With its much anticipated season finale on the horizon, we thought we’d offer fresh job-seeker tips gleaned from Scandal’s lead heroine, Olivia Pope. Yes, her love life is a mess. But when it comes to her career, the Chief Gladiator is consistently savvy, smart and more successful than most. If you’re searching for a new job – or simply ready to elevate your workplace status quo – follow these Olivia Pope-inspired tips for a competitive edge:
1) Build your network – Olivia has friends in high and low places. As a result, new opportunities seem to find her. Now is the time to beef up your professional network and expand your sphere of influence. Consider joining a networking group, participating in career conferences or volunteering in your desired field. As Olivia has proven, it’s not just about what you know, it’s about who you know.
2) Embrace technology – If Olivia can use a smartphone (coupled with Huck’s “hacking” prowess) to take down B613, imagine the possibilities if you leverage technology in your job search. Take advantage of social and mobile apps to stay connected, optimize your resume with free online tools like Resunate™ and add your complete profile to online job boards like WomensCareerChannel.com. Technology has changed the job search game, but by embracing new developments, it can become your secret sauce.
3) Be fearless – Searching for a new or better job can be stressful. So be sure to surround yourself with others who support your goals. Didn’t get the job? Take a cue from Olivia, assess your weaknesses and learn from the experience. Gladiators don’t always get it right the first time, but they certainly never give up. Commit to being fearless and your new job is just around the bend!
4) Tout your accomplishments – When Olivia saves a fledgling politico’s reputation or an innocent bystander’s life, she’s not shy about sharing her record with others. During your search process, follow Olivia’s example by clearly communicating how you add value. Led a dynamic team? Spearheaded a brilliant strategy? Remember, now is not the time to be modest. It’s OK to shine.
5) Nurture relationships – Don’t confuse this skill with networking. It’s an ongoing process that, done right, can pay huge dividends. Need an impromptu meeting in the White House nuclear bunker? Access to a private jet? As Olivia has proven, if you consistently nurture relationships and commit to helping others, you may be surprised to discover who’s willing to go the extra mile on your behalf. Your good deeds could result in a key introduction or a recommendation for the perfect job.
6) Dress for Success – We know clothes don’t make the (wo)man, but dressing appropriately for your job or interview matters. While most of us can’t afford Olivia’s designer wardrobe, a well-crafted look communicates you’re up to the task. Make a positive impression when networking or meeting recruiters and hiring managers. Look your best, employ a smart job search strategy and good things will follow.
Today, searching for new employment is more complex and competitive than ever. Whether you’re a Scandal fan or not, the smart tips above can improve your results and help position you to win big. Happy job hunting!