And then one time, the road was so straight and flat and there was nothing ahead of me that I could see everything very clearly for miles ahead, so I took her to 120 mph for a brief second. I was too scared to go faster—I think mostly because I was afraid of a cop car being camouflaged somewhere, even though I knew there was no chance, because it was very clear that none lied ahead or behind me. But still…
So yeah, it’s great until you hit Barstow in California. Suddenly there are multiple freeways and suddenly it’s like the world began to exist, because I could no longer cruise on cruise control. Boo. And then it was like, I’m so close yet so far away, because traffic made this last leg feel so much longer than any other part of the trip.
But alas, I made it home, unpacked my car, then quickly took my car for a good wash. I really hate scrubbing the bugs off the windshield and front bumper, so I didn’t. Normally, I make my driving buddy do it, but as I didn’t have one this time, I figured eh…it never does much anyways. The best I did was super squirt my windshield with the built in squirter. However, as soon as I got back, I couldn’t fathom leaving the massacre of dead bugs on my car any longer than necessary. So, I took it to get the best wash it’s probably ever had, and then let it breathe in some ocean air. Ocean air is one of my favorite smells in the world. It comforts me like a baby’s blanket.
Then I was asked how I felt being home. I said I didn’t know. It’s like when people ask you how you feel on your birthday—not really any different. It seems almost strange that I was able to so quickly pack up my life in Tennessee, almost like it didn’t really ever exist; but at the same time, I’ve built such a foundation and home there, that I don’t feel like I said goodbye. And I didn’t say goodbye to anyone or anything, because I know I’ll be back. I’ve got roots there now. And I’ve got friends that are like family to me there now. So it’s never goodbye. Just see you later.
And I think I’ve finally learned that home will always be home, but it may not always be my only home. And as long as I keep creating forks in the road, who knows how many homes I may make along the way; but the fact that I can have several homes is pretty wonderful.
In case you weren’t sure, the two things you should take from this:
1) Stick a fork in it! And then stick another fork in it! Just not in the way we normally use that euphemism. Create opportunity upon opportunity, and don’t ever settle in life. I don’t mean be a nomad. I mean don’t settle for the path of least resistance. You can stay in your same zip code all your life, but that doesn’t mean you have to be boring about it. Duh.
2) Go see the teepees and dinosaurs in northeastern Arizona.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I finally got my hands on the first season of Game of Thrones, thanks to some friends. I’m sad to say that I’m not as into it as I thought I would be, but perhaps that is just because I’ve not yet been able to sit down with it and give it my full attention. It wasn’t until the last three episodes of the season that I started to understand what was going on. So, if you do watch this highly acclaimed series, you can imagine that it has been a bit confusing. In any case, this post has nothing to do with reviewing the show.
I remember my friend once quoting the show as she gave me a mini pep talk, and she said, “You either win or you die.” And I laughed, but it’s so true. In life, you either win or you die. You either live life and give it your all, or…you don’t. And then what is your life worth? Of course, winning in real life is all relative, and has nothing to do with always coming out on top. If you’ve never known failure, then you can never have truly won or found success.
I’m twenty-five, and a recent law school graduate, so I get asked a lot, “What is your ultimate goal?” “What do you want to do?” For a while I thought I was sure I knew what I wanted to do, where I needed to be, and where I truly belonged. I thought I had figured it out, and I knew how I was going to get there. Within the last few weeks, however, I have had sort of an eye opening conversation with my mentor. That sounds a bit more dramatic than it actually was, but it was like I was reminded of what my true capacity is. Then, after a conversation I had with someone this week, I thought even more about this question. And I realized, that throughout all the experiences I’ve had, throughout my educational career, and throughout every which way my dreams have taken shape and color, one thing, one goal, has remained the same from the time I was six. And I knew this, but I have been given a lot of great advice from a lot of truly fantastic people in the industry—gratefully so—which sort of sent my mind all over the place and scattered my direction a bit. I feel like that happens sometimes when you start to feel desperate for what you want and what you’re trying to achieve. When that happens, I always have to breathe, take a step back, and remind myself “patience and persistence.” People can give you all kinds of advice, but you have to know what you want to know which advice is actually suitable to your goals. So, after going back to thinking about what I really want, what I want more than anything, it’s like it finally came into true focus. And then I knew I needed to get myself in the right place to achieve that goal. I won’t go into detail here, but I’ll just say that I like where the ball has been rolling lately.
Now, it all comes down to “you either win or you die.” You either live life and give it your all…or what’s the point of living?
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I was in my mentor’s office today, catching up with him and seeking his advice. As he made a few calls to connect me with other people, I heard him say to each of them, what one of the first and most impressionable things he remembers about me is. I mean, he gave them my background, and backed me like a father would his own prodigy daughter; but then he told them this little detail like it was the biggest, most important thing he could tell anyone.
I was working a charity golf tournament that I had help put on, and at the end he won a prize of $250. Well, he did as any classy person would do in such a situation, which was give the check back to the charitable organization. When he did so, he remembered a high level industry figure making a comment and telling me to go spend that check on drinks and on a game or something (we were in Las Vegas) for myself, and of course I didn’t and made sure the check went back to my Executive Director.
I couldn’t believe he remembered that, because I did not until I heard him tell someone on the phone today. I gave a check back that wasn’t mine—it seems only natural. However, he remembered this and apparently it left an impression on him.
So my point is, that you never know who is watching, or what they're taking notice of for that matter. The minutest action you take may have a big impression on someone you didn’t even know was paying attention. In this case, I won over one of the most powerful people I could have met at this point in my life and career, and didn’t even know it. Since that weekend, he has become one of the most pivotal people in my life. I know that I can turn to him for any advice or help, and he gives it to me straight. I don’t know many people who would just let me pop by on ay given day and sit in their office for a couple hours just soaking up and learning whatever there is to learn.
Lesson to remember here: Every little action you make matters.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
How many times have you left your phone number on a check for your cute waiter? And how many times has it worked? I'm just curious. The first time I did it, well, the guy very bluntly hinted at me to do it, and he was super cute so I did. Our short affair was…well, short. Turns out we were not a good match at all. That was the only time I’d ever left my number on a check, so I don’t even know if that time really counted since I knew he wanted it.
I tried it again tonight, though, and for three reasons: 1) because he was super cute—I mean Henry Cavill GORGEOUS, except blonde and from South Carolina; 2) I just wanted to see if anything would come of it; and 3) I just felt like topping off the already awesome night with something silly.
I’m always of the mindset, “You live but once; you might as well be amusing.”--Mlle. Chanel. So, I figured what the hey, I’ll never be worse off taking a little risk by putting myself out there, whether it’s for my career or my love life.
Then I got to thinking about life in general. You know, how much of it is serendipity, and how much of it is making your own fate? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. Things happen, and you make magic out of it…or not. For me, I put my faith in God, and whatever happens, I just make the most out of it. I figure if nothing else, at least I'll have a good story to tell or remember.
In an industry of “it’s who you know,” well, it’s who you know, but then it’s up to you to make magic happen. If someone opens a door for you, you better walk through that door and build a freakin’ castle…and also be ever grateful to that person. I’ve been blessed to have had many doors opened for me, and I always make sure to take advantage of it, but never for granted. And keeping that in mind, whenever I am able to (with the little power I currently have), I try to open doors for others, because someone else did for me.
As Audrey Hepburn put it ever so eloquently, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
So, keep in mind: it starts with time, and when it’s time, make your own magic out of the time that has been given to you.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Two of the most important and common career advices people give are network and find a mentor. And yes, those two things are utmost important, because they fall under the golden rule of “it’s who you know that matters.” But, there’s a third that falls under this umbrella. I don’t believe I’ve heard anyone articulate this, and I never thought about it until I realized I had it. That is, I have a core group of people who I can turn to for advice, who have my back, and who I wholeheartedly trust. More than that though, these are people who are not only my colleagues in the same industry, but they’ve become the best of friends. Beyond work and career, we go to Disneyland together, murder mystery dinners, and farmer’s market. To have a core group like this is an incredible blessing, and vital, too.
It’s vital, because at least in an industry like the entertainment industries, you’re swimming with sharks, so you need your team. You need people who you can pull up with you, and who will pull you up with them. Having a team like this creates productivity, efficiency, and the continuous and pure enjoyment of what you do.
Plus, it’s nice to have people around you who are passionate about the same things and in the same way, because not everyone in your industry is going to feel the same way. On top of that sometimes when something happens—good or bad—they’re the only ones who really get it. For example, when I tell my dad about good news, a lot of times it goes right over his head. But when I tell one of my “team,” they understand my excitement. Or they understand my frustration, or disappointment in other situations.
You need your team the way you need your girlfriends (or your boys, if you’re a guy). So when you find your “team,” cherish them. Realize their value, and don’t take them for grant it. If people put time into you, put time into them. In life, there will be times when bridges need to be burned, but don’t burn the wrong bridges.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
There are things I wish someone had told me prior to entering the big bad world of Corporate America. Who knows, maybe people tried to tell me, and I just wouldn’t listen. I probably didn’t want to listen, because, after all – I know everything. That being said, I have no regrets about my career choice, and continue to learn and grow in an industry that I love. But just in case you’re a newbie, trying to navigate the shark infested waters of big business, here are some tongue in cheek tidbits of advice:
One year at a big name and you can do whatever you want.
I’m going to quote another movie here, just to hammer my point home. “All you need is for one person to think you're cool, and you're in. Everyone else will be scared to question it.” Rob Gellar (David Arquette) said that in Never Been Kissed, and I live my life by it. Seriously. It’s SO TRUE in Corporate America. Rob knew it, Andy Sachs knew it, and you should know it too. One big name on your resume and you can do what you came to New York to do. Or Los Angeles. Or San Francisco. Insert your city here. My point is, when you are just starting out and you want to make it in a highly competitive field such as journalism, the law, business, whatever - networking is a key factor in your next job. A big name for at least one year is your golden ticket.
Research the job you are applying for.
“Who’s Miranda?” Who’s Miranda?! Are you kidding?!?! Why don’t you just ask who Anna Wintour is (hehe)? Two rules to interviewing you must never break: 1. Research the company, 2. Research the person you are interviewing with.
“You’ve got to start somewhere.”
Ok folks listen up, I thought when I got out of law school I was going to make six figures, and get right into the entertainment legal industry, like that (insert snapping fingers here). Unfortunately, the biggest economic downturn since 1929 occurred 2 years before I was set to graduate, and there were literally, NO. JOBS. Everyone wanted the “magical” 2-5 years of experience. I call it magical because everyone wanted it, but no one wanted to give it to you. So it was magic if you had it. I had to start out doing something that I did not love. I didn’t even like it. At the end I almost hated it. But I did it. Because I had to start somewhere. Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s not always going to be your dream job. In fact, very few people get their dream job right out of school. Most people have to start at the bottom. It’s called paying your dues. Everybody pays them, unless you’re like, Obama’s nephew. You have to leave the nest sometime. And when you leave the nest you have to pay your own bills. And let me tell you, after rent, utilities, food, gas, and taxes, there’s not much left. “To jobs that pay the rent!”
Always go into your boss’ office with a notepad.
Ok, so I can’t believe Andy went into Miranda’s office without a notepad. I mean, this girl went to Northwestern? Are they just letting anyone in these days? I did not go to a school anywhere near Northwestern on US News and World Report, and I actually did not learn this lesson from The Devil Wears Prada. I used my common sense, and at my first job as an executive assistant I went into my boss’ office with a notepad, so in case he asked me to do five hundred things I would remember all of them. I’m just throwing this in there because if you don’t know this you should. After Andy forgot everything Miranda said to her the first time, except for the skirts, she never went in without paper and a pen again, did she?
“Tiny man, huge ego.”
So true. I am telling you there is a reason Napoleon Complexes are Napoleon Complexes. Small men feel like they have to make up for SOMETHING by being assholes and driving equally small cars, like Porches. Enough said.
Insecure people will not be happy unless everyone around them is panicked, nauseous, or suicidal. And they are generally at the top of the totem pole.
Le sigh. This is a tough one. It is particularly tough for me because I want to be at the top of the ladder, and I want to get there without losing my soul. Here’s the deal guys, not everyone at the top is soulless. However, a good number of them are, because you can get to the top fast if you are willing to step on people to get there. But here’s the flip side of that: if you show no fear, they will leave you alone. Please note, Nigel showed no fear in the presence of Miranda. Everyone else did. Miranda seemed to like him more than anyone else in the movie. He did his job, avoided her as much as he could, and was professional in front of all the other employees, including Miranda. He showed no fear, and she did not attack him once. That’s the key to not letting them get to you. Trust me, it takes some time to get to the point where you know that what other people think of you doesn’t matter. It really does not matter. If you let them get to you, they win. If you let them make you feel scared and small, they will take pleasure in that. Don’t give them any pleasure at all. Show no fear, hold your head high, and do your job with professionalism. You win.
