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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Article to Read: 9 Career Lessons We Learned from Mean Girls



Who hasn't watched Mean Girls in their t(w)eens? I sure did! It was way back when I thought Lindsay Lohan was cool and rocked her red hair and freckles.

That's been said, here's a fun article form Levo League *big fan* on some career tips gained from the movie:

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1. You can use “bitch envy” to your advantage.
You weren’t expecting that one were you? Cady says, “The weird thing about hanging out with Regina was that I could hate her, and at the same time, I still wanted her to like me.” The problem is, Cady didn’t take that feeling and use it for something productive. Let me explain. Career expert and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Kate White talks about “bitch envy” as follows:
“It’s that awful feeling when you hate someone who just got a promotion or a new job. When you feel that emotion, what you need to do is say, ‘What’s it telling me about me? Is it because she got something I want, or a variation on it?’ I don’t think you should push [feelings of envy] aside. I think you should turn it around and let it shine a light on you.”
Regina George is awful, yes, but boy is she capable of asking for (and getting) what she wants, and I think that is something to be admired. We all have “that girl” in our office. Instead of wasting time envying—or as Cady did, following—her, start asking for what you want. Minus the bitchiness.

2. “Don’t let the hataz stop you from doing ya thang.”
And once you become that girl people start envying, take some advice from my boy Kevin Gnapoor. Because there are always haters, high school or not.

3. New office? Learn the lay of the land first.
“You got your freshmen, ROTC guys, preps, J.V. jocks, Asian nerds, Cool Asians, Varsity jocks, Unfriendly black hotties, Girls who eat their feelings, Girls who don’t eat anything, Desperate wannabes, Burnouts, Sexually active band geeks…” Janice knows. Certain offices and companies have pretty rigid guidelines for how things work. You have to learn the rules before you can break them. And break them you must.

4. Office gossip is always, always a bad idea.
Because first and foremost, “Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.” Thanks, Cady. Every minute you spend talking about someone else at work is a minute you could have spent doing something productive. Everyone knows it only makes you look bad, and somehow we continue to do it anyway.

5. An even worse idea? Badmouthing an ex-boss (even if he/she is the absolute worst).
Gretchen makes this mistake. “And you know she cheats on Aaron? Yes, every Thursday he thinks she’s doing SAT prep but really she’s hooking up with Shane Oman in the projection room above the auditorium! I never told anybody that because I am *such* a good friend!” Obviously (I hope), you would never tell an interviewer something like that. However, it happens on a small scale all the time. Interviewer says, “Who is the most difficult boss you’ve ever had?” or “I’ve heard XYZ can be very unpleasant to work for, did you find that?” Never, ever give in and badmouth someone you’ve worked for, even if it feels like that’s what the interviewer wants to hear. Always go with something tactical along the lines of, “I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve worked for, and in fact I think I’ve benefitted from experiencing different management styles.”

6. But since people will gossip anyway, the office is not the place for over-sharing.
Oh poor sweet innocent Ms. Norbury. She just thought she was having a life advice moment with a student, and it fired back in her face. “How would I know, right? I’m divorced. I’m broke from getting divorced. The only guy that ever calls my house is Randy from Chase Visa. And you know why? Because I’m a pusher. I push people. I pushed my husband into law school. That was a bust. I pushed myself into working three jobs. And now I’m gonna push you because I know you’re smarter than this.” The office is not the place for sharing intimate details of your life, especially with your subordinates.

7. You become what you do.
Doing work you don’t believe in is a slippery slope. Cady still thinks that she’s just “pretending” to be plastic, but my girl Janice sets her straight: “Hey, buddy, you’re not pretending anymore. You’re plastic. Cold, shiny, hard plastic.” So, for example, if you start working for a company whose mission you don’t support, if you stumble down a career path you’re not really passionate about, it can be difficult to turn around. Not impossible, as Cady demonstrated, but certainly not easy. Even on a small scale, the daily choices you make (to spend the last half hour of work on Facebook or helping a coworker with a project?) become the kind of employee you are.

8. As women, we really are in this together.
Ladies, we’re still at the 77% mark—on average, we make 77% of what men do. Men still dominate the executive positions even in largely female-dominated industries (nonprofits, publishing, etc.). That is to say: we need to be lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. Ms. Norbury said, “You all have got to stop calling each other sl*ts and wh*res. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sl*ts and wh*res.” But this expands to all female-on-female badmouthing and gossip, especially in the workplace. Mean Girls taught us that we’ll achieve much more, individually and collectively, if we just support each other.

9. So celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
Nine for you, Tina Fey! You go, Tina Fey.


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