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Career advice and job search strategies for the modern careerist

Job Search and Career Management Lessons Learned From Celebrity Apprentice (Week 1)

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Everyone’s favorite evil boss, Donald Trump, is back, as NBC debuted the third season of Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday, March 14, and while it is a reality show involving celebrities, there are some surprising lessons to be learned from watching all the drama.  Whether you are searching for a job or trying to advance your career, these lessons may just help you achieve your goals.

Take Initiative

There is no reason why you should just stick to a checklist of ideas and instructions.  You need to learn how to call an audible and adjust to the changes around you.  You just lost your job and are used to the traditional methods of conducting a job search.  If that’s not working for you, don’t just continue, change things up.  Search for jobs on Twitter, use LinkedIn, set up informational interviews – you always have to be ready to adapt.  Those who can adapt move up the ladder faster than those who simply follow orders.

On Celebrity Apprentice, comedian Carol Leifer was assigned the task of handing out fliers to promote a diner the girls’ team was running to raise money for charity.  Carol’s celebrity friends had contacted donors to come out to the diner and drop big bucks for some burgers and fries.  Had Carol been paying attention, she would have stopped attracting additional customers to an already crowded diner and decided to seek out the big name donors so they could be seated immediately.  Instead, she left money out on the street and the girls lost the challenge.  Holly Robinson-Pete, of 21 Jumpstreet and autism awareness campaigns, called Leifer out for not taking an initiative, and Donald Trump agreed, firing the comedian for her inability to think on the fly.

Networking is Key, But Use Your Contacts

At any job, you need to network and build up your contact pool.  Contacts are like party favors that you leave the job with.  The more contacts you have, the more diverse options you will have at your disposal for ideas or job option.  But if you build up a contact pool and do nothing with it, then you’re just a hoarder.  In a world of “It’s who you know” having contacts and doing nothing with them will get you nowhere, and could hurt you in the future.

Case in point; the men were competing against the women with this diner challenge.  The men created a menu of burgers and other traditional diner foods and charged $100 – $250 for each item.  They then went to the phones and began calling each and everyone they knew to come to New York and grab a bite to eat and donate money to charity.  Darryl Strawberry’s New York connections came in handy here.  The women priced their burgers at normal everyday diner prices and did not seek out enough high-powered executives or stars to come out and drop big bucks.  Therefore, they lost.  A few years ago, Jesse James did not reach out to his wife, Sandra Bullock to help in a challenge and even stated that he was holding on to some contacts until later when they might be more useful in helping him win.  As a result, he was fired.  Use your contacts and use them right away.

Delegate Authority

Bret Michaels was the project manager, but it was a cooking challenge in New York, and so he deferred to celebrity chef Curtis Stone and Strawberry.  In the end, the Rock of Love star was called an incredible project manager.  You don’t have to do it all.  Know where your team’s strengths lie.  If you delegate properly, you will be respected far greater than if you had tried to do it all yourself and failed.

Be Decisive

Cyndi Lauper looked weak in her inability to call someone out for their lack of effort, and even weaker when she wanted Leifer to stay, but didn’t stand up for her.  Leifer’s considerable talents may be missed later on in the game, and Lauper’s indecisiveness may cause the team further discord.

Don’t Goof Off

Former governor Rod Blagojevich spent so much time explaining to customers why he is an innocent man that he didn’t serve last year’s winner Joan Rivers her burger on time.  As a result, the burger was cold and Rivers awarded $10,000 to the women’s team.  His team still won, but in the real world, the cost of Blagojevich’s work ethic would have led to unemployment.

Who said you can’t learn anything from reality TV?


2 Responses

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  1. For a long period, Tiger Woods was just one of my heroes. He epitomized fineness. Okay, I am not excellent, however when a heroic public figure is discovered to be so negatively impacted, it does take the hero out of heroism. Just about all one has left is “-ism” — idiot, silly, moron. Is he a terrific golfer? You bet he’s. Possibly he will always be deemed one of the best in recent history.

    Emmitt Nutting

    July 22, 2010 at 8:02 am

  2. Woods to win 5 more majors before his knees fall off


    October 9, 2010 at 6:25 am

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