(Please note, I realize Miranda screwed Nigel at the end, which is why I say, in order to move up, you need to move on. You’re welcome).
Skinny, beautiful people get ahead faster.
Guys, studies have shown! Beautiful people make more money, get promoted faster, and are generally more successful than average Joe’s. It’s just a fact of life. I have no advice for this one. The Devil Wears Prada taught me this, science confirmed it. There ya go.
Your parents will never stop worrying about you. Ever.
Dude, how cute is Andy’s dad? The check at dinner? SO CUTE. Parents never stop worrying about you. I don’t know what it is. I think when your kid pops out, extra worry hormones are released and they never stop over producing until one of you dies. You will always be your parents’ baby, and you will always be dumber than they are, and you will always need a little help (by this I mean monetary help). No matter how big you grow, how many degrees you have, or how much money you earn. They will always worry about you, and they will always help you. Period.
You will cry two to three times at your first job. After that nothing will faze you.
Ok listen, when this happened to me I was twenty-two years old, just out of college, and I grew up in a suburbian bubble. I didn’t realize that the mean people I saw on TV actually existed. But that’s not the worst part. When you realize that someone you thought you admired is actually the world’s biggest prick, you will lose your shit. It’s ok. Close the door to your office, or go to the bathroom, let it out. I promise, after the first or second time you will never cry again. You’ll be as hard as a rock. Then you can be fearless, and no one will mess with you.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
Ok ok I get it. It’s a recession, there aren’t a whole lot of jobs out there, the bills don’t pay themselves. I get it. But start looking elsewhere! Seriously, start looking around, going on interviews, talking to people. Andy should have been networking her ass off. Yeah yeah I get it, she worked 20 hours a day. I did too at one point in my life. But you are interacting with a lot of different people in those 20 hours. Pick the ones you can trust, and feel things out. Let them know you’ve hit a ceiling and you’d like to go somewhere where there’s growth. It’ll make you feel better. I promise. Then when you actually do land a new job, and you quit? Best. Day. Ever.
You need a mentor.
You need a Nigel. They are out there. Find yours, and hang on to him for the rest of your life.
Your friends will NEVER get your job.
Sometimes work has to come first when you’re proving yourself, but your friends who are not in your industry or on a similar path will not understand that. They will get mad at you for not spending enough time with them, and make you feel like a bad friend for working too much. OR, they will only see the good things about your job (read: free trips to amazing destinations, and free gifts). They will not understand office politics or abusive bosses and co-workers. And when you try to tell them why you want to leave they will either glaze over or they will tell you that you cannot leave, ever, because you meet celebrities and you go on free trips to exotic places. Just stop trying to tell them. They don’t get it, and they never will. Just accept it now and just do you. If they are your real friends they will love you no matter where you work and they will understand when you have to be at work, because they will want you to succeed.
“You seem nice, you can’t do that job.”
Yes you can. Looks can be deceiving. Lull them into a false sense of security with your too-niceness, then pounce like the lion that you are! Andy did it. You can too.
You will miss birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays due to work.
Andy: My personal life is hanging by a thread.
Nigel: That’s what happens when you start doing well at work. Let me know when your whole life goes up in smoke, it means it’s time for a promotion.
Nigel was keepin’ it real. It’s true. Real people work on their actual birthday. They work on their spouse’s birthday. This is the real grown up world people! You are going to miss birthdays. Also, if you have a very demanding job and/or you are extremely successful chances are you are missing anniversaries and holidays. I know plenty of business people who have had to work on weekends and holidays. This is the world we live in. If your friends don’t get it, ask them if they’d like to support you in the manner that you’ve become accustomed to. Yeah. Didn’t think so.
“You want this life, those choices are necessary.”
You will need to make decisions in your career that you do not want to make. That’s called being an adult. Sometimes we have to choose to get ahead over someone else. Business is business. I’m not saying step on someone to get where you need to go, but look, Miranda was going to fire Andy if she didn’t go to Paris! She needed that damn job! Do you know how much rent is in New York? I don’t because I live in LA, but I hear it’s more expensive than LA. And my place is pricey. So look, she made a call. She decided she didn’t have another job waiting in the wings and she wanted a roof over her head tomorrow. I get it. She made an adult decision. Period.
Whatever you do, do it with integrity, because your reputation will follow you for the rest of your life.
At the end of the movie Andy realized that she was making sacrifices so deep her fundamental beliefs were changing. And she walked away. No back up job, no plan. Her soul was worth more. And I love that. She had worked there less than a year, she didn’t have a new job, and she lived in New York – land of ridiculous rent prices. But her soul and her integrity meant more to her than changing the core of who she is. Love. Look, your reputation will follow you everywhere, for the rest of your life. Ask yourself, who do I want to be?
The people you work with will knife you in the back.
I really hate that this had to happen to Nigel. I love Nigel. He reminds me of my mentor. But he got the knife in the back. Miranda LIKED him, and she knifed him. It’ll happen to you too. Sleep with your eyes open.
Cool jobs are still jobs.
Look, if you’re lucky you will get a job that sends you on cool trips like to Paris, London, New York (if you don’t already live in New York). You may get a job in which you meet celebrities (yay!). But here’s the deal guys, a fun job is still a job. There are still office politics, you likely will have to work at those celebrity-meeting-functions, and those trips are not vacations! You have to work while you’re there!
It’s ok to disagree with your boss.
This is scary the first time around. It really is. I’ve been there. I know. But when you know you are right, you have to say something. For some of us, we are legally bound by a duty to say something (i.e., lawyers). For others, we realize that there is a higher law. Something greater than ourselves out there at work, and not saying something would damn our souls forever. My point is this: there is one reason and one reason only why Miranda gave Andy that recommendation in the end. I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: Andy had balls. She did. She had more guts than any of us can ever hope to have. Her boss called her bluff and Andy showed her cards. Let me tell you, Andy had cojones. And that was ok. Miranda was wrong, and Andy let her know it. Not everyone wants to be Miranda.
Please please please do not go into work tomorrow and give your boss the finger, throw your company phone in a large body of water, or tell your boss to F off. No. Not what I’m saying. What I am saying is this: It is okay to disagree with your boss. It will happen in life. I can guarantee it will happen. Sometimes you have to say something. Sometimes maybe you keep it to yourself. Always know that you do not have to think the way your boss does to be successful. In fact, it’s good that you don’t agree with him/her from time to time. It means you have a brain.
Be nice to everyone you meet. You never know when you’ll need their help.
Dude, Andy totally just gave Emily thousands of dollars worth of clothes. And Emily wasn’t even nice to Andy! Just think what Andy would have done for her if she was nice! Ok maybe the clothes were the only thing Emily wanted that Andy could give her. But here’s the deal, in many industries the assistant one day, is the boss the next. All it takes in this world to be the boss is one amazing idea. And by amazing I mean multi-million dollar amazing idea. Be nice! The assistant may be able to do something ridiculously spectacular for you not too far off in the future.
Networking will save your life.
Ok so Andy didn’t network, but Miranda DID! And it saved her freakin’ life. Ok guys look, Jacqueline Follet was trying to steal her job, and Miranda squashed that. She had connections and she went to the freakin’ CEO of the publishing company and had a long ass list of people who would FOLLOW HER if she left the magazine. Guys- designers, models, photographers. Successful people would follow her. That saved her job, ok. Networking will save. Your. Life. Period.
You don’t need to sell your soul to make it.
Look here’s the deal, you are never going to be happy if you are not doing what you love. If we’re being honest with ourselves, Andy did what we all want to do at some point in our lives. Get honest people. Andy left in style. She hated it there, and she did what we all fantasize about doing at jobs we hate. Look, I’ve been Andy. By month 6 you are networking and looking for a new job so that you are out of there at the one year mark. And then you leave with 2 weeks notice and you don’t burn a bridge because maybe, just maybe, you might need that boss as a reference down the line one day.
Your industry is probably just like mine: small and incestuous. Chances are you will run into someone your former boss knows and who likes your former boss. My point is, we all fantasize about walking out of a shitty job the way Andy did. But we don’t, because in the real world, rarely can you leave a job like that. Andy knew she was burning a bridge. But she hated it there, so she followed her heart. Miranda called her out. She told Andy that they were essentially the same person. And Andy was like, no I’m not, and basically gave Miranda the middle finger. We all wish we could do that to our jerky bosses. But we can’t. All we can hope for is to get another job that’s amazing and closer to what we really want to do with our lives. Andy sent us all a message by throwing that phone in the fountain. She said look, I don’t need to sell my soul to make it. I’m gonna follow my heart and make it anyway.
Again, not telling you to destroy company property. I am telling you to listen to that little voice inside you that’s telling you which way to go…seriously it has a roadmap.
A Female Business and Legal Affairs Executive