Five Things I Learned About the Work World from “Ugly Betty” *

Ugly Betty (season 2)

Ugly Betty (season 2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* Spoilers for the show From 2006 to 2010, Ugly Betty was part of the primetime lineup on the ABC channel following the adventures of Betty Suarez as she tries to reach her dreams of being an editor of her own magazine. I’m currently re-watching the series on Netflix and I have to say that while it did go for the dramatics a lot, there were a few tips that I believe would be beneficial to those starting off in the work world.

  • Season 3, Episode 11, “Dress for Success”: In the beginning of this episode, the head of the YETI program pretty much calls out Betty for not attending their mixer. While this may seem mean of her, networking is an important aspect of finding a job and  help with publicity and marketing.
  • Season 4, Episode 2, “The Butterfly Effect“: Try not to air out your work grievances about other employees to other employees at the workplace. Even if they are your friends. In this episode, Betty is having a terrible time at work what with her ex as her boss and the other employees feeling like she shouldn’t belong. Betty talks about it with the editor and friend, Daniel. Unfortunately, this allows Daniel to force the other assistant editors to take on Betty’s pitch instead of the one that they and eventually Betty, come to do. Basically, while you don’t mean to start stuff, this can cause divisions and ugly gossip to spread, so if you need to air out your problems talk to somebody who doesn’t have work ties to your workplace.
  • Season 4, episode 3, “Blue on Blue“: Use whatever resources you have. Betty used a contact from within her own neighborhood.
  • From the same episode, another lesson to learn is not let any personal grievances between you and your fellow employees get in the way of getting a new client. Betty learns this the hard way by letting the fact that her ex and boss, Matt perturb her.
  • Season 1, episode 4, “Fey’s Sleigh Ride”: Honesty is the best policy. Period. Don’t try lying to your boss. Your boss will appreciate more if you come right up and admit your mistake.

